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Young horse balks/rears when asked for forward....help please

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  • Original Poster

    Grandsire is Fusaichee Pegasus


    • #22
      Originally posted by taz's mom View Post
      Grandsire is Fusaichee Pegasus
      It's a little far back, but that means you've got Halo in there. Mine has Halo too, although closer up. I've come to believe that he's the origin, so to speak.

      Also may want to look into whether or not the horse may have EPSM. Is he really hard-muscled?


      • #23
        Do a quick google search on Fusaichi Pegasus and you will find several references to him being temperamental and "balky." For example:


        I don't think breeding tells the whole story, but I do think it tells part of the story and should not be discounted. The horse is who he is to a degree, so you will need to work in that framework to figure him out.


        • #24
          Originally posted by taz's mom View Post
          But I think if it was PAIN, it would be consistent, and not happy go lucky with Sir Trots a Lot is in front of him. Pain would be present alone or in company, right?

          Not always. But it hard to say what is going on with your guy. The plant and act like a goat is really not unusual. I have a 3 year old like that...she is off with a good cowboy as I don't have time to deal with it. But normally we do a lot of round pen work. Get them focused on you and not their buddies. It is often a horse who just lacks confidence and trust in *you* (really people).

          Another mare I have is like this although she never takes her feet off the ground. When she plants...I turn. Sometimes I just out wait her. But if you putt too much pressure on...watch out!! You may just need to find the right balance. If he gets balky....instead of fighting it out, get off and work his butt on the lunge then get back on. Have the CTJ with you on the ground so you reduce your chances of getting hurt....and yes...up the pressure a bit lunging.
          ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


          • Original Poster

            Thanks all - I'd go on and Thumb's Up an appreciation to every reply but I'm afraid I'd miss someone. I am printing out this thread to keep in my training log.
            I'll revisit with updates. So appreciate this forum, and eventers are the best


            • #26
              I think you need to be firmer, rearing is sadly not a "nice" vice... It is the ultimate refusal to go forward, forward isn't a question it is a demand. He needs to get the point that when we ask for forward we are not freaking joking here. Unfortunately this can initially piss him off more and make him throw a tantrum but it must be done. A pro may very well be the perfect choice. I was poor in college but I should have sent him out to be worked with and was about to right before he colicked and passed away.


              • #27
                Ground drive, ground drive, ground drive. This is one of the best ways to get them going forward! Have someone lead him at first and keep them around in case you get stuck and ground drive him all over the place, wherever you plan to ride him.

                He will learn to go forward at your signal--use a cluck without someone at his head. Then set it up so that he is going somewhere he enjoys. Make riding be fun and interesting--let him go with a buddy for a while or at least part of the time.

                Just ground drive him first!


                • #28
                  This is the one time I suggest draw reins! Along with everything else you are doing & has been suggested, if you are as skilled as you sound, having some draw reins on might save you. I had a filly that like to rear, sent her to Wendy Lewis, who used draw reins in the beginning. Ultimately decided filly was too hot for me, but Wendy stopped her rearing issue.


                  • #29
                    Okay, seeing FP in his pedigree I would still do the radiographs but also keep that handful of a horse (FP) in mind when working your horse through. And, yes, up the pressure quite a bit on the longe.
                    I say that because I was absolutely enamored with Fusaichi Pegasus and really studied him. Great horse with athleticism (also in his get, or so I've read and heard), but reeeeaaaalllly liked to push the limits on who was alpha (also what I read in many horses with his blood). I don't think it is the whole story with any horse, but that "I'm the boss" attitude does make things tougher.
                    "IT'S NOT THE MOUNTAIN WE CONQUER, BUT OURSELVES." SIR EDMUND HILLARYMember of the "Someone Special To Me Serves In The Military" Clique


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by LookmaNohands View Post
                      Ground drive, ground drive, ground drive. This is one of the best ways to get them going forward! Have someone lead him at first and keep them around in case you get stuck and ground drive him all over the place, wherever you plan to ride him.

                      He will learn to go forward at your signal--use a cluck without someone at his head. Then set it up so that he is going somewhere he enjoys. Make riding be fun and interesting--let him go with a buddy for a while or at least part of the time.

                      Just ground drive him first!
                      This is a good idea (I have started mine this way, but they don't usually do this at the track!), always a good thing to "go back to basics." I was also thinking about the "longeing with you aboard" and having someone there to spank him if he even THINKS about going up.

                      Interesting new details that he does this *only* when alone; this would tend to lend credence to the theory that he is just being a nappy brat.
                      "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

                      "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")


                      • Original Poster



                        Sorry if there's a better way to link that :-/


                        • #32
                          I would really and truly NOT use draw reins on a rearer. It's a good way to cause a flip, and draw reins absolutely do no encourage forward in any way shape or form.

                          I ride my sometimes-rearer (discussed above) in a double jointed d-ring snaffle ("bean" type center...very mild bit) and no martingale. He's not a horse that goes with his head in the air, and even the rears don't really involve his head head being high (he arches his neck as though he is jumping a jump). I just have never felt that tying a horse's head down would do anything to help with rearing.

                          The problem is that they are planting their naughty little hind feet under themselves and standing up. Even though the part that "feels scary" is the front end, it is the back end that is causing all the trouble...


                          • #33

                            Interesting pedigree. Bandini's are typically very attractive. I don't think I've seen line breeding to Dixiland Band. I would think most traits come from that line....
                            ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


                            • #34
                              Nothing much to add on the rearing issue-- you've received some great advice, there.

