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 Need A Solution!

Hey there,
I have a 7 yr old 3/4 paint 1/4 arabian mare.
She has always had a bad habit of throwing fits (rearing, bucking, kicking, ect. ) whenever I would work with her but she would straighten up pretty quick and her fit would end as abrubtly as it started.
Well lately she has started to rear whenever anyone goes to pet her or grip her halter. It is becoming quite dangerous and almost to the point where I am the only one who can handle her. I know how to break the rearing habit while in the saddle but I am clueless as to how to break her from rearing while on the ground. Any and suggestions, advice, or tips are very much appreciated.

02/10/10  11:10pm


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  Message To: HeartBreaker   In reference to Message Id: 2122352

 Need A Solution!

I’ve never had that specific problem, but I’ve read quite a few books and seen a few things....hopefully someone who knows more about it will log on soon to give you more help.

I would start with don’t let anyone handle her but you for now if that’s at all possible. If she gets away with doing that with just ONE person she will get the idea that she can with others and she will continue to try.

I’ve heard the best way to stop rearing from the ground is to stop them before they even go up. Stay at her shoulder so she can’t come down on you if she does get up. I would practice with her on a lead line. Again you have more control/leverage if you stay at her shoulder. As soon as she shifts her weight to rear give a sharp jerk on the lead to get her to stop. This will hopefully get her attention and make her realize you mean business. If she does manage to get up don’t jerk the lead while she’s up; this can cause her to lose her balance and fall....which could obviously hurt the both of you.

This may or may not work but it is how I’ve seen it done. I would not however use a chain because this may cause pain and horses usually rear to avoid pain so that would be counter-productive.

Anyways, that’s all I really know on the subject. That method worked to get my mini to stop rearing while being lead (this was a bad habit when he was younger and not used to how he should be behaving around humans)....however that was with a miniature horse whose strength I can somewhat compete with.

There are probably a lot of other ways to fix this problem. I am not suggesting that this is the only way or even the best way. Anyone else’s experiences or techniques would be great to hear :)

02/13/10  02:15am


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  Message To: JENOVA   In reference to Message Id: 2122960

 Need A Solution!

Rearing is in fact dangerous, especially when the horse knows they can get away with it, typically this and bucking are habits I break before they can even start....once a Horse learns it is difficult to break....

When ceasing from the ground, as was suggested step to the side by the withers and mid neck section, grasp the lead line close to the head, and length in hand, if she takes off don’t be a hero and hold on if she rears don’t tug...

When I have a Horse that has a tendency to rear I use a modified tie down at all times when working, it is constructed band from a western girth, thick nylon that attaches around the back and snaps, then I simply use a bosal and tie down to clip to the western girth at the base, a Horse cannot rear with their head down period they need the momentum for that like they cannot buck with their head up.... by taking away from it the horse loses interest. I use this for lunging, and for approach from the side it usually takes about 2-3 attempts before they finally give up but it also if they lay down can get back up (I had one horse that DID out of spite would lay down to try and prove a point) but this has worked for any troublesome beasties I have had the ’privledge’ to handle and train...with my own I typically stop it before it starts....

02/18/10  06:10pm


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  Message To: JENOVA   In reference to Message Id: 2122960

 Need A Solution!

Sorry been out for surgery and my post apparantly did not go through argh!!!

Rearing is a habit that I break before it begins, I have dealt with problematic older horses the biggest thing is usually once a bucker always a bucker once a rearer always a rearer....horses pick up these habits by not being trained properly when younger or by going through an experiance, they use the method it works and then it is implanted in their mind.....she has had 7 years (I think that is what I read?) to get her way.....

First I would advise you not allow others near her right now, a liability on your part if someone gets hurt, It was mentioned Horses rear to avoid pain, this is not the only reason, Horses rear out of dominance horses rear out of fear and horses rear because they learned it gets them their way horses rear out of does not seem like a dominance or aggression issue to me, and it does not seem out of dominance... nor does this seem like a horse rearing out of fear why? horses afraid or horses worried of pain will RUN before using a final method of rearing horses are naturally not aggressive this is a behavior learned. this seems to be a cut and dry at one point in her life she learned she could get away with it and was not corrected of a bad habit... which unfortunately for YOU is a habit your stuck with at this point in time and need a means to correct....And methods to "Stop" in a saddle is not a good idea either ...they want you off and are using rearing you can throw them off balance attempting to stop midrear and end up landed on so be careful it does not always work....

