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Readers Respond: Your Tips For Dealing With Horses that Rear

Responses: 9


From the article: Rearing
Do you have a safe way to deal with a horse that rears? Share your advice on rearing horses.


he never use to rear bt now he does is it because the rider is not experienced
—Guest paula


he never use to rear bt now he does is it because the rider is not experienced
—Guest paula

Not a deal breaker for me

I have an older paint mare that rears when she is frustrated or is 'talking back' and doesn't want to do something. Hers start as half hearted hops then into a half rear! I just ride through it. I've tried all the tricks in the book, but she still rears, but its not a deal breaker for me. I don't mind. I prefer rearing over bucking. Bucking is my deal breaker.
—Guest Nikki

Humane rearing cure actually works!

If you're a fairly good rider with good balance & agility, this will work for you! If not, get someone who IS to do it. After looking at reasons why your horse rears & can't find anything & can't afford a pro. trainer (which I've been one since 1980), this is a very humane, yet very clever, way to break your rearing horse...every time. Take several water balloons & fill them up FULL with WARM water. Put them in a fanny pack around your waist & get in the saddle. Every time the horse rears, even if it's just a hop, don't say a word and just pop a balloon on the poll between his ears & he'll come right down. The warm water makes him think he hit his head & is bleeding & self preservation kicks in. If you have a particularly stubborn horse, it might take a few lessons, but he'll quit soon enough. You have to be consistant & pop him EVERY time or it'll take that much longer. I've re-trained many horses & their problem owners for 30 years & this works EVERY TIME and has sticking power! Guide Note: Use this method with extreme caution. This type of approach could exacerbate the problem too.
—Guest Diana

Eliminate the cause

The most important thing to do with a horse who rears is to try to eliminate the cause of the rearing rather than using a band aid approach. Horses who rear are resisting going forward and are often responding to pain due to the bit, teeth that need floating, a heavy handed rider, a saddle that is pinching, sore feet or other body soreness. Owners whose horses I work with are usually surprised at how sore their horses are. Another reason for rearing is being herd bound, lack of confidence being ridden away from the barn. It is up to the rider to make sure the horse enjoys being ridden and to find what the horse is best suited for. So make sure you have the right horse for the right job. Sometimes you are asking a horse for too much too soon. Young horses must be given time to develop the strength to carry the rider for an hour. Understand that behavior is the horse's language and you should learn to listen to it. The last horse that reared with me turned out to have Lyme disease.
—Guest unbridled

Useful methods

Hello people. I have a serious rearer that seems to do it more in spring. The best method i've found is to do tight circles just before she goes up and to keep kicking. After about 4 or 5 turns ask to walk on again. Normally she gives up but if shes in a serious mood, repeat again. I dnt use any whips as this will cause bucking and broncing. I also found that if you lean forward and hold the saddle you stay perfectly in balance without pulling on the reins.
—Guest Tegzi

from a better trainer than i

my beautiful paint mare responded well to the one rein stop... engaging her rear end by pulling on the rein sometimes left sometimes right . it actually takes a good seat ,strong upper body and consistency. also putting her to work as she is being urged to go forward. we did alot of ground work first.
—Guest pat that loves horses

rearing tip assuming there's no injury

the best tip is to keep your horse from being able to rear. if your horse is tossing up it's head and tensing up ready to rear, put your weight as much as you can forward towards the horse's shoulders, give the horse some slack in the reins and squeeze,kick-whatever your cue is for the horse to move forward at a trot or lope being careful the horse doesn't have enough slack to drop their head to buck. once the horse is moving forward you can regain your normal seat and tighten the reins so that you have the control needed to work the horse if you feel there is too much slack. the key is to keep the horse moving forward at a pace that makes them work. and you just keep them working at that pace for several minutes turning or varying the size of your circle or which direction you go. after your horse is a bit tired stop and back your horse-or at least stand still, if the horse shows any sign of the previous pre-rear behavior-it's back to work, if he's good, go on with your ride.

What about a horse...

...that has been trained to rear? When i was a kid i had the privilege of riding an ex-active-duty US Army Calvary officer's horse (name of Sargent) who had been parade trained to rear and march forward on rear legs only (cue was like backing with a bit more back pressure and a bit more push forward). What a gas it was to raise your right arm as thought you were holding a sword and march Sargent forward. He was 27 years old in 1952, what a guy. I've never forgotten him 57 years later.

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