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  1. #1
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    Jul. 23, 2009
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    Default Rearing Horse

    So I buy a new horse last Fall- lovely PreGreen Prospect and she promptly gets hurt and put on stall rest through Jan. When bringing her back, we notice she has a nasty rear habit when not in front of the leg. Soo....she gets sent to a natural horseman/cowboy for 60 days and comes back a new woman (got her back April 1st). She has been nothing but perfect and is back to jumping courses w/ her swaps pleasantly- ready to show.....until...

    The other night I was hacking and after a walk break I pick up the reins to trot again and she is up in the air. It wasn't nearly as bad as the winter sessions and I booted her and made her canter along but now I'm paranoid that the habit is back!

    She gets a depo shot every month, recently had her teeth done,has a custom saddle and is UTD on everything to rule out sorenes..... Now, she is can be an opinionated if a little lazy mare, but she is exquisite to jump (By Aristos B). She doesn't spook, buck, spin (and she is a 5 year old warmblood), so I'm wondering if this is just her habit. Has anyone had this issue with the Aristos B horses? Does it go away? Help!



  2. #2
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    Sep. 30, 2007
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    If you intend to keep this horse it sounds like you need to learn how to make her quit rearing. I would ask that cowboy what he did and see if he would be willing to teach you how to correct it. My old horse used to rear when he didn't want to go forward. What worked with him was that when he tried to rear I would back him up 10-20 feet, then ask him to go forward, if he attempted to rear, I would back more.. He finally decided it was easier to go forward than backward and quit rearing. My current horse has never reared with me but she can get excited and act as if she might. When I sense this I make her do a few tight circles. What ever you do, make it so that what you want her to do is the easiest option. Good luck!



  3. #3
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    Mar. 29, 2006
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    Hmm, CT would your cowboy be named Jim perhaps? I used him to break my horse of a nasty rearing habit and unfortunately, the horse would not do it for Jim but did it for me and I never really got over that.



  4. #4
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    Jul. 23, 2009
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    New England
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    Default

    My only concern with the back up trick (have done it before on other horses) is that this mare loves to get stuck and not go forward...... My thought process is that her rear is her saying no to being forward and backing her up may make her think that she is winning.

    When she did it the other night I spun her immediately and then made her canter for 5 minutes in the bridle. I'm hoping she was just testing me and that she'll give it up. I have hear the Aristos mares have been tough... wondering when she will outgrow it!



  5. #5
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    I would hesitate to use backing up as a discipline for one that is light in front. To easy to pull them up yourself and possibly over. I don't like spinning for ANYTHING because I've had two who would spin when they were mad and it impossible to stop.

    Boot her forward.



  6. #6
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    Jul. 23, 2009
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    New England
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    Default

    Not Jim.....a guy named Pat- who was excellent. That being said, the cowboys are a little tougher on their horses than I like to be....but perhaps that will just need to be her program (heavy lunging/LOTS of riding in draw reins w/ giant spurs).

    Frankly, she hasn't even considered it until the other day so I was VERY surprised.



  7. #7
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    [quote=osgoka01;5605026but perhaps that will just need to be her program (heavy lunging/LOTS of riding in draw reins w/ giant spurs).
    [/quote]

    Really? I hope you're kidding about this, because there is no quicker way to teach a horse to rear or flip over backwards than draw reins with giant spurs in their sides.

    Once they are up in the rear, there's nothing you can do but make sure your balance is forward so you don't pull them backwards. once the front feet hit the ground, circle her and boot her forward into the circle until she realizes that rearing = HARD WORK. it helps if you've taught them to give to the bit and yield off the leg - I teach all my babies that first thing, so that if they try to buck/bolt/rear with me, I can quickly take away their hindquarters and regain some control. She will have a heck of a time rearing if her head is to your knee and her hindquarters are crossing sideways in a circle.

    Rearing is DANGEROUS and needs to be nipped in the bud before she thinks it's an acceptable way to get out of work.
    "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

    So, the Zen Buddhist says to the hotdog vendor, "Make me one with everything."



  8. #8
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    Dec. 30, 2009
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by osgoka01 View Post
    So I buy a new horse last Fall- lovely PreGreen Prospect and she promptly gets hurt and put on stall rest through Jan. When bringing her back, we notice she has a nasty rear habit when not in front of the leg. Soo....she gets sent to a natural horseman/cowboy for 60 days and comes back a new woman (got her back April 1st). She has been nothing but perfect and is back to jumping courses w/ her swaps pleasantly- ready to show.....until...

    The other night I was hacking and after a walk break I pick up the reins to trot again and she is up in the air. It wasn't nearly as bad as the winter sessions and I booted her and made her canter along but now I'm paranoid that the habit is back!