                              Just wanted to say I quite like the damside of your horse's pedigree. Dixie Union on an AP Indy mare (2nd dam), going to Forli and Sir Ivor... that's pretty nice. Though the race record is pretty dismal, she could produce a nice sport horse.

                              Bandini... meh, I can't say much good or bad.
                              “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
                              ? Albert Einstein



                              • Original Poster

                                "He's not a horse that goes with his head in the air, and even the rears don't really involve his head head being high (he arches his neck as though he is jumping a jump)." That's him. And I'll add, if I was into that, it feels effortless. So I think (hope and pray real hard) he is pretty balanced when dancing. Still, I hate it...
                                And for me, the draw reins would be a "no". I'm confident in my riding, and my horse sense, but I've never felt comfortable with those. I read a quote once liking them to "scissors in the hands of a monkey", and it just kind of set with me. I don't feel like I'm that inept, but knowing my limits, and DRs are one of them.


                                • #36
                                  Maybe you could try having someone lunge him while you were in saddle. Keep him at a nice, moving forward walk, and then with a voice command first ask him to trot, if that doesn't work, have the person lunging do what they can to get him going, and you just sit tight and don't ask. If that doesn't work, I guess you can try to give him a nudge.
                                  I know at one time, my horse wasn't willing to move forward at all. I'd be at the beginning of my ride, trotting around, and she would literally halt. I would kick her sides thinking it was just a funny coincidence, and then she would rear when I asked her to move forward. My riding partner knew this wasn't the horse we were used to so I gave her a kick and she reared a few times. I finally got angry and screamed at her and smacked her on the shoulder which I think motivated her a little. I then had a normal ride.. maybe it was stubbornness, she did it like 3 times in that week, then I never saw it again.. One thing that helped get her forward was turning her. She wouldn't go forward/backward but she would "Turn around." I had to bring her head in towards my knee, and she automatically moved her front and back legs, then I'd just let her walk it out.
                                  Save The Date 08-15-2011


                                  • #37
                                    Rearing is a flight/fight adrenaline response. Some just choose "fight" and a show of bravado by rearing instead of spooking or running away. In my experience the only way to stop it is to stop it before the horse goes up. Otherwise the horse just keeps getting better at it and it is his "go to" response for everything. The other posters that said turn him immediately have the right answer. The minute you feel him start to stop or get light in the front turn him tightly. He cannot go up when he is turning. If you are successful in stopping him completely from going up, then he will soon abandon the practice. How many times it will take depends on how long this has gone on. But you need to start stopping him from going up right away, and stick to it until he stops rearing totally.
                                    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


                                    • #38
                                      Wow...that pedigree!

                                      I actually know someone who killed their rearer by using a martingale. She figured if his head was tied down he wouldn't be able to go up, and her philosophy was "the tighter, the better," thinking that she could loosen as he got better about it. Nobody could convince her otherwise (I was a teen, so this was quite an educational moment for me).

                                      Long story short: she put it on tight, walked into the arena, and we all watched him snap his neck at the poll when he flipped over at the mounting block. Instant death (and a bit of a "holy crap!" moment for the two of us getting a lesson then. Our horses knew what happened and were just as happy to call it a night as we were!)

                                      So, yeah, I am another in the camp of "no martingale, no draw reins on a known rearer!"
                                      "IT'S NOT THE MOUNTAIN WE CONQUER, BUT OURSELVES." SIR EDMUND HILLARYMember of the "Someone Special To Me Serves In The Military" Clique


                                      • #39
                                        Wow! Reading your post mirrors what I was going through with my young horse up until a few months ago. I was trying everything to get him to go happily forward and it was just not a button we had. I had to ride alone almost exclusively, so I was not willing to get into a knock-down, drag out fight with him about it. I also wasn't sure that it wasn't pain related and felt bad getting after him for something that might be hurting him. I had the vet out a few times and did chiro on him, but came up with nothing. Mine was so much like yours. Absolutely perfect on the lunge. No physical issues that I knew of. Fine with other horses in the arena, but an absolute brat alone. People just kept telling me that it was simply bad behavior and that I needed to get after him for it, but it didn't ring true for me. Finally, the vet suggested I treat him for ulcers, just in case. Mind you, he didn't have any overt signs of ulcers, but we treated him anyway. HUGE difference. He was still a bit balky and snarky out of habit, but once we got through that he's been SO much better.

                                        BTW, mine has a bloodline known for being a bit difficult as well (Kris S). That's kind of why I didn't want to fight him through whatever was causing the problem. Sometimes the more dominant horses work better when they think it's their idea. Before I was treating him for ulcers, we worked on transitions, walk-halt. Sometimes I added backing up, but I didn't want to push it because he would rear occasionally as well. He's pretty smart and figured out what I wanted, so the transitions got him a bit snappier off my leg and more willing to go forward into the trot. Even so, the real change came when he was treated for ulcers.
                                        Last edited by armyeventer; May. 6, 2013, 03:53 PM.


                                        • Original Poster

                                          "Considered ulcers, but he isn't girthy at all,his coat is a mirror with dapples, and he's in good flesh. There may be other indicators I don't know though, never had a horse that suffered with them."
                                          What did you treat with? The $$$ regimen? Or start smaller with the other? I've heard of, but having no experience, not sure if GastroGuard or UlcerGuard or whatever...I know one is very costly and the other is 30-ish a tube...
                                          I considered that, but I've heard ulcerated horses tend to be girthy? He isn't. He's on Strategy feed, Alf/Tim pellets, and a mix of O&A and T&A hays. His coat is drop dead gorgeous, & not just cause I'm partial to bays....