Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I'm going to have to ask you to stay on the ground!

100th post and it's feeling good! Thank you to all my readers!! I love you all!!!!

OK, so how do you feel when you truly think that you may have actually worked out all the kinks in a horse??? Pretty good, only to find out you were wrong and the horse was merely biding it's time.

So I trained a horse to STOP rearing. And the damn thing reared over again last night... it had been months since she'd reared. We thought we nailed it and fixed the issue. Surprise, surprise. So once again we need to break it down into the possibilities of why...


Hasn't been worked in awhile?

Sassy? Just seeing what she can get away with?

Medical condition?


In season?

Sometimes I really think horses like flipping us off and what a way to do it!! So any way it's back to square one. Finding the source of the issue and starting back from the beginning. I really greatly dislike horses who will "appear" to be fixed and then explode one day with randomness... Especially rearing over backwards...

We do know that this mare has been passed from home to home in her 8 years so it is a good assumption that she scared the previous owners and so they sold her and over and over again. Well it stops here as her owner now is fiercely in love with her and refuses to give up. And guess what the mare needs to figure it out that we are not just going to send her packing again... We're in it for the long haul... But Damn does it get rough from time to time...


GoLightly said...

Oh, TrexX, I'm glad you're okay.
Gawd, I hate a rearing horse. I was so lucky not to have to deal with that issue much. Horses have no idea how dangerous they can be.
The one rearer I rode, once, had a brain tumour. I sat him once, and said, um, no Thanks. Poor badly broke mare. Too bad her beginnings were so hard on her, that she feels the only option is to flip.Be very careful, as I know you will be, please.

The Pale Horseman said...

I think you mean ground, not gound. Lol!

I hate it when horses do that. You think you got the problem cracked then a few months down the line the horse has a crisis and its back to square one.

Colste Stables said...

What do you think is the best way to handle a horse that flips over when it rears? Do you have a special way to get out of the way so she doesn't land on you, emergency dismount, or just ride it out? I've never had this happen but it is one of my fears. What is the best way to avoid getting hurt?

Unfiltered Meghan said...

It makes you wonder how far along the line she developed the rearing habit. I can definitely see something like that scaring people into selling. I've ridden some crazies, but I'm not sure I would be willing to keep working with a rearer/flipper for very long. Glad she's got gutsy talented you.

See, you little twits on YouTube? This is why teaching your horse to rear is bad!

kestrel said...

Oh man, that is so scary! Glad you're okay.
I tend to look first for all the physical, mental, etc. problems, but if the horse is resisting by throwing itself, the only recourse is to make rearing so thoroughly scary that it is afraid to try it again. Most truly scared horses won't go over unless they're really off balance. The ones that are trying to crush you.....my personal opinion is that they have a serious screw loose.
I had a bad one a few years ago that was just pissed that she had to go to work one day. She went over on me, I was trapped between the fence and thrashing legs, and had no place to go but back on her! She threw herself against the fence trying to mash my leg, then stomped on my foot when I got off. The mare had been spoiled all her life, and had figured out how to get out of work by threatening to kill you. I ground drove the living daylights out of her, and whacked the hell out of her every time she put an ear back. She then tried the hysterical number, so I locked her in a closed stall until she calmed down, then put her back to work. She threw herself again on the drive lines, so I tied her down and threw a tarp over her. When she'd baked enough to stop trying to bite me I let her back up, and after that she knew I was even more ruthless than she was. I absolutely HATE having to go to that extreme, but sometimes you must win the battle at any cost. You can bet I was a lot more bruised up than she was!
I slide off the second I feel the horse starting to lose it's balance, and make their life hell until they come back to earth. The problem usually starts when horse rears, human gets off, pets horse trying to calm it down...horse is now trained to rear.
I'm a lot older and less spry than I was then, and the mare really never did amount to much. Any horse that will hurt itself trying to get you is never going to be safe. I've seen some rearers fixed by being retrained as buggy horses. That's a tough one though. A horse that will revert after long sane training.....dangerous.

paul_linn_is_a_jerk said...

I have ridden only one 'rearer' - a crazy black morgan mare named Remington.