    She gets a depo shot every month, recently had her teeth done,has a custom saddle and is UTD on everything to rule out sorenes..... Now, she is can be an opinionated if a little lazy mare, but she is exquisite to jump (By Aristos B). She doesn't spook, buck, spin (and she is a 5 year old warmblood), so I'm wondering if this is just her habit. Has anyone had this issue with the Aristos B horses? Does it go away? Help!
    She's an individual so you have to assess her as that specific individual (forget about her breeding for a moment, even though that can certainly lend to certain tendencies). Assess her manner of thinking - ie, what tendencies does she have, how does she think and process things, how best does she learn, is she naturally confident vs. naturally unconfident and/or reactive, what motivates her, etc. If you fully understand her, you can understand why she uses rearing to communicate and you can address the root issue.

    #1. Rearing is a behaviour and is a response.

    #2. The horse is a prey animal and as such, their first response is fight or flight (need to move their feet). They are also claustrophobic animals and if the horse feels restricted as it pertains to moving its feet - whether by the rider's rein or via their mode of operating (ie, their mind), they are going to rear. They feel they have no place to go but up.

    It might be a habit, or a conditioned pattern, but that habit was started because the horse felt the need to respond in such a way. Often... the fault is the rider (barring pain issues of course!)

    If this natural horseman cowboy did so fabulous with your mare, I would highly recommend your going back to him. Send your mare to him for 30 days (optional) so he can reinforce what he taught her, and watch his process with her. Ask him to explain his process - what he does, how it works, why it works, and ask for lessons on communicating and responding to your mare when she feels the need to rear, and to prevent the rear in the first place.

    As for the rear itself, you have to tailor your process to your horse and her tendencies. It might mean making the right thing easy and the wrong thing hard, or it might mean instilling more confidence, or it might mean communicating more effectively. Etc etc etc. If you address the underlying issue however - the reason she is rearing - the rest evaporates.

    Quote Originally Posted by osgoka01 View Post
    Not Jim.....a guy named Pat- who was excellent. That being said, the cowboys are a little tougher on their horses than I like to be....but perhaps that will just need to be her program (heavy lunging/LOTS of riding in draw reins w/ giant spurs).

    Frankly, she hasn't even considered it until the other day so I was VERY surprised.
    I hope too you're kidding about the above. Good horsemanship and bad horsemanship are universal. To say cowboys are tougher on their horses (ie, heavy longeing, LOTS of riding in draw reins w/ giant spurs) is a lot of generalization that is incorrect. A good horseman is assertive but fair and gentle, cowboy or not.
    ....horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
    ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.



  9. #9
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    Jul. 23, 2009
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    New England
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    eventer_mi
    Our Lady of Perpetual Novice
    Premium Member

    I am not riding her in draw reins/ giant spurs. I ride in a loose ring snaffle and a tomb thumb spur....the cowboy had her w/ the big spurs so that moving forward was her only option. Frankly, the other night I think she thought she should be done for the evening and when I picked up the contact again she thought she might try to get out of it- hence making her canter in the contact for a good 5 minutes. Hopefully she figured out that go up means go back to harder work than would have been expected in the first place.

    She is a tough mare, but incredibly talented and I'm fine trying to work past this. I'm still wondering about the breeding though. I have heard a few people say the Aristos B babies can be really tough.....



  10. #10
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    Apr. 16, 2002
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    ontario, canada
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by osgoka01 View Post
    So I buy a new horse last Fall- lovely PreGreen Prospect and she promptly gets hurt and put on stall rest through Jan. When bringing her back, we notice she has a nasty rear habit when not in front of the leg. Soo....she gets sent to a natural horseman/cowboy for 60 days and comes back a new woman (got her back April 1st). She has been nothing but perfect and is back to jumping courses w/ her swaps pleasantly- ready to show.....until...

    The other night I was hacking and after a walk break I pick up the reins to trot again and she is up in the air. It wasn't nearly as bad as the winter sessions and I booted her and made her canter along but now I'm paranoid that the habit is back!

    She gets a depo shot every month, recently had her teeth done,has a custom saddle and is UTD on everything to rule out sorenes..... Now, she is can be an opinionated if a little lazy mare, but she is exquisite to jump (By Aristos B). She doesn't spook, buck, spin (and she is a 5 year old warmblood), so I'm wondering if this is just her habit. Has anyone had this issue with the Aristos B horses? Does it go away? Help!
    I've known a couple with similar issues. Ones sticks out - naturally lazy horse, prolonged period off of work due to injury, then a rearing habit. That one didn't get over it and the owner (somewhat timid) moved on to a safer horse. I believe the horse went on to be a hack horse where the demands were considerably lower and his rearing was not an issue.

