Horse Rearing

As with anything there are always variables with horse rearing. A horse can rear from being overexposed (i.e. pulling to hard on the bit, being asked for to much etc...) The horse can also rear out of frustration from lack of true communication. But it all goes back to the horses hindquarters. The hindquarters must be free.

So often problems that show up on front end of the horse are directly related to the back end. We often hear a person say things such as “a horse is light on his front end” which puts the horse in a bad light. The horse has a natural lightness through his whole body. We must allow this lightness to come through, and when it doesn’t, rearing is one of the spots that may show up.

One of the most common pieces of advice that you may have heard, is to step off and pull the horse over. Or the old advice from my Grandpa’s time—use an ax handle, or break a bottle over his head. It will either cure him or kill him. Neither of these address the true problem, which is the horse being disengaged in the hindquarters. It is our responsibility to work with the horse, where the horse is. This involves communication.

Give the horse a way to work through the situation. The horse obviously feels that the only place to go is up, so allow the horse another option. This may mean going back to the basics.

Here are some methods, which have worked for me.

  • Make sure the horse is taught to lead up free (without resistance).
  • Make sure the horse is taught to flex his neck/poll from side to side and up and down (without resistance).
  • Get the horses hindquarters.
    With the horse haltered, (for instance if you are on the horses right side) take the lead rope around the left hindquarter and with feel ask the horse to give in that direction. (The end result should be the horse moving the hindquarters around and coming back to face you).

One of the most common times that a horse will rear is when they are being asked to back up. This may be due to confusion or frustration. A Horse Rearing is a very dangerous situation. You should get the above exercises working for you on the ground before you try them on the horses back. Always remember to reward the slightest try from the horse.

Please contact us if you have a specific question or concern about a horse rearing

Return to Behavior/Problems
Return to horsetrue Home

Stay up to date with a Free Horse Talk Newsletter Subscription. From training tips and information, to most recent updates, this is your one stop source!
Enter your E-mail Address
Enter your First Name (optional)

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Horse Talk.

Custom Search

Pin It