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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 23, 2008
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    Florida
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    Default Pulling a rearing horse over backwards??

    In a conversation with a "natural" horse trainer, it was suggested that if you have a horse that is inclined to rear while you are working with it on the ground, you should pull it off balance so that it falls over backwards to break it of the habit.

    Now I can see how this question could be little more than a troll for outrage, and I have my own reasons for thinking this is not a very good idea, but their point was that it is such a dangerous thing for the horse to do, that the immediate risk to the animal is outweighed by the possible harm it could do to itself and its handlers in the long run.

    The discussion was in direct relationship to a youngster that has a good bit of groundwork on it and is about to start under saddle. The rear was about two feet off the ground and an attempt to wheel and leave a pressure situation. I probably would not have pushed her that far, but I know her pretty well and it was a subtle shutdown in her demeanor. If I had made the mistake, I would have not directly addressed the rear, just the general evasion, and gotten on with the work at hand however that shaped up. To clarify, this was not while riding or preparing to ride.

    So, I am left wondering... with a young horse, or old and trained, is this a valid training technique and justifiable action? Also, they maintain that any reaction to pressure other than head down, cocked foot is incorrect and an invitation for issues later. Sounds great, but is this realistic? I am a fairly mature and well reasoned individual and even I can't pull that off. Am I missing something?
    Last edited by SandyHTF; Mar. 22, 2013 at 01:00 PM.


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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 13, 2011
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    East Longmeadow, MA
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    Default

    Hayall no, it's a horrible idea!
    What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!


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  3. #3
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    Sep. 8, 2010
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    Default

    That's just stupid!!!


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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 7, 2012
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    330

    Default

    NO. No. No. No. No.


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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep. 19, 2003
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    Brentwood, NH
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    Default

    When I was a teenager I went to a county 4-H camp. There were a couple of good instructors, and some other random adults. A group of us were trail riding with one of these random adults, and one of the other kid's horse reared. The adult (I refuse to call her an instructor) told the girl to "pull back on the reins and lean back." My friend and I immediately started yelling, "NO! Lean forward! Loosen the reins!" We were called on the carpet for embarrassing the adult, who went out of her way to show me in a book she had read that this was the correct thing to do with a rearing horse, to pull it off balance to stop it from rearing. The instructors told us (in private) that we were right, but we shouldn't have publicly disagreed with the adult in charge. I just know that that kid would have been badly hurt, if not killed, if I had not spoken up.


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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 9, 2005
    Location
    Upper Midwest
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    6,029

    Default

    My experience is that there is usually a reason they are rearing and I would start there (often if it appears to be a behavioral "naughty" behavior, it's pain related). The second big reason they rear is fear.

    Second reason not to do this--I personally know of a horse that died when it flipped over backwards, so I don't think it is a good idea.

    For the reasons above, I wouldn't do it, but that said I would be interested to learn if the NH trainer has had this acutally "cure" a horse of rearing. I just don't know that it would--I mean you would think my horse would learn that if she jerks her head up and back from the aisle into the stall that she smacks her poll on the door brace, but I just saw her do it again last time I was out at the barn. She's had the same stall for six months. My point being, that in a reaction to fear, and rearing often is an overly dramatic shy-away from something, I don't think horses examine the consequences...so I don't see how flipping one over is going to fix the problem.

    Oh and I am just assuming the discussion does not involve someone on the horse flipping it over on top of themself. Because that would be moronic.
    Siouxland Sporthorses: http://slsfarm.blogspot.com/

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 4, 2002
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    2,557

    Default

    As a general rule, pulling a horse over backwards is a good way to injure said horse or rider. However, once upon a time I had a horse that would rear, flip over, then get up and bolt back to the barn. For this older horse with this ingrained habit, we let him flip, then instantly held him down--so he couldn't get up and bolt to the barn. Taking away his ability to leave--he had figured out that if he flipped over he had an instant where he was free to run off--got him started so that we could actually work with and retrain the horse. But, we did not pull him over--he did that himself; we just held him down.