I heard that she was recently selected to be used for a Tommy Garland clinic and she threw him off - I wonder if they will show that on RFDtv?? The episode is supposed to be on in March.


Tricky said...

I've had one that thinks rearing right on top of you is a great way to remove you from the picture. She only does this if you have "broken down" all her other defenses against work.
last time she did it was with the trainer who was driving ( long reining) her. She had tried it all to get rid of him - tying herself up in the reins, stopping and refusing to move etc etc. So she stopped suddenly reared up and rotated to be right on top of him. He darted out the way to one side and slapped her with the long reins. She took off at speed down the arena, with him continuing to chase her at the end of the lines. He asked to resume quiet easy work, and she did happily. She's never done it again, never even thought of it again. There is no better device than long-reining for a rearer. It takes you out of danger, and allows for quicker thinking, as you don't have to be thinking - get me the F* out of here!!

Slave to the Horse

Heaven Roberts said...

I had incredible luck with a gelding that reared (and he reared big - just one big flip over). Just a few lessons and he never reared again - most horses that rear are just looking for a way out. If you let them move forward, 9/10 will do just that.

Then there are some horses that are just going to rear. I don't think Gabe was one of those, but it sounds like the mare in the last comment may have been ;) as well as the mare from the blog posting.

One thing though - rearing does have its place. Our gelding never offered to rear in defiance, but did rear and seriously injure some attacking dogs. The dogs were known biters, and if he hadn't injured them enough to make them run off I'm not sure if my sister would be around today. I think it's better to fall off a horse at a stand-still then at a run. She had a scraped knee, but her and the horse made it home in one piece.

kestrel said...

Yeah, most of them that go over scare themselves so bad that they never try it again! And, usually it is just vapor locked. The ones that learn to use it as a weapon scare me.

Patricia said...

I've had two horses that reared.

The first was a twenty year old appy that I leased, a barrel horse, and very set in his ways. I truly think he reared for the joy of rearing; he loved it. His rears were fairly tame and, unless I was riding bareback o.0, he usually didn't unseat me. My vet, chiropractor, farrier, and trainers couldn't find anything that would have made him rear.

The second was different. A hunter type TB Paint cross, Ozzy used to have a lot of potential. Sure, he was a green horse, but we were making great progress with my trainer's help. Enter farrier: in one fell swoop he butchered my horse's feet. Not recognizing the extent of the damage (even my vet and trainer didn't notice/comment) Ozzy's tender feet caused him a great deal of pain. He started rearing, and kicked a car while walking through a parking lot (most likely due to frustration of walking on the gravel). Realizing he was tender, I gave him a few weeks off until he appeared sound, then slowly started him back into work.

A year later, the rearing was still there. I tried many of the methods offered to me from various trainers. Thinking it was his back, the vet did thermographs and found nothing- massages, acupuncture (yes I was that desperate!), and chiropractor visits did nothing. Finally, I ordered radiographs on all four legs and hooves, but it was too late. In one year, he had ringbone, sidebone, arthritis, and showed signs of navicular. He was 8 when he was diagnosed. I was told he was not rideable, so I put him out to pasture for six months.

Without high doses of bute daily, he hobbled around and barely socialized with the herd. I knew he was in pain, and going to the barn was heart wrenching for me. Although it hurt to do it, I had the vet put him down- there was no way I was going to put that horse through 20 years of excruciating pain (that would get worse as he aged).

So my advice to you: check the feet! I wasted a lot of time thinking it was his back; even bought special gel pads and had a saddle flocked individually for his back. And to think... it all started with rearing. If I come in contact with a rearing horse again, I'd rather pump a thousand dollars or so into a full diagnostics scan than have the agony of putting down a friend in pain.

kestrel said...

Oh, so sorry to hear about the lame one. I just hate that part of loving horses. Lost my buddy last fall...good point, too. Always check for physical stuff.

boadicea1 said...

At least you cared enough not to allow your horse a life of pain.

I agree with the comment that if you allow or force a rearing horse to go forward,they will. However, you have to catch it before you have Hi Ho Silver all the way in the air.

They also have a harder time rearing with their head pulled to your knee.

As for the horse who will throw themselves over backwards on you. Life is to short for horses like that.