I had a horse come to me for the same issue the owner picked up at an Auction this mare was not nessicarily flighty she had learned though "If I do not want to be handled and I rear up people back off" Lesson one of horses a horse can NOT rear if they can not get their head up NOR can they buck if they can not get their head takes momentum and the forward motion of head to be able to perform either action, they can crowhop and kick but neither buck nor rear....

My preferred method?? I LOVE tie downs...for this Mare I used a modified tie down, it was a western girth (cotton) with nylon strapdowns for the back of a truck that went over the back....this secured around the midsection, you can either use a bosal OR take a quick release tie down for a horse trailer hook to the halter and to the circlet in the girth this will keep the head down..I suggest doing this in a fenced area....with enough room so the horse does not feel threatened or startled by your presence and this new means of training....this is a gentle method if she lays down she can get back up, from this for say thirty minutes a day, leave and come back and reach to the halter, let her attempt to rear up but be ready to move, repeat the process as nessicary, what this does is not give her the ability to rare..she tries to go up and realizes she cant, she may fight it for a bit....may take time but eventually she learns she cant rear, when you ride use a tie down as well to reinforce, this SHOULD curb it and correct in a gentle fashion, THEN you may have others approach with the tie down to guage her reaction....

it is remedial training lunge her with this ride her with a tie down.....take away the ability and you take away the habit.....

as for stud chains the ONLY time I have ever used one was remedial training on my draft colt, he is now hitting 4 he is 18.3 ALMOST 19hh..... and thought because he was big he could run over me....took three good uses of it to curb Now I use it as his lead rope.....i clip the chain to the bottom I dont use it but he knows what it is.....good luck

02/19/10  05:41pm


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  Message To: CelticTigeress   In reference to Message Id: 2124890

 Need A Solution!


It was mentioned Horses rear to avoid pain, this is not the only reason,

I should have been more specific with that. I know there are dozens of reasons for a horse to rear, I mentioned pain because I was suggesting a normal lead rope and not one with a chain.

I’ve seen people try to lead with a chain over the nose, or using the chain over the gums (the people didn’t seem to know what they were doing). So if the horse was "corrected" for trying to rear with this method it would only make the problem worse because then the horse would rear again to try to escape the pain.

I wasn’t trying to analyze why her horse was rearing, because I could guess all day lol. I was just saying that causing her pain could make the problem worse.

02/20/10  11:35am


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  Message To: JENOVA   In reference to Message Id: 2125109

 Need A Solution!

I think that methods as stud chains should be used only by a knowledgeable handler and in extreme cases... I agree with you people that do not know how to use them use them imporperly and can in fact worsen the issue at hand.

As I said I have a stud chain I keep, only for my draft who when I did get him had not even been halter broke and he was already standing a good 16hh...this is dangerous for anyone.....he has settled down now, and I do clip the stud chain to him but as a normal lead rope.....he knows what it is for....and it is that knowledge of "Oh crap I best behave" when used properly they are great usually it takes one use of them...

I was mentioning it because you hadn’t listed other reasons I was simply adding to what you said I did not mean for it to seem as if I was correcting you, but it was for the benefit of the person questioning is all...from what she described it seems the Horse is doing it as a taught behavior which only worsens the situation....So I am hoping for the sake of her and the sake of their horse and others they can rectify the situation before person or animal get hurt!

and I have seen someone slip the chain through the mouth too......Once.....

02/20/10  04:56pm


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  Message To: CelticTigeress   In reference to Message Id: 2125181

 Need A Solution!