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  8. #8
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    Jan. 27, 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrotTrotPumpkn View Post
    Oh and I am just assuming the discussion does not involve someone on the horse flipping it over on top of themself. Because that would be moronic.
    Sadly, I think some people would do it. The stupidity of people never ceases to amaze me.


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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov. 14, 2012
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    122

    Default

    I would never suggest this as a training approach however....years ago I worked with a young horse that was a chronic rearer. Dispite a soft hand this little bugger would rear when other young horses would have simply fussed or bucked or spooked. After a jump one day he spooked at something in the corner and reared, lost his balance, I bailed, and he fell over. He NEVER reared again. So, I would say they can learn from a good scare but the risk to the horse in pulling it over is significant.


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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
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    15,597

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    Someone else can be the fool who pulls a horse over backwards.... from his back.

    The big deal about this or any other technique used to cure rearing is

    1. Why is the horse doing it in the first place?

    and

    2. Is he thinking at the time, or is he in total brain fart?

    For the horse who knows how to rear without falling over and does it often, I do think he needs to be told that rearing is illegal. I have done this, but not while mounted (unless I had to).... and it's now a deal-breaker for me. If I can fix a rearer from the ground, I won't ride him.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 22, 2010
    Location
    Colorado
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    Default

    I use to know a trainer in our barn that sworn by this method but I NEVER wanted to be the rider on board. In fact this same trainer use to make an oxer that moved for horses that didn't pick up their feet & when they where over the jump she would make the oxer wider. This normally cause the horse to trip or even flip. I'm a brave rider not stupid.

    I did know another trainer that broke horses that sworn that if you had a rearer to take a raw egg & when they went up you cracked it between their ears. I saw her do this a few times & they didn't attempt to rear the rest of the ride. Don't know if they remembered that for the next ride!?

    With me if a horse rears straight up & they make it a habit I send them down the road! Too dangerous!!


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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug. 28, 2006
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    10,033

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    The "natural trainer" is a moron. He needs to a) learn how to ride through a rear and prevent it (usually there is warning before it happens) and b) then figure out why the horse is rearing in the first place, rather dispensing such assinine advice.

    I knew a horse that broke his pelvis when his owner/trainer pulled him over when he reared. I guess trying to figure out why he was doing it would have taxed her brain too much.

    A horse that rears isn't that uncommon, and a rearing horse is not usually the doomsday scenario portrayed on this forum. Rearing is only really dangerous if the horse goes all the way up without warning, and most horses won't do that.


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  13. #13
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    Oct. 26, 2007
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    San Jose, Ca
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    Default

    Quick way to kill a horse or cripple it.

    Maybe that is the NH's trainers goal if a "rearer" can't be trusted, maybe he "fixes" them so that they can never be ridden again.


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  14. #14
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    Sep. 19, 2003
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    Brentwood, NH
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    Default

    When I was a teenager I went to a county 4-H camp. There were a couple of good instructors, and some other random adults. A group of us were trail riding with one of these random adults, and one of the other kid's horse reared. The adult (I refuse to call her an instructor) told the girl to "pull back on the reins and lean back." My friend and I immediately started yelling, "NO! Lean forward! Loosen the reins!" We were called on the carpet for embarrassing the adult, who went out of her way to show me in a book she had read that this was the correct thing to do with a rearing horse, to pull it off balance to stop it from rearing. The instructors told us (in private) that we were right, but we shouldn't have publicly disagreed with the adult in charge. I just know that that kid would have been badly hurt, if not killed, if I had not spoken up.


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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
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    West Coast of Michigan
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    Default

    That's one way, I guess.

    Analogous to holding a child's fingers on a hot stove to teach them that stoves are hot. Or stuffing a puppy's nose in its own poop if it messes in the house. Only doing this to a rearing horse can result in DEATH, both of horse and rider.

    No. God, no.
    Click here before you buy.


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  16. #16
    Join Date
    May. 14, 2009
    Posts
    627

    Default

    Decades ago yes that was the go to training method for rearers both on the ground [like yours] & under saddle.
    But it was done by horseman- timing always perfect [so horse thought it caused the fall to happen] always placed in a "safe" environment & technically correct so risk to horse was minimal.
    We then evolved and spent more time on basics so rearing became less of a training issue.

