Forward, like others have said. That is the way with the ones that want to rear. Also, don't dawdle at the mounting block. Make all your adjustments (including running down your stirrups, tightening your girth that last hole and buckling your helmet strap) back at the barn. When you lead to the mounting block, put the reins over his head and mount up ASAP, keeping your bum low to the saddle so the amount of time you are vulnerable (with one foot in the stirrup swinging your leg over) is at a minimum. As soon as you are in the saddle, make him go forward. He can be walking away at a big, swinging walk (what I call a "racehorse walk") as you put your foot in the other stirrup. With more training/experience, he'll probably stand quietly at the mounting block with you on his back as you carry on a full-on conversation the first day at a show, but for now, don't give him the time at the mounting block to begin the hissy/showoff dance moves. Best of luck, have fun with your young horse!
Another vote for forward, forward, forward. I also agree with the above poster about not dawdling....and I am the type that STRONGLY prefers them to stand like stones at the block, when you expect this kind of stuff, you need to ask them to move off the second you are balanced with a leg on each side. And you need to ask them to go somewhere and do something. So often, we meander off casually, gathering our things and our thoughts. That is fine on a relaxed, casual horse, but yours hasn't reached that stage yet. So get a big swinging walk or even trot and go somewhere from stride 1.
Secondly, I am also in the club that says a thoughtful, light lunge could be helpful. But just as the riding, it needs to be a forward first lunge. You don't want to tire him out, but rather, make him sharp on the forward thinking. So no long stretches of cantering and trotting around. Lots of transitions, lots of energy. If he doesn't respond instantly to your cue for an upward transition, use your whip and your body language and make it happen. If he is lethargic in a gait, wake him up and move him forward. If he gawks at something and slows down, do a transition to gain back their focus. I have had good results using lunging this way, but if you are going to just have them bomb around, I wouldn't bother.
He did a little jumper show yesterday with a trainer that helps me. He is a big guy with very strong legs.
You can certainly see the not wanting to go forward with him. He kicked out a few times at his leg. He jumped around great and never stalled near or at the jump, but around the turns you can see that if he put leg on, my horse would actually slow down!
I contribute some of this to the fact when I broke him I always pleaded him to go forward and never said, I said go now, so he got very dead to the aids. Very dead to the aids, as in a two by four wouldn't do much.
So now at this point I am trying to re-do his training and put in a go button. If he can learn that, I have a really nice animal on my hands!
I am making progress by having spurs and a dressage whip and not giving him any chance to be lazy. I ask once with leg and a cluck, if there is no reaction he gets a tap with the whip, still no reaction a smack with the whip. This is working and I have been doing much more collective and forward work and getting him to listen to me.
He rarely kicks out with me, sometime to get a hind change if he is late, but with my trainer, he hates his leg!
He needs to accept other riders and I need him to be more accepting of going forward!
I am glad he isn't a bolter or spooker or stopper, but this not going forward does get exhausting!
Any other tips would be great! This horse has so much talent, and I feel terrible that I have caused some of this behavior, so I want to be sure that I fix it!
Have you checked his teeth?
Yes he gets them done every year! Never had any issues.
He has been checked for other issues and been fine.
When at home he is lazy but rarely pulls the crap he does the first day at the show. So I really doubt it is a pain thing.
I plan to really start riding him more and getting him into better shape and I hope that with help the forward issues!
My 4.5 year old still gets nervous at shows, and when I first get on he leaps forward and up. He is enormous and this is not something anyone enjoys. It has become clear that what he needs, more than anything else, is to sit and chill at the show until he relaxes....and then I can get on.
Your guy may need to do the chill-out thing AND have his forwardness issues worked on, but they may be two different things if the only time he semi-rears is when he first gets to a show. My baby is almost perfect otherwise (he never does this at home), and as soon as I am in the saddle (which can be challenging sometimes), he happily goes to work. Focusing his goofy brain is usually the answer to everything, but allowing him time to process his new environment and accept it is probably going to be how I solve the leaping issue with this one.
