What do you do with?(rearing)

Skhosu

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Ok, so scenario is my sister has just bought a lovely 8yr old mare. Had her for 3weeks-1month. She is a bit spoiled, but generally has good manners and is well behaved etc. Fantastic flatwork, sister has had flatwork and jumping lessons (over 1m) and instructors love her.
However, we took her to a go-as-you-please recently and she threw the toys out of the pram! She jumped most things well, wasn't pushed over anything and then came the water. It was a stream, very shallow and she started napping away eventually throwing in a rear, as in I thought she was going to go over on sister. At this point I rode forwards and gave her a lead. This worked, and mare then went back and forth on her own, no problems.
She did get a smack at the time, btu not very hard as I think sister was frightened, understandably!
The mare then napped away from the next water, but we didn't let her get to rearing stage, just gave her a lead and then she was grand again.
My question is, would you be concerned? she is a 'sharp' mare, but doesn't seem to be bad, just opinionated. My thought would be drive her forwards and give her a smack if she considers it and do lots of water as I think she may be a bit green (although has won 2/3 3'3 events) as she hasn't been out as much as most horses at her age?
Any suggestions?
 

Christmas_Kate

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unless your sis is a very good experienced rider I would send it back. I would never have a rearer, no matter how much smacking it has it won't learn from that. The fact is, youve had it a month and it's not what you're really after, it's scared your sister, and what happens when it hasnt got a lead? Don't risk it.
 

Doreys_Mum

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was it proper rears? or backing off, putting the weight on her hind legs.

i find people often claim backing up or raising a back leg off the ground are rears and bucks, but they're simply forms of napping.

and TBH, it sounds more like she's backing up.

I have found that pushing onwards can cause backing up to get worse - the more you encourage, the faster they go backwards - so I tend to relax everything and wait till i feel them relax before gently asking to go forwards.

Napping can be born of fear, and if you are afraid of her reaction to this, best to take it slowly.

Of course, you could keep smacking her over it, which I'm sure some others will come up with, but I find smacking a horse who's napping out of fear causes as many problems as it solves.

definantly practise water, but if she stops, leave her until you feel her relax before asking her on. It may be someone fighting with her in the past that means it's still a problem.

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Skhosu

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heh...its bought and paid for! I would be more inclined to think its greeness and trying it on with a new rider( the smacking bit may have come out wrong!) however it does worry me as I hate rearers and refused to get on a friends pony again after it made off towards a main road rearing on me, not pleasant!
What does anyone else think (although i can see where your coming from kate26!)
Also, she hasn't had her saddle fitted yet, and is using one with pads that isn't perfect, I would be inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt until she has all her tack etc. sorted? And have an instructor go xc with her.
 

Skhosu

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oh it was proper rears! I was not on the horse, but was watching and it was a full up vertical rear. I would be inclined to agree with you, ie the horse was backing off out of being unsure and some confidence building with a good instructor might be in order?
I agree with the letting her relax, as I know with my pony who hates water, he will only go in ifyou dont use your stick (and as mentioned above, think I may have come across wrong in smacking!).
Also, I think trotting/cantering into the water( for now it will only be walk-ins) rather than walking away from other horses at a schooling event may be more sensible?
 

Doreys_Mum

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Just thinking like a horse is sensible tbh!

You're scared, you're wary, and someone is up there kicking and smacking trying to get you to run into the scary thing in front of you, and you remember all this kicking and smacking from before, so you don't want to go in cos it's scary and nasty!

Anything that takes it slowly, relaxed, and generally reduces fear will reduce the instance of the horse wanting to escape!

Perhaps it's better to start from the ground until you're a bit happier she won't go upright, or have a handler with her. She'll get over it soon enough, but you don't want to risk someone getting hurt if she rears again!
 

Christmas_Kate

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okay, then firstly she does need a properly fitting saddle, and perhaps could you send her way to be brought on abit by a proffessional? It's def. money well spent. It does sound like a confidence thing, but i was just woried about your sis getting hurt or losing her nerve...
How old did you say it was? It should have done a little more really by that age, and shouldnt still be that green to be having a confidence crisis. It's obviously learnt somewhere that rearing vertial will get it's own way. Mostly, a green horse would nap, and you'll know the difference from a confidence thing to something just being silly trying to get its own way (you said it threw it's dummy out). If it's the first, get it schooled, if the latter I wouldnt trust it.
 

