Establish Authority And Cure The Rearing Horse

Published: 20th August 2009
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That rearing horse looks great in a picture frame but hardly inspires that "Hi Yo Silver Away!" feeling while in the saddle. A rearing horse is an unhappy horse that has put both the rider and the horse at risk of injury and serious harm. Stopping a horse from rearing can be a dangerous endeavor so the rider must always exercise a caution-first approach.

A horse can rear with or without a rider aboard. If a rider is aboard, it is safest to dismount before attempting a remedy. Attempting to cure the rearing from the saddle is dangerous and offers the rider far less than the desired amount of control than may b e necessary to calm the horse.

As with any health or behavioral condition, it helps to know why the horse might be rearing. The four most common causes of the rearing horse are:

- Young horses often have oats to release

- The horse could be in pain or discomfort

- The horse could be experiencing fear or apprehension

- The horse could be expressing a rebellious tendency or disrespect for the rider or trainer

To mend any pain or discomfort, make sure the equipment is properly fit. If the rider thinks the problem persists, call the veterinarian and arrange a checkup. Usually, the act of rearing is the result of a root problem.

Assuming the tack is appropriate and the horse is in good health, the rider can address other, more probable causes of the rearing. As the rider has dismounted, the horse's rearing remedy will be derived from groundwork performed by the rider.

The rider must identify and address the root problem, not the effect. To help identify the root problem the rider should try to answer these questions:

- Does the horse rear in a certain area?

- Does the horse rear for all riders?

- Does the horse rear at the beginning of each ride or at intervals through the ride?

These type questions can help identify the root problem. Additionally, establishing a pattern may explain the root problem. For example, if the horse rears in a certain area, it may well be due to apprehension about a condition in that area. In this case, fixing the condition in that area will cure the rearing.

If the horse begins to rear at intervals into the ride, the horse may be tiring and working too hard. Rearing is the horse's resistance to the overwork. On the other hand, the horse might be lazy and disrespectful of the rider's authority. In these cases, it may be best to remove the equipment and exercise the horse around the pen. This eliminates the discomfort possibility and allows the trainer/rider to assert his/her authority. Once the horse recognizes the rider as the respected leader, challenges to the authority will cease. For this reason, the rider may choose extended pen sessions. Usually, the horse will acknowledge the authority after several sessions and the rider may then begin to ride again.

Many riders do not realize the amount of effort it takes for a horse to rear. Rearing is a major effort and a pretty dramatic expression of a root issue. The rider can discourage the rearing by keeping the horse's head tucked down. A horse cannot rear without lifting the head. The rider should try to keep the head "collected" but the process should not evolve into a tug of war.

After the horse rears, the rider should avoid harsh bits. Usually rearing is an understandable reaction to a condition. A harsh bit does not address the cause but can cause damage to the mouth while not remedying the root problem.

Extensive groundwork is the best cure for rearing. This work is about gaining mental control. Harsh bits and tight reins do not accomplish this. The ability to mend the rearing habit is directly proportionate to the rider's commitment to groundwork and establishing authority.Kerrie Tischer is the owner of Livery Stable. If you're in the market to sell or buy a horse, this is the place to start. They offer horse classifieds as well as detailed information on riding, selecting a good horse and much more. Visit online for more information.

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