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Pulling a rearing horse over backwards??

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  • #21
    Originally posted by 4cornersfarm View Post
    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.
    I'm with you here. You did the right thing. When I was young we sent a TB 2YO out for training. She reared the first time under rider, went all the way over and the rider broke his hip. And this guy was an experienced, professional horseman.

    I would NEVER tell a kid to do that. If (and that's a great big IF) it was ever appropriate, it would be for a very advanced rider who knew how to bail in an emergency and not be there when the horse landed.
    Founding Member: Spotted Saddlebred Pals Clique

    People used to ask my Grampy, "What's your favorite color of horse?" He'd answer, "FAT".

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    • #22
      Pulling a rearing horse over is extremely dangerous. Even if there is not a rider on the horse's back, there is a huge risk that the horse could injure itself.

      Many years ago, I knew someone who was long-lining a horse, and the horse reared up and flipped over. The horse broke her neck as a result of the fall and died immediately.

      IMO, pulling a rearing horse over should not be considered a training technique, and I don't think any reasonable horse person would consider it as such.

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      • #23
        There's pull off balance/sideways and over, and there's flip one over.

        I rode a borrowed horse a few years back whose primary evasion was sit and think about flipping himself backwards. He was on trial, got sent back to the trainer who had taken him on in trade, and the trainer was informed of this evasion. He went ahead and tumped the brat over a few times- meaning step off to the left, pull his face right...and roll his butt onto his left side/flank/hip--not overbackwards, oversideways) and he quit rearing altogether. And started bucking instead. Nasty piece of horse.
        Last edited by katarine; Mar. 22, 2013, 03:49 PM.

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        • #24
          Does this horse wear under saddle? I would say 90% of the time a horse that wears under saddle is in pain.

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          • #25
            I also know a horse whom got seriously injured flipping over backwards. I would never ever do that under any circumstance.

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            • #26
              I know of one who was pulled over, and survived, but would still, when upset or startled,elevate his forehand 6 inches.

              A change of riders, and a little more education proved beneficial. It all stopped.
              Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

              Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

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              • #27
                Originally posted by LarkspurCO View Post
                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.
                Like it. And a hell of an athlete in that rider, too.

                Oh, and somewhere the horse is complaining about how much work it was to rear big 5 times and have the rider still sitting on him.
                The armchair saddler
                Politically Pro-Cat

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by SandyHTF View Post
                  So, I am left wondering... with a young horse, or old and trained, is this a valid training technique and justifiable action?
                  never. Too high risk for injury or death to rider and horse. Anyone who advocates this as a valid training method needs to add some tools to their toolbox.

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                  • #29
                    I think if euthanizing is the next step and the person feels they can pull the horse over safely (for the person, and as safe as possible for the horse) I don't think it's a horrible last option, though you may want someone there with a gun in case something does go wrong and the horse is badly injured.
                    I have heard of/seen a few horses that have flipped and died. It's definitely not something to be taken lightly.

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                    • #30
                      Stupid move in hand, potentially deadly under saddle.

                      Although if a horse decides to flip itself over in hand, I'll sit there on it's neck and keep it down, if I can, and have a little conversation about proper behavior. They will often change their mind about using that particular evasion tool if they're not allowed to get back up when they want. But trying to set up that scenario on purpose is way too risky, at least for me.

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                      • #31
                        Originally posted by Ltc4h View Post
                        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.
                        This.
                        Way back when, when horses and people both needed the other one to do their jobs, this was common. And I actually saw an old fellow pull it off. Rather impressive to watch his perfect timing and leverage, the horse went down to the side and the old timer stepped back, let him fall, stepped forward and then sat on his neck so he could "lie there and think about it". No one was hurt at all.

                        Would I advise someone to do it, oh no. Big no. Big, huge NO. Waaay too much can go wrong.
                        Have I ever done it? No, and rearing is my favorite vice to cure. A horse on it's hind legs has always been a simple fix for me for some reason. LOL, but one who bolts flusters me.

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                        • #32
                          I have heard of the egg trick & it has always made me kind of laugh...does horse think its brains are out of its skull?

                          and the image of rider having egg at the ready, smashing it on the poll...for some reason I find this comical. Rearing is not comical, ever, I know.

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                          • #33
                            I know that from here, it sounds strange, but I've seen some of those ole-timey cowboys ride, and it's not strange to me that they would be able to do that. If they knew they had a horse that they thought it might work on, they certainly had the ability to pull it off.
                            Founding Member: Spotted Saddlebred Pals Clique

                            People used to ask my Grampy, "What's your favorite color of horse?" He'd answer, "FAT".

