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Would you buy a horse that had a history of rearing?

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  • #21
    No. I just don't want to deal with it. And I would not feel comfortable allowing others to ride my horse when I must travel, even if "he hasn't done it in forever."


    • #22
      Originally posted by ahbaumgardner View Post
      I've bought several horse who reared and was able to basically get rid of the behavior with behavior modification. But i see it is a dominant fear response and it can come back and rear its ugly head (pun intended) if the stressors are great enough. So while I've had horses that stopped rearing, I always know that if it gets bad enough, they will do it again. What I think I have been able to fix is when a horse learns that rearing gets him/her away from something they don't want to do. I've got a "bag of tricks" for that, the main one being FORWARD, FORWARD, FORWARD, if the horse starts backing/hopping etc.

      My hunch is that rearing starts as backing up or as a response to pain/fear and then escalates with poor training. I've yet to have a horse that I started myself be a rearer. A young horse may try rearing, but it gets extinguished in short order.

      Mick's mother was terrible rearer, and I fixed it for the most part. However, later in life, if she got frightened, she would start to rear and then stop. When I got her, she had been through all sorts of cowboy stuff and they had try to flip her (she was so agile that they never could get her to tip over) as she reared. I just turned her around and shot forward. Horses can't rear if they are galloping, LOL.

      Not for the faint of heart.

      No, they can't rear while galloping but Ralph perfected the art of reining horse slide stops, followed by a big spin and HUGE rear. He pulled that card on me a bunch, and I always got blamed for it (pulled, stopped kicking, whatever). The day he did it with my boss/coach and I SAW it (and he rode it for the first time) was the day I said no more.

      I started Ralph myself and he went along BEAUTIFULLY for well over a year. I was really, really proud of my handy work, as he was one of my first horses that I didn't just back and put basics on, but actually followed the process through. He was a prodigy (unbroke to prelim in 18 months), sweet, calm, quiet, willing, lovely. And then one day he started rearing. Often he would rear for no apparent reason (his last ride ever, when my boss was riding him, he had been doing brilliant dressage, was stretching, and had been, then suddenly just started pulling out all his tricks). Lots of trips to VEI to figure out WHY a perfectly lovely, game little horse would suddenly develop such an intense distaste for forward. Never found anything conclusive. Treated for Lyme. Gave him a sabbatical (which helped, for awhile, when he came back to work). He broke my heart.

      Now, 7 years on and hind sight being 20/20, there are so many things I wished I had known about that I know now. But, ultimately, talking with a few people over the years with eerily similar stories (sweet, willing horse inexplicably starts standing up for no apparent reason), I suspect he may have had a brain tumor. I may say that to comfort myself, but it was hard to have such a sweet little horse go so "rogue."

      Amazingly, he never flipped over. He was way too good about knowing his balance point and could "Hi Ho Silver" at the top of his arc for awhile. I still can't believe he never went over. But, that horse BROKE MY HEART (I still miss him) and I would NEVER willingly put myself through that process again.


      • #23
        What a story yellowbritches! Heartbreaking, frustrating and sad.

        For me, no rearers who do it for real. Foxhunting as a junior, I had an exsteeplechase horse flip with me. he was being a complete ass & much to my shock as an adult with pharmacology knowledge, was aced by barn manager before hunting & of course, he continued to freak out. Somehow, he reared, caught his hocks on a downed tree, flipped backwards over it, and I remember strobe-light-flashes of me pulling one rein to land him on his side.

        No rearers for me in this lifetime.
        And the wise, Jack Daniels drinking, slow-truck-driving, veteran TB handler who took "no shit from no hoss Miss L, y'hear," said: "She aint wrapped too tight."


        • #24
          Big fat NO. Bucking I can deal with; rearing, no way.
          Founder & President, Dapplebay, Inc.
          Creative Director, Equestrian Culture Magazine
          Take us to print!


          • #25
            I had a barrel horse that would half rear in the in gate ready to take off. Never dangerous and never did it until he hyped himself up to run. If he did it all the time, even though he'd only go half way up, I would not have kept him. It's to dangerous and I'm not the person to try to deal with it.
            Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


            • #26
              For me as a riding horse - NO WAY! I'm not sure if it makes a difference to me if it's pain related or not. If that is a horse's idea of a good reaction to something I want no part of it.


