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Black Stallion style rear on a horse I'm shopping right now. Thoughts?

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  • Black Stallion style rear on a horse I'm shopping right now. Thoughts?

    I'm horse shopping right now and it's been a painful, expensive process filled with failed vet checks, dishonest advertising, lots of driving, and disappointment.

    Some friendly COTHers found this guy for me: http://www.canterusa.org/index.php?o...ings&Itemid=61

    He's over 6+ hours away from me, but luckily I have a VERY trusted horse friend in the San Fran area who was willing to see him on my behalf. She likes his conformation (although he is much worse for the wear in real life than in his picture, as is so often the case) and said he is very sweet, affectionate, and social in the stall.

    However, the barn is strictly a breeding facility and there is no area She is unable to ride him and they had to walk to a neighboring farm even to lounge in a tiny patch of dirt. I have no idea when the last time was that he was let out to stretch his legs, so I'm trying to be fair here, but in the videos she sent me he reared striaght up at least three times. I'm talkin' Black Stallion style rear.

    I'm used to horses who haven't been worked bucking, crow-hopping, getting a little light in front or on all fours, but I've rarely seen one go straight up like that...several times. My friend said that as he settled down he seemed "quite submissive" and "not hot." Is the rearing a red flag (especially since I would be buying without riding...I don't like it as much as you, but there's literally no other option) or should I give him the benefit of the doubt?


  • #2
    I responded to your other post already, but had an afterthought upon reading this one...

    Why aren't you working with a trainer? and if you are, why is trainer not involved in your shopping? I'm getting the vibe from your posts that you either aren't very confident, or are young or inexperienced in some way.


    • #3
      I replied on your long thread, but will add one more question: did he rear as play, or in response to a specific stimulus (eg when he was asked to go forward)? One that rears as play when full of energy would not bother me. One that rears specifically when asked to go forward can be more difficult to deal with.

      I speak from experience--as noted on my other response, I have a 20 year old mare who rears in turnout. She is not, however, "nappy." My 5 year old, from the time I got her, would rear when she didn't want to go forward. It turned out she had some physical issues that I think we've resolved, and now that she can go forward comfortably, she's a lot more willing to say "yes," but it's been a rather lengthy process, and I've been very close to giving up a few times. (If I were paying CA board rates on her, I probably would have.... )

      That's a long way of saying "it depends", I suppose. The fact that he reared at the beginning and then apparently settled down and was "very submissive" would count heavily in his favor.
      Custom and semi-custom washable wool felt saddle pads!


      • #4
        One that rears in play will know how to rear and will bring it out when the going gets tough. I would pass, quickly. Horses that rear are frustrating and dangerous. Give me a bucker ANY day.


        • #5
          PS- Meant to say rears in play while working. As in, being silly and exuberant I don't care what they do on their own time.


          • #6
            Agree with YB, pass. I hate a horse that likes to rear. It is the only thing that shakes my confidence in a horse.
            I am on my phone 90% of the time. Please ignore typos, misplaced lower case letters, and the random word butchered by autocowreck.


            • Original Poster

              Originally posted by Heinz 57 View Post
              I responded to your other post already, but had an afterthought upon reading this one...

              Why aren't you working with a trainer? and if you are, why is trainer not involved in your shopping? I'm getting the vibe from your posts that you either aren't very confident, or are young or inexperienced in some way.
              I actually have two trainers who have gone with me to try the majority of horses I've seen. My jump trainer has different taste than I do. I'm an eventer and she's h/j. I am inexperienced in the sense that I've grown up riding my entire life, but have only been eventing for the past few years. I'm new to the sport horse world (I grew up doing Saddleseat). This will be the second "sport horse" I've ever bought, so I'm definitely inexperienced in the horse shopping deparmtment. My last trainer mostly just picked out my last horse, but I had a stronger, longer rapport with her than I have with my current trainers.


              • #8
                Rearing under saddle is a deal breaker for me. But I have 'rearers' in the field that have never reared under saddle. I've also had young horses and horses off the track who have done this on the leadline (before learning that it is not acceptable), but have not done it under saddle.
                We're spending our money on horses and bourbon. The rest we're just wasting.


                • Original Poster

                  Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
                  Give me a bucker ANY day.
                  Haha, my last guy was quite a bucker when I first bought him and it never bothered me. He only managed to throw me once, after four weeks of stall rest, but rearing is another thing...


                  • #10
                    Yes it is, and I've had my heart broken by a rearer (amazingly, I never came off of him or had him go over). I would never willingly deal with a rearer again.


                    • #11
                      I'll just chime in again--I think we're all saying we need more information! Hard to tell from your OP whether it was legitimate play or an evasion.

                      There are two types of horses I will not ride: those with a deliberate "get off me" buck and those stupid/determined/lacking self-preservation enough to go over while rearing. It is hard to make that call in the abstract. You can tell a lot about what a horse is likely to do under saddle by watching how it responds on the ground, however, if you put a little pressure on.
                      Custom and semi-custom washable wool felt saddle pads!


