Saturday, March 12, 2011

rearing, bad behavior

My horse has always been a little hot. Always had a tendency to rear. He recently reared and went over, not on top of me but he fell and so did I. I got right back on and he rode pretty well. How do I get him to calm down? He is more anxious every time that I get him out. I've ridden him 3 times and he just doesn't settle. Should I put a martingale or a tie down on him so I feel more secure?

Rearing is a very serious problem. You say that he always has this tendency. You have to first make certain that the cause is not physical.Does he have a sore back? Does his saddle fit? Is the bit too harsh? Are you pulling on his mouth at all? Is he frightened at whatever you are doing?

These factors all have to be determined before you address it as a behavioral problem.

If it is absolutely a learned behavioral problem it has to be handled by an expert who will be assertive with the horse. They have to understand what they are doing or they will make it worse.

The horse needs to be sent FORWARD if he rears. Rearing is a lack of going forward from the rider's leg. Yanking him around in tight circles (unless you are doing it for survival), is not as effective- he needs to go forward.

If he is a confirmed rearer, who has learned to use it as a resistance, it may well be that you should not keep him, and you MUST warn any potential buyers that he rears. It is one of the worst vices, but it often IS due to a physical reason.....remember harsh hands can be one of them.
You are welcome to write back and tell me more. Answer on this venue, or,