              • #27
                Originally posted by lucky bunny View Post
                Does rearing automatically mean 'too dangerous to ride?'

                This horse is really athletic but reared a few times with the previous rider. Could be a problem with her back. She had a mild case of EPM that was treated (and I thought resolved) 3 years ago.
                Depends - if horse is athletic with good sense of self preservation, give it a go; if horse is athletic with no sense of self preservation, I wouldn't even use it for breeding.

                I'm also in love with her pedigree and I'd consider taking her just for breeding. But then, is that the kind of attitude that will get passed on to the baby?
                The athleticism may be inherited, the sensitivity may be inherited, the habit to rear u/s, no - but the former characteristics may increase the probability ... OTOH I also believe that with very careful (knowledgeable) training, & rider with excellent feel, horse may never fully rear u/s.

                Only you know what sort of rider you are & what sort of horse you want to keep/ride


                • #28
                  I don't like committed rearers, whether it is panic or malice. I pulled one over when I was very young and not skilled enough and it was terrifying.

                  But I am not completely zero tolerance. I've had horses who had big freak outs, or particularly spooky moments in their youth who grew up just fine. Or horses who had learned to intimidate and push boundaries with previous owners, or had dental issues that could be resolved.

                  It's not something I would take lightly, but it is worth getting more information on the rider and circumstances in which it occurred. From this thread I am getting the sense that "has reared" is more of a continuum than a black/white categorization.

                  Agree in this particular instance the EPM/back pain would worry me as well.


                  • #29
                    No. Looked at one -- ironically an Appaloosa and a tri-colour roan at that, both of which I dislike generally, but he was stunningly built and an excellent mover. But he'd learned to rear to get rid of his rider and had quite the attitude. I walked away and never regretted it.

                    I want to be able to relax and enjoy my horse -- training is a handful enough without having another thing to worry about. I'll take a bucker all day, a spook, fine, at least they go forward. But nope nope nope, there is no reason on earth I can even imagine I would take one that rears.
                    Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                    Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                    We Are Flying Solo


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                      I wouldn't take a rearer for free.
                      ^This. Providing we're talking about REARING. A deliberate, emphatic, disobedient, standing up 'I don't want to and you can't make me'. NO.

                      But then a lot of people claim 'my horse bucked me off' when what really happened is rider FELL off while horse was trying to keep the silly sack on its back.
                      Equine Photography in the Northeast


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by rabicon View Post
                        I had a barrel horse that would half rear in the in gate ready to take off. Never dangerous and never did it until he hyped himself up to run. If he did it all the time, even though he'd only go half way up, I would not have kept him. It's to dangerous and I'm not the person to try to deal with it.
                        I've ridden a few horses that wil do this kind of thing at the startbox. Doesn't bother me, as long as they aren't trying to kill me and it is obvious it is a "LET'S GO NOW!!!!" type behavior.


                        • #32
                          I have rehabbed a rearer who was the up and over type. She also bite, bolted, kicked and bucked. It took about 2 1/2 years to get it out of her, but she hasn't gone up in six months now. Lots of fear and pain issues, but the I dont want to attitude as well. This will be her first season competing, and she loves it. Calmest and very eager attitude. However the work that it took to get her there was not for the scared. She is my heart horse and I knew it from the minute I first sat on her. However, I hate a bucker, I would much rather have light in the front end. I doubt I would have worked with her as successfuly if her bucking wasn't just little crowhops.


                          • #33
                            My horse used to rear repeatedly in turn out and when girthing him. I've never had him do it under saddle. Strange thing is after treating for ulcers probably 7 years ago I've never seen him do it again (and he used to do it a dozen times in a row as soon as he was turned out.) I have amazing pictures of him rearing in turn out the first year I owned him. The first vet told me he had hock issues and I never believed it b/c what horse would rear 12 times in a row daily with their hocks bothering them. Personally I would keep looking.