    Then trainers such as the one your dealing w/ became popular and have no clear understanding of the basics and put horses in situations that cause such behaviors. As you stated, horse worked outside of his comfort zone, your trainer created a bad behavior that your horse would most likely never have developed if trained correctly.
    The rear was about two feet off the ground and an attempt to wheel and leave a pressure situation.
    I personally have no use for so called "Natural training" and would look for a competent trainer/training method.
    The only thing natural about a horse is-eat-poop-sleep.


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  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar. 16, 2006
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    Larkspur, Colo.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SandyHTF View Post
    In a conversation with a "natural" horse trainer, it was suggested that if you have a horse that is inclined to rear while you are working with it on the ground, you should pull it off balance so that it falls over backwards to break it of the habit.

    Now I can see how this question could be little more than a troll for outrage, and I have my own reasons for thinking this is not a very good idea, but their point was that it is such a dangerous thing for the horse to do, that the immediate risk to the animal is outweighed by the possible harm it could do to itself and its handlers in the long run.

    The discussion was in direct relationship to a youngster that has a good bit of groundwork on it and is about to start under saddle. The rear was about two feet off the ground and an attempt to wheel and leave a pressure situation. I probably would not have pushed her that far, but I know her pretty well and it was a subtle shutdown in her demeanor. If I had made the mistake, I would have not directly addressed the rear, just the general evasion, and gotten on with the work at hand however that shaped up. To clarify, this was not while riding or preparing to ride.

    So, I am left wondering... with a young horse, or old and trained, is this a valid training technique and justifiable action? Also, they maintain that any reaction to pressure other than head down, cocked foot is incorrect and an invitation for issues later. Sounds great, but is this realistic? I am a fairly mature and well reasoned individual and even I can't pull that off. Am I missing something?
    Um, no. Take a look at this video on fixing a rearer from my friend Paul Williamson, who trains race horses in Japan.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKkl8jbe0Ks

    He had another video explaining how to save your hide when a horse is about to flip over, but it won't play in the US anymore.


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  18. #18
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    Jan. 16, 2002
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    West Coast of Michigan
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    The rear was about two feet off the ground and an attempt to wheel and leave a pressure situation.
    I have had a couple of horses do this and I have had a couple "honest to God" rear on me. The difference, other than the vertical lift, IME, is the amount of mental checking out that takes places with the latter. The partial-rear/wheel thing is an evasion of "forward". So is a real rear, of course, but the degree of the former doesn't scare me like the latter does, and one can still manage to get the horse's feet moving.
    Click here before you buy.


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  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct. 10, 2007
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    down south
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    Default

    I have heard of this from old cowboy types. I've also heard crack them over the head with an egg because the will think the hit their head and cracked it open so they will stop rearing then. Idk never tried either myself but haven't really had to deal with rearing just some popping up once or twice. I'd say no.

    I know one horse that started rearing after a ride from a "trainer" that put draw reins on the green horse yanked her head down and spurred the crap out of her. Improper use of draw reins and just unfair. She ended up on that ride rearing and flipping with said trainer. No one was hurt but the horse was useless pretty much after that. Before that older kids were riding her. They also couldn't put a bit in her mouth anymore. As soon as you did and tried to walk her to the ring shed start rearing. They started to use a hackamore on her and she did better but was never trusted with kids again. Horse ended up at a horse traders near me after I left that farm and it fell on hard times. I told the trader about this horse because she didn't know. Well didn't care either i guess because i saw mare advertised as kid safe and used in lessons and shows. Well yes, but that was years ago and before the experience horse had that caused her issues. Anyways, found out that she had someone come try horse and when she went to mount the horse reared flipped and hit its head on gate and killed it.
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole



  20. #20
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    Mar. 13, 2006
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    Sno County
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    An aquaintance of mine had her horse rear on her and she beat it over the head with a water bottle. Didn't cure the horse and it was not one of aquaintance's proudest moments. She'll never live it down either.

    DH's horse reared once and because the ground was so soft his feet slipped out from under him and he flopped over on his side. DH had bailed and was fine. Horse never reared again it scared him that much.
    Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert


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