Skhosu

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Yup, it was definitely trying to get its own way. Am just interested really to see what others would do. The mare is 8, and has mainly SJ and been brought on very slowly and carefully by a semi-professional rider, only had one owner etc. I believe it is confidence, and the only main reason that has kept me from being negative about the whole thing is that a friend had a horse who reared at the sight of water, and he was 2nd in PC area eventing this year and has stopped rearing altogether so I reckon when they get it together they will be grand.
My main question I suppose, as we are not going to get rid of, or at the moment seek prof. schooling, is when/if she rears again, what is the best course of action then?
I think sis is going to be prepared and not let her get to the rearing stage, but if it does, what to do? Turn in a circle? Smack?
She is doing a 2'6 ODE tomorrow, at the place she tried the mare out so knows she will go into the water and therefore sister will ride more positively, so will update all on how that goes!
 

vicijp

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You should never hit a rearer. They have a certain mentality which means that whatever you do they are going to try their damned hardest to win. You should never order them do do something, they will take you on, you have to work around things so they think they want to do it.
Seeing as she went straight up its quite obvious she has done it before. It is a job for someone who knows what they are doing.
 

Vey

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It seems to me that what you have is a horse that has an issue with water jumps. This horse is not generally a rearer. don't think of this as having a fight over rearing - think of it as going back to basics and teaching water jumps from the start.
 

MagicMelon

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Well if you've bought it, its probably a bit late to be worrying about if it is right for your sister? (unless its from a dealer where you can swop it?).

I wouldn't be too concerned, purely because she hasnt had the horse long so both are still very much getting used to one another. And a LOT of horses go through a "testing" phase in a new home. As long as you dont let it become a habit then hopefully it was just a one off. I remember one of mine (the best pony I ever had actually!) when I was younger - I had had him about 3 weeks but he was awful, he would nap like hell and reared up twice on a hack. However I got him through it and he started to settle in, as soon as he did all this nasty behaviour vanished!! He never ever dreamt of behaving badly again (I had him a further 12 years!!).

If she is 'sharp' then really you have to expect the very odd bit of attitude occassionally. Obviously keep a very close eye on her behaviour though as rearing is certainly not something they should be allowed to get away with. If she gets worse (or keeps doing it) then get lessons (like XC schooling when she does it at water) so see what the instructor advises in the situation.

Be careful about smacking her as sometimes it makes them much worse (my old rearer used to go MUCH higher and start kicking out if he ever got smacked!!). By all means try driving her forward though before she even thinks about napping. Spinning the horse in circles when she rears can help a bit because its not very pleasant for them (yet doesnt hurt) so she might learn to associate rearing with a not very nice experience which happens with it.

If she's won 2 or 3 3'3 events then you wouldnt think she'd be having any problems with water, especially a tiny stream. She's probably just testing her.
 

serena2005

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i wish people would stop saying, you should never have a rearer, because sometimes people have horses that rear, and maybe dont want to sell, cant afford to buy another , love the horse, what ever the reason for not getting rid.

my horse rears when he feels like it and wouldnt send him back,his rearing has improved massively with his trust in me. when we first moved him to our yard every time he went up someone fell off, and yes it knocked my confidence to the point that every time i went to get on him i thought 'oh god what if i dont get my other foot in the stirrup in time before he goes up!?'

while he was on 8 weeks box rest i spent the whole time playing with him, leading, walking him up the road, long reining him, building up the trust and although if hes out on a hack and starting napping he will see if he can get away will a little rear. he hasnt gone straight up for no reason since.

forget about what the horse can do, by that i mean dont start feeling guilty by thinking the horse should be out jumping, showing ect etc, go back to ground work for a while untill you know the horse better and so you trust each other.
 

Clodagh

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My youngster does rear, but only little ones to date, they are beautifully balanced!
mad.gif

She has previously I think always won an argument by doing this, yesterday I was trying to get her to jump into the water and she spent about 5 mins pratting around and then reared. As soon as she has done it, if you continue nagging, she toddles off and does whatever it was you were asking.
smirk.gif

She used to be worse but I changed her bit from a french link to a nice fat eggbutt and yesterday was the first rear since.
Also, remember theres no point arguing with a mare, its always their idea.
tongue.gif
I'm sure once your sisters new horse setlles in and they become a partnership they will be fine, but I would get professional help, and would try not to push too hard until they have gelled.
smile.gif
 
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