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              My young TB is a "rear-er" in situations where he panics, and I could not imagine pulling him over backwards. 1) there is no way I could get out of the way fast enough, even if I was on the ground and 2) I, too, have seen a horse die instantly from flipping over backwards. Every time my horse rears, it's a flight mechanism and his brain isn't there anyway. I don't feel it's something that can be "trained" out of him. I just learned the warning signs and keep him out of those situations.

                              Originally posted by Hippolyta View Post
                              I have heard of the egg trick & it has always made me kind of laugh...does horse think its brains are out of its skull?

                              and the image of rider having egg at the ready, smashing it on the poll...for some reason I find this comical. Rearing is not comical, ever, I know.
                              When I did endurance riding, we had a few horses in the crew that would rear, and the riders carried water balloons. They swear it worked, but it required some fast reflexes that I did not have to make it effective. They said it was training the horse to think that every time he reared, he hit his head and it was blood or some equivalent running down. I may be able to pull it off now, but my horse only rears when someone is on the ground; he's never done it under saddle. Given that he's 17+h, I'd have to lob it up in the air with exceptional aim to make it work.

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                              • #35
                                Pretty much not ever, too big a risk to horse's long term health and rider's life.

                                If the horse goes over by himself, by accident, and figures that was unpleasant, he might not do it again. But he might.

                                Heard a story at a Buck Brannaman clinic, he had a terrible rearer that he was asked to rehab. He would not do so without the owner selling him the horse, and giving a bill of sale, because the horse could so easily permanently injure itself going over backwards. If I recall correctly, Buck DID NOT attempt to bring the horse over backwards, but the horse was confirmed in doing so. Buck worked with the horse until it understood how and where to move its feet, and showed the horse that it didn't have to rear in the first place, similar in theory to the Paul Williamson video- don't pick a fight, show the horse how it can calmly go about its business, there's no reason to rear.

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                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by Sparrowette View Post
                                  I know that from here, it sounds strange, but I've seen some of those ole-timey cowboys ride, and it's not strange to me that they would be able to do that. If they knew they had a horse that they thought it might work on, they certainly had the ability to pull it off.
                                  The only way I see anyone having the "ability" to "pull that off" would be a giant that was capable of controlling the horse's body backwards similar to a wrestler tackling someone backwards and pinning them down. Once you've pulled a horse off balance the best you can do is pray to Sir Isaac Newton.

                                  I've dealt with several horses that rear, and all for different reasons- a young, spoiled, bored bratty filly in hand; a warmblood gelding who was later discovered to have a tumor in his neck causing him pain; a pony who was just angry at being asked to work.

                                  In my experience the "how" you fix something (anything), relies greatly on the "why" it's happening.
                                  "Sit back and prepare to be pissed off!"

                                  Eventer, Ballerina, Dancer, Model, and Waitress Extraordinaire (cos a girls gotta eat!).

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                                  • #37
                                    My horse reared and flipped over on me this winter. First time he's ever flipped that I am aware of. He had no problem continuing to rear after that, so it apparently didn't scare him that much! This horse was on stall rest/rehab though, so there was a lot of mental "checking out"
                                    "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse..." ~Revelation 19:11

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                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by LarkspurCO View Post
                                      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.
                                      The scariest part about what Paul is doing is not stopping the rear, and risking a blow to the head by leaning so far forward in to the horse (he's shorter than the average person). Another risk increasing the level of frustration and anxiety for the horse by allowing it to rear over and over. The stand-by method of leg on and get the horse moving forward is the most logical -they can't rear if they aren't at a stand still. If the horse is being led, then you will need to shift the horses balance to the left or right to get it going (God forbid you are standing in front of a rear and pull it toward you!), but not to pull it over or cause it to fall on purpose.

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by morganpony86 View Post
                                        My young TB is a "rear-er" in situations where he panics, and I could not imagine pulling him over backwards. 1) there is no way I could get out of the way fast enough, even if I was on the ground and 2) I, too, have seen a horse die instantly from flipping over backwards. Every time my horse rears, it's a flight mechanism and his brain isn't there anyway. I don't feel it's something that can be "trained" out of him. I just learned the warning signs and keep him out of those situations.



                                        When I did endurance riding, we had a few horses in the crew that would rear, and the riders carried water balloons. They swear it worked, but it required some fast reflexes that I did not have to make it effective. They said it was training the horse to think that every time he reared, he hit his head and it was blood or some equivalent running down. I may be able to pull it off now, but my horse only rears when someone is on the ground; he's never done it under saddle. Given that he's 17+h, I'd have to lob it up in the air with exceptional aim to make it work.
                                        Horses do not equate liquid with blood. In fact they do not equate anything with blood - they don't know what it is.

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                                        • #40
                                          No. It will not break them of the habit.

                                          Yes. I speak from experience.
                                          Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans

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