    Others have fared a bit better and gone on to lead productive lives. I'm not sure that it ever goes away completely, though. Evasions, once learned, have a nasty way of lurking in the background. The important thing for right now is making sure it doesn't become a habit. That may mean always riding under your trainer supervision for awhile if you aren't good about heading off the early warning signs. You need to be on the very first signs of resistance like white on rice EVERY SINGLE TIME.

    Obviously none of our horses should be allowed to be a little bit nappy, but if we are honest....we can admit that they are often slow to react to our aids, not quite in front of our leg, etc. We all get away with that sort of thing on most horses. That sort of behaviour, though, cannot be tolerated with one that is prone to getting light in front in protest of being asked to work. Basically, you have to be 100% on your game right know, and if you don't feel up to it, I wouldn't hesitate to invest in more professional training.



  11. #11
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    Jul. 23, 2009
    Location
    New England
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    Thanks so much Backstage. I appreciate your feedback on insisting she respond to my aids. The funny thing is, I leased a horse to do the A/As on for a few years and apparently when he was a youngster he would pull the same trick. He has gone on to be a GREAT horse w/ wins all over the East Coast.

    I suppose deep down I want someone to tell me that if I am diligent and insist correct behavior, that I will have a good partner down the line. I have spared no expense with this horse ensuring her comfort (plus the 2 months of paying dual training board). I just want her to step up to the plate and play along.

    Funny thing is, when I'm cantering along w/ a loop in the rein jumping jumps, she is happy as a clam. She just doesn't like being pulled together and being forced to step through.



  12. #12
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    Dec. 30, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by osgoka01 View Post
    Funny thing is, when I'm cantering along w/ a loop in the rein jumping jumps, she is happy as a clam. She just doesn't like being pulled together and being forced to step through.
    I think this is a sign and would consider it to be a high possibility this has to do with the way you are asking her.

    Rather than pulling her together and forcing her to step through, considering using progressive exercises that set her up to do so. Then your aids (which are soft and merely guiding) only refine what she offers and what she produces, but she is the initiator (including of contact).
    ....horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
    ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.



  13. #13
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    Jul. 23, 2009
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    New England
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    NaturalEquus- I don't disagree. I feel some pressure from my trainer though who insists I "keep her round" so that she can't get above the bridle/behind the leg.

    My opinion is get her forward and deal with the face later BUT if you let the mare warmup for too long w/ too light a contact, she is less inclined to work as she gets further into the ride....she is LAZY truly, but is getting better about going forward when I put my leg on. It is a tricky situation but when she is good, she is VERY VERY good.



  14. #14
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    Dec. 13, 2010
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    Rearing horses are extremely dangerous. I went to the ends of the earth to try to stop a rearing problem that was unknown to me, but I later found out existed before hand. Went well for me x-c but reared like a mad in show jumping. Sometimes I'd get eliminated b/c he wouldn't go thru the start flags. We really tried everything. Finally sent him to very well know, very well respected trainer. Went well for a while. Finally, reared out of the blue on x-c and destroyed the trainers face - teeth, nose, lip, chin. Reconstructive surgery type damage. I never rode the horse again. Donated to a wonderful program in the south as a dressag horse where he lived his entire life. Good luck and be so careful - this is dangerous stuff you're dealing with!



  15. #15
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    Jul. 23, 2009
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    Ugh- I hate to hear stories like that.

    The thing with this horse is that I'm trying to put a good flat foundation on her to make riding the jumps easier.... BUT, she is EASY to jump as it is. In fact, she would rather canter jumps all afternoon than have to do 5 minutes of good/correct flatwork.... So we'll see how it all plays out.

    I REALLY want her to turn into a good horse. Will have to wait and see!



  16. #16
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    If you feel too much pressure, maybe experiment with other trainers. The fact that you say your mare is VERY VERY good, leads me to believe she is resisting not because she is testing, but because she is trying to tell you something. Every response a horse gives, is just that - a response. Our job is to interpret that response and respond to it... whether that mean further cementing the foundation or earning that horse's respect, or approaching the lesson differently.

    'Insisting' a horse stay round rather than 'asking' the horse to stay round and progressing what the horse offers (as a result of exercises) imo lends to problems. With the 'rebellious' type, they will resent being told without being asked and they will certainly resent being micro-managed. With the willing type, you might force them for something they are not yet ready for. Of course one must be assertive, but it is a fine balance

    While your mare might be resisting because the work is hard, she might also be resisting because she can't stay round right now. She might lack sufficient pushing power and strength yet for the carrying power that is being asked of her. Say worst case scenario she is resisting because the work is hard, if the rider instead approaches it progressively and in small steps, the horse will respond positively and try harder. You set up parameters (my new fav word, thanks Greg Best, haha) that progress the horse and allow the horse to learn, without forcing or insisting the horse do something specific within those parameters. You don't micro-manage. Hopefully that makes sense? You set the horse up for success without micro-managing and dictating their every move.