First of all, thank you all so much for your advice and great tips!!! :)
You’re advice has made me realize that maybe I should give you a little bit of her history and mine so maybe it might give you some other ideas to enlighten me with cause boy do I need it lol
Second of all, if I don’t post this right forgive me, I am not used to this board yet, it is a bit different from a freewebs board that I am used to managing.
But anyways, on to the history of my.... nightmare..(he he he.. OK bad joke)
My mom bought her for a birthday present for my little sister because she was OBSESSED with horses with every meaning of the word, but she was mine also. C’mon it was a horse, not like I wasn’t going to be jealous :p
She was a bout a year old. My mom had a horse when she was young but that was the extent of her knowledge on basically what happened was my sister, my mom and l, all being nooby horse handlers and riders jumped in with a freaking spirited, crazy buttmunch, AWESOME (cause I love her) filly.
Of course we’re not dumb and so we had a horse trainer come out and train both the horse and the three of us. My sister and I were little, well not terribly little but young enough not to fully grasp the concept that she was a horse who can be quite dangerous and could pick up habits if allowed to. We started a game commonly known as hide and seek, and she would search for us in the pasture. When she found us we would jump up and down and she began this rearing habit...
Well I quickly learned how dangerous this was as well as my mom. Its cute when a little baby horse rears but when she reaches adult hood weighing in around 1200 lbs it just isn’t cute anymore. Now I’m more of the wild child and not really scared of anything so I was the one to break her when that time came around. I got to say, we used the parelli method and we never had a problem. She didn’t try to rear or buck me off. We also kicked the rearing habit with the help of our trainer. Now my sister is an instigator and likes to start so she is always poking her or messing with her lips. I cant even begin to tell you how many times I have told her that it would make the horse bite and virtually make her mean and aggressive. My sister being the pain in the buttmunch that she is just rolls her eyes and ignores me. Well Lexi has grown to kinda hate her.’s more like sibling rivalry. My sister was riding Lexi once and she started cantering and it scared my sis for whatever reason. Sooo nooow she is kinda spooky around her and Lexi doesn’t respect her. At ALL. Over the years it has only worsened because she doesn’t train her. I do. She feeds her, but doesn’t work with her. About a year ago, I had a freak accident where Lexi was spooked by some of the neighbors dogs and she reared and fell on top of me. Life flight had to come out the 9 yards but our relationship has never exactly been the same. I mean I am the only one who can really handle her, I’m not afraid of her (which I think is a major part in the whole ordeal) and she knows this, but since the accident ..idk I can’t explain it I just know it’s different between us. She doesn’t rear on me when I go to touch her, it’s just everyone else. Every now and then she’ll test her power with me and I put her in check. That is the occasional rearing and bucking while lounging that I mentioned. Right now I am the only one she will cooperate with. She will not even lead with someone else without putting up a fight. I don’t know why or what changed with them and her. If anything I would have thought it would have changed with me because of the accident. I will admit I have not been OUT riding since then. I have ridden her in the pasture after wards just not out and about. I think it left a bad memory for her because she is so terribly spooky when I get in the saddle now.
I know for a fact that the rearing is a learned habit and also a dominance thing with my sisi I just don’t know why she started it again. It stopped for several years then all of a sudden she picked it back up. But it’s not with me, just whenever anyone else goes to grab her halter. There are little kids that walk by her on their way home from school that like to go up and pet her. I am so scared that one day she might hurt them some how. It makes me want to put her up from the hours that I know they’ll be going home. I just would really like to get this resolved in a positive way.
Oh, i forgot to mention. Lexi was also mauled by a pit bull when she was little, so she has this awful attitude towards dogs...also the reason for her behavior that made the accident happen.
We also had her tied to a tree to teach her to stand and somehow she ended up freaking out and nearly killing herself. So she wont stand by herself tied up for anything. She freaks out.
I hope all of this makes sense. I’m going on two hours of sleep...research papers can be hell, so forgive me if this doesn’t make sense.
But anyways thanks for everything!


02/27/10  08:20pm


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  Message To: HeartBreaker   In reference to Message Id: 2127789

 Need A Solution!

<--Should be a horse pyschologist boy did I pyscho analyze this situation as a taught behavior...