Foursocks- I agree. There is no one size fits all solution. Every horse is different. The problem with the solution being just "forward" is that if you have a young stallion or recent gelding that is in "fight" mode, then getting in an argument with him is basically giving him exactly what he wants. And it may not be a fight that you can win. :winkgrin: With those macho types, the less reactive you are--the sooner they will get over the issue. That's my experience anyway.
My best friend leased a Large Jr. Hunter that would do the wave when he went by the ingate. After the first few shows of him doing this she found this short bat with one of those silver ball ends. the next time he went up she just wapped him on the head with it the horse was so confused by what just happened he just went on about his day. I think that trick soon solved the "waving" problem. This was an old sulky hunter so it might not be the best solution for a younger horse, but sometimes doing something unexpected(not in a agressive way but like a wow wasnt expecting that) can interupt their thinking and move on. But its better to get the horse moving forward in front of your leg from the start, and try to get ahead of the issue.
Today he was great at trainers barn, which he has been before, had yesterday off after the Sunday show and was fine!
I carried a lunge whip and barely suggested with it and now bounces and no kick outs.
So it could also be a tired thing?
Obviously the hopping up and down is a fresh thing at first, but when he kicks out out of not wanting to go forward, maybe he is just tired/lazy.
He isn't in the greatest shape so maybe while we up his work load he will get more fit and able to have more energy.
So yes, I agree that the hopping is associated with a new place and being fresh, while the kick out is not wanting to go forward.
Thursday we have a jump lesson so I will see how that goes.
Send him forward and make him work. If he really goes up, open rein to turn him and bring him back down.
My young green horse does the same thing, I just boot her forward, maybe give her a growl and a “No! – get going NOW!”
Keep their feet moving, ask them for their attention.
I don’t lunge.
Sorry if this is a bit OT, but I feel compelled to add this:
As someone who has ridden horses who have reared and fallen over (not something I'd want anyone else to have to experience), I would caution against trying to pull a horse who is up in the air on two legs into a circle to try and get them back down. You run the risk of knocking the horse off-balance and bringing the pair of you down (on the ground) sideways, or, worse, if the horse overreacts, straight back.
Lean forward, give rein with your arms, and squeeze/kick with your legs to get the forward motion going. I don't care what you are on (recent gelding, mare, seasoned hunter, etc.) pulling the reins is never the answer to a rearing horse. A bolt usually ends better than a horse flipping over backwards.
It sounds like it could be a fitness thing—you're asking him to do something that's challenging, obviously, and it's easier to avoid work. It might get better as he gets more fit; it might get worse.
I didn't mention it, but I do like equinephotog's rec of a quick "thwap" between the ears if they really begin to go up. I've not done it on a sensitive horse, but for a stubborn young one, it can bring them back down to earth.
To see how the master reacts to a horse that unexpectedly balks and rears, check out this video of George Morris at his clinic earlier this month. He waits for the horse to come down, then sends it FORWARD in no uncertain terms. Then he schools the horse to listen to his leg, not ignore it.
It starts around the 1:15 mark of the video from Day 1, Group 1:
I agree with all the above, except if you are planning on lunging, I would not use any side reins.
If he bounces against those, it could create more of a problem...the issue is forwardness and he doesn't need that restriction.
And if you get on him w/out lunging, put him to work right away.
If he's ignores your leg some (due to 'pleading' rather than 'I said NOW') and kicked out at your trainer's leg, it might just be that trainer's leg was a LOT more emphatic than yours.
I had an older school horse that needed a stick to even WALK for a normal beginner (NOT calling you a beginner). One day, a college football player friend said he wanted to ride (he'd had a devastating experience in HS) - so I put him on this horse and told him that he was really going to need to use his legs to get him going. I turned around and heard "OH!" - spun back and they're just coming back down to a walk. I hadn't thought about the difference between 'normal legs' and Dave's legs. Poor horse didn't know what had squoze the stuffing out of him!
Or maybe somebody else can figure out a way to link right to it. I'm not much of a computer person myself. :lol:
There you go!