    You shouldn't have to deal with the face at all The face and poll will naturally fall into place as a result of where the rest of the body is at. Contact is initiated by the HORSE as a part of the training scale - not the rider. You should be able to ride with light contact and she will pick up the bit as she progressively engages from behind. If not, work on the foundation, which will develop the contact (etc) because you are developing and furthering that engagement (and strength). As you develop engagement, she will naturally seek the contact. Further on that point, she can remain on light contact and even on a loose rein (ie, on the buckle, even), without being above the bit or behind the leg. Especially the young horse - you can't force them into a specific frame, they don't have the strength to do so. Instead, you develop the foundation of the training scale (relaxation, suppleness, rhythm) and progressively ask for more via exercises and (gentle, soft, guiding, refining aids).

    Your two concern, her being above the bit and behind the leg:
    #1. If she is supple and relaxed and rhythmic (the foundation of your training scale), she won't be above the bit and tense.
    #2. If she is lacking impulsion, rather than trying to push and pull her (it shouldn't be YOUR job to hold her up ), I would recommend focusing solely on the impulsion aspect. Especially if your mare is behind the leg, the last thing I would want to do at that point is push and pull her together, effectively closing that door (to forward) and shutting down her forward. By closing your hand, you stop forward. Have her school over poles and low jumps. Take her on the trail and build impulsion over hills (on a loose rein!). Give her a job to do - something that is interesting to her. Lastly, I always suggest the point-to-point exercise initially taught to me by Jonathan Field (he was originally a dressage rider), with one of my colts who was naturally very behind the leg at the time. Now I use the exercise on all young horses and my own horses, to balance forward (ie, a lack or surplus of impulsion). I just explained the exercise in this thread, actually, lol:
    http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=304419

    Anyway, sorry for the novel but hopefully what I said helps a little


    Eta: rearing really is just another response, another way of communicating. Certain horses though will have certain tendencies (such as rearing) but if you deal with the root issue, they usually won't feel the need to use such 'loud' (and unsafe!) means of communication. I've got one rearer right now who hasn't reared in forever and who is coming along beautifully - all it took was the right approach and addressing the cause of his rearing.
    ....horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
    ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.



  17. #17
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    Nov. 24, 2010
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    I've experienced rear-ers who are rearing because they lost their mind--like gate tantrums in the ring or leaving-the-barn tantrums. These are gravely dangerous and most difficult to retrain.

    I've also experienced rear-ers who are reacting to being held somehow--resisting or escaping the pressure to "come round". This is more like exploding after being held in too long. This is actually a horse wanting to move forward without hitting pressure for awhile. It can be from just working a horse with pressure for longer/harder than she can developmentally take. This is more a rider/trainer issue.

    The second can become the first, unfortunately, if not nipped.



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by osgoka01 View Post
    I'm still wondering about the breeding though. I have heard a few people say the Aristos B babies can be really tough.....
    You need to let go of this...you seem very insistent on it being breeding since you've mentioned it in every post. As long as you've convinced yourself that is the reason you are not going to be open to other reasons.



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by trabern View Post
    I've experienced rear-ers who are rearing because they lost their mind--like gate tantrums in the ring or leaving-the-barn tantrums. These are gravely dangerous and most difficult to retrain.

    I've also experienced rear-ers who are reacting to being held somehow--resisting or escaping the pressure to "come round". This is more like exploding after being held in too long. This is actually a horse wanting to move forward without hitting pressure for awhile. It can be from just working a horse with pressure for longer/harder than she can developmentally take. This is more a rider/trainer issue.

    The second can become the first, unfortunately, if not nipped.
    Just wanted to say, this is my experience as well! #2 can be too much pressure from any sort of handling or training 'exercise'. If the (entire) approach includes applying too much pressure consistently, you will create #1 (pick your behaviour - some horses manifest this 'blow' as a rear, some a buck, etc), because you are conditioning a behaviour, a response, as a response to your approach. The horse I mentioned in my post was #1 and it is so much more difficult to re-train at that point. #2 is easy if you nip it in the bud - nipping it in the bud means changing your approach and tailoring it to that horse's needs.
    ....horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
    ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.



  20. #20
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    Apr. 15, 2011
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    No matter what you do to a horse once they rear they will always come back when they want to fight with you about something. It is also very dangerous if this happens when you are jumping.



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