You are right it is cute when they are little until you realize how big they are. Truth be told Rearing is more a learned behavior then anything towards people, and you taught her the behavior when she was young. any horse I have raised up does not learn the behavior, I ALWAYS put a stop to it before it starts simply for the reason you stated..they grow up. I think the first mistake was the mistake on your Mothers part, IF I was inexperianced and if I had two young girls even if I HAD experiance (Which I do heh) I was trying to introduce to horses, I would not start with a young Horse, I would have purchased a 15 year old QH/Grade Horse...that has been around the block, Not a stallion usually geldings are great or a non moody mare..... It would not be a flashy breed ie anything bred for color paint/pinto... or even a palamino I have seen way to many horses that are flashy and lack a brain in their head.. a nice bay or sorrel or even a chestnut. I think your mother made a poor choice in the decision.... there lies the first problem.

I understand you having a trainer out I always train the handlers when I am training a horse, but there is a reason why when I used to give lessons I only took a certain age and up...two little girls (you didnt specify age so little is being used as a generic term) antsy and excited actually listening??? Nuh uh.... I do not play nor did I when I was little (I started at 5 with horses by 7 under supervision my dad had me breaking my first with his methods and training in a secure environment but my dad is a seasoned horse person...MANY days spent in a pasture just bonding with the horse before I even got on his back and sitting with a horse during feeding is as much training as riding) I had seen someone not listening to my dad wear tennis shoes on Tryst who was My Cow horse Tryst was a Palamino with a wild hair up his arse the girl was riding around (she was 23 Tryst was 10 and knew his place) cow broke herd her foot slipped She fell....(Cow horses you cut loose and hang on) and got this day unless bareback I do not wear tennis shoes.....

you playing hide and seek was all well and good until the jumping out, this frightens/startles/surprises a horse causing the rearing...the horse repeating the behavior because you repeated the game has just now learned a never did specify your reaction when she reared during your games.....


messing with her lips. I cant even begin to tell you how many times I have told her that it would make the horse bite and virtually make her mean and aggressive

this is simply not true at all.....I FREQUENTLY mess with my horses mouths, Now I don’t twitch the upper lip but I lift it or flap the bottom lip, I mess with the ears and all aspects of the face for a reason. this acclimates a horse and builds does not make them mean unless your aggressive and mean. I constantly do everything I can even shaving the chin whiskers around the eyes and ears... its called desensitizing, and this helps in the long run with bit taking.....


Over the years it has only worsened because she doesn’t train her. I do. She feeds her, but doesn’t work with her.

I want to stop you right here....-I- as a trainer.....My Father who is a trainer (well retired now) I do not care WHO trains the horse/works with them..if the trainer is doing it right ANYONE can handle a horse and the behavior curbs period..the horse may have select favorites but the key to proper/GOOD training is to train a horse and be confidant to know the behavior does not worsen..this is an excuse... Any of my horses ANY of them you can walk out halter bridle saddle even my husband who is as novice as can be can handle them and is in the training not the person seems you may need to reinforce your training or seek a professional to better instruct you your horse has serious issues.....rearing with dogs, not standing, rearing, now horses buck in a roundpen occasionally if they are ’feeling good’ but the rearing and not standing are issues..your horse has BAD habits taught... as for the spooky when you get into the saddle I am sure you project some insecurities that she is picking up on in one way or need to saddle and put a tiedown on her and have others handle her.... you need to place her on crossties and get her used to standing..if you want honesty one of these days someone is going to get seriously hurt..... if your so worried about her hurting the kids my advice is to put a no tresspassing sign up, and an equestrian sign wavering all liability if someone gets hurt by your horse where it is clear for the a first step.. it is not fair to punish the horse for mistakes you have locking her up.

It is good you nip it in the bud but hon you have deep seeded behavior issues, if you want my advice you are not seasoned enough I do not feel to handle these..I would suggest a trainer that specializes in horse behavior.....Has anything ever happened when she has been tied that would cause her to freak?? you might try tying her and moving off to the point she starts to freak then sit and talk to her...coax her and take it one step at a time if you want to curb this.....and I have already suggested the rearing...

03/05/10  04:01pm

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