                      • #12
                        Based on the OP's other post, I was under the impression that they turned the horse loose in a pen and the rearing occurred while he was kicking up his heels, not while the horse was being actively engaged/worked.

                        IMO, if they were able to quietly lead him down the road to a neighboring farm without theatrics or stupidity.... I'd say he's probably not that dangerous.

                        ETA: it says to lunge in a tiny pen. Would need to see the video clip to say whether or not he was being "dangerous", IMO.


                        • #13
                          If one watched my herd of horses play in the field then they would be terrified to sit on their backs I have a bunch of young Tb's and they are absolutely over the top silly in the field. Huge twisting bucks, rears, spooks/spins and moves that would make any sane person think oh hell no. However, they are all totally professional under saddle and that is all that matters to me. I try very hard not to stand there and watch them because it does put bad thoughts into my head about what they are capable of doing when I am on them. Horses will be horses and being silly in the field is totally normal. So many horses buck and rear in the field but never do it under saddle.


                          • Original Poster

                            He was being lunged, but the seller casually mentioned to my friend that he hasn't formally been taught to lounge. Considering that, he was actually a gentleman! I've seen horses brand new to lounging have total meldowns, and he was more frisky/playful than rebellious. I think he just had no idea what he was supposed to be doing. I asked the owner if the previous rider had any experience with him rearing under saddle and she said no. She also said that's he's fit, even though he's been off the track for a couple years, because she keeps him in the euro-cizer thing with the colts getting ready to race. She said he's jogging 2.5 miles a day, but hasn't been lounged, ridden, or turned out in six months.

                            Soooo...I asked her if she'd let me do a trial so I could get him under saddle and PPE him at home and she said YES. He popped on a passing trailer today and will arrive tonight! Woot woot!


                            • #15
                              Based on the OP's other post, I was under the impression that they turned the horse loose in a pen and the rearing occurred while he was kicking up his heels, not while the horse was being actively engaged/worked.
                              If this is indeed the case, then my opinion is that he is a horse that knows how to rear and does so when he is very excited. Sounds obvious, but...

                              If he has NOT learned rearing as an evasion while under saddle, I would be cautiously optimistic. If somebody puts a lot of pressure on the horse, he MIGHT come up with rearing as an evasion. The rearing is there, in his neurological patterns, for him to access. However, he would have to be put in a pretty bad situation to do that.

                              I have a mare that LOVES to rear when she's really full of beans and playing around out in the field. She came up with rearing just a little when she got frustrated and upset while ridden away from home, when I was mentally pushing her too far. She was barn sour, and I didn't know how to deal with it at the time. I got some good help (from a fellow that has helped Buck out at some of his clinics), and we got it nipped in the bud.

                              However, ANY horse can be pushed too hard, in pain or get completely wound up not understanding what is being asked, and learn to rear in response.
                              My personal theory is that a horse that LIKES to rear when playing by himself in turnout, will be more likely to try that, than another horse, in a bad situation.

                              IMO, if they were able to quietly lead him down the road to a neighboring farm without theatrics or stupidity.... I'd say he's probably not that dangerous.
                              Agreed! That's a good sign of a sane horse.
                              And of course, advice to be careful not to push a horse so far that he's freaked out would apply to any horse-that's a great way to fry their brains


                              • #16
                                Hard to say.

                                I was taught that a horse who chooses to rear big, even in play, is more likely to choose that under pressure than a horse who doesn't choose the big rear. I wasn't told the same thing about bucking, though I have had plenty of friends who bought a wonderful hind end.... which was sometimes used for evil rather than good.

                                In your spot, I'd want to know how the rear happened. If it was when they first put this horse on a longe line and he hadn't been out in weeks, I might not worry about it. But I would want to know that he came right down and went forward when asked. If he chose to go up again, or if he stopped mid-longe to rear, I'd put him in the "this horse likes to rear" category.
                                The armchair saddler
                                Politically Pro-Cat


                                • #17
                                  He was being lunged
                                  If he was being longed when he reared...he should have been engaged with the handler. Not a good sign in my book.

                                  But...he's headed your way. Be careful!


                                  • #18
                                    Who runs Pioneer Equine now? Is it still as good as it was when Jerry Black was there?

                                    OP, if the horse is in Oakdale, CA and this isn't the owner's practice it might be a great place to get a PPE done local to the horse.
                                    The armchair saddler
                                    Politically Pro-Cat


                                    • #19
                                      OP said he didn't know how to longe. Maybe he should have been engaged with the handler but precious few horses are foot-perfect in longe lesson #1.

                                      See what he's like when he gets there and when you hop on, be careful not to box him into a confining situation too fast before you get the lay of the land.


                                      • #20
                                        At this point I wouldn't panic.

                                        If you take a horse that hasn't been turned out or ridden and put him in a round pen, I'm not surprised that he thought it was play time.

                                        My horses used to play by rearing up at each other -- people would call me and tell me they were fighting!
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