Is there any hope of training a horse not to rear, or once they've discovered that evasion will they always do it?

I think it is one of the hardest things to deal with and would not keep a horse that does that.

Has anyone had permanent success getting a horse to stop that as their evasion? How did you do it?

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Well, I have an idea about this and this is where it comes from. My horse, Oliver, he has been professionally trained by my trainer, steveboyleshorsemanship.com for 4 years, since steve helped round up his wild parents for the Wild Horses in Need Foundation..... my horse, Oliver is a wild born horse.. anyway, here is what I've gotten out of the trainer training the horse and me..... I cannot keep up with my trainer.. I am brand new.... so here is what we do. I let him train my horse.... I mean, let him make him soft and supple and ride him four days a week through the trails and the city and the traffic... he is like the kid goes to school and he's the teacher.... then me, I work with my horse alone.... in my spare time and I have a relationship with my horse..... maybe it's not blazing the trails yet.. maybe its doing obstacles in the back yard and me working on being with Oliver and getting his trust and his respect on my terms..... someday, maybe the two will come together.... my trainer can try and train me all he wants.. it's not in the lessons, it's in the practice.... that is on me and oliver... I have to practice with my horse alone... I know what needs to be done, but like my trainer has to be on his own time frame, so do I.... Oliver is a coproject between me and Steve... for four years now we've each done what we can to round him and help him grow up... :) my trainer will train me but as each thing comes up, we threw away the curriculem and turned our training program into a long term thing with no end of contract in sight....
How true. We can help the horse learn to go forward and that up is not productive...but if the rider is part of the problem (which they are in most cases, if it's not a pain issue) the whole has to be addressed. In today's world of a thousand therapists for every occassion of need, it is hard to believe that we continue to address the horse as a one only, an off, a car, chuckle. All things require roundness in thought and thoroughness, but that I mean all things must be addressed to find the underlying reason and the solution.
My mare rears some only in the same spot. you can be trotting her and she'll just stop, back up a bit and rear. I dont ride at all with a really tight rein.


I am new to the group, but this rearing caught my eye. Why??? Because I am also 2 years new to horses too. I will tell you about my Boy Klipse. As an older woman in my fifties who has not road since I was a teen and even then never really had any training, I bought my first horse at 52 years old. I read all I could about what would be a best first horse at my age, and everything said older, well trained Yata Yata Yata.

Well I finally went to see my boy, and even road him everything went fine. Then I brought him to the boarding stable where I would board him till I had my fence up on my own property.

I had never walked a horse off a trailer before, but went about it as I knew what I was doing, and we walked off perfect. Boy was I relieved!! I mean I talked my husband into letting me do this, buy a horse so I sure as well better know something right??

As we walked up the driveway to the area I would keep my boy one of the other boarders horses ran through the electric fencing that had been shut off and right towards us. I just stopped and told my boy to stand, he was perfect.

Then one day when I decided to make use of the owners inside arena as a way to get my horse a little exercise because it was winter and all he had was his paddock and stall.

Well as we walked through the doors all hell broke loose. I was not prepared for this big 15,2 hand big Morgan Gelding, and his antics. He reared scaring the hell out of me. I backed away and got to a safe place. I was quite shaken and my husband grabbed him and walked him back to the paddock.

I was pretty upset and was ready to sell him, knowing full well now why the previous owner said " He didn't like being a show horse" No he just didn't like people or being inside a ring or a stall.

My husband said I should just give him sometime , or maybe get a trainer . I really wanted to get rid of him. I had too many health issues , bad back , bad heart , bad legs , nerve damage to my hands. This is the last thing I needed or wanted to deal with at my age.

Each and every time I tried with him he would rear , I would be so scared . He tried biting me as I tried to brush him at the cross ties. He tried to kick at me when I tried to do his feet.

If he was this bad just walking him , I knew now why a previous person returned him. Actually I found out sometime later that this same horse had put a young girl in the hospital with broken ribs and broken legs.

After a lot of trying I finally hired a trainer, she lasted for less than a half hour.


Once she whiped him once that was it for me. I didn't get to her in time to stop her as the whip came up the 2nd time , and he was a damaged boy. Any life in his eyes were now gone.

I drove home so stressed , crying and feeling so guilty for not being able to help this horse. And after 4 months I had lost any trust he may have had in me.

All I could do was promise him that I would not give up, and that soon he would have his own place with no barn just a big pasture and maybe a girlfriend.

Then one night on the net I came across some advice for rearing horses. It looked dangerous to me for someone so green. But there were no whips, no hitting and that is what I wanted.

I wanted him to know that he had to listen, but I did not want to do it with violence.

So here goes. We walked into the arena, and immediately as we got through the doors. He started to rear and stand on his hind legs, as he came down for his landing I walked straight into his ass end and pulled the lead line so hard his head came to me at his butt. I looked into his eyes and told him in my own " Language" with a look that I knew he understood. He softened up at that very moment, and I felt it!!!

We both walked to the center of the area where I took off the lead, and told him to go play.!!!

We continued to do this until I could bring him home a few months later. With each visit, he came to me more and more, he never did rear again after that day.

The trying to bite and push me didn't quite end for about a year. Now here we are over 2 years later and he even licks my face!!!

And one day last fall, I got on his back for the 1st time since I owed him. He was amazing!!!!!

He is my love !!!!!
This theory is more than likely the reason the young girl who had my gelding before me got hurt so bad that it put her in the hospital for 2 weeks. Not that your theory is wrong for someone like yourself who is trained and experienced.

If you are confident and want to get on a horses back you do not know and know what to do yes, this can work.

I myself would prefer to make sure that my horse is listening on the ground first. As I said, I got on my gelding one day and he was perfect. I knew he would be because he had already learned to listen to me on the ground first.

The trainer that whipped my horse said " Well you want him trained don't you" I train and I train fast. Yes, whips may work if you have one goal and that is to ride.

My goal is to have a relationship with the horse I am going to be riding.

So yes, my way takes time, but the fast using whips and chains is why my horse got the way he did in the first place. No one cared about him, all they cared about was how they looked in the show ring. A bit of time on the ground by all his previous owners and maybe he would not have had 5 homes before me. He is only 15!!!

These fast ways with whips and chains is why there are so many horses waiting to be slaughtered .
I am glad I checked in during my busy day.
If you re-read my post you will see that there was no intent to equate you to her or any other abusive trainer.

Right from the start I said" You were experienced and know what you are doing" I could tell that from your previous post.

I am referring to trainers like her. Licensed and all she was, people came from miles around to see her. She was as is well respected, and works with Stallions all the time.

But see most people green as I was then, trust the people who have been industry for many years, not all people question. I questioned her tactics. I question abuse on anything and anyone.

Re-read my post before you jump the gun!!!

Got to go my Mare is due and I will be in and out!!!

Have a wonderful day!!!
Very interesting dialogue. One question I have....is when are the trainers who ruin good horses going to be made to pay? There are no consequences for their action at this time, and that allows it to continue. There you are....sent good horse with good miles on to trainer for legging up and to sell....horse is stallion....they inform you must be gelding to sell...okay. Then, the horse gets hurt, you say, don't geld till we know he's sound....etc....the horse finally starts to rear, trainer says she's not getting hurt, and returns your damaged and rearing horse to you. Nice heah? So...do I believe trainer's are without flaw? Absolutely not. I am extremely leary, and getting more so all the time. They are in it for the buck, and that's okay, but not at the price of my horses becoming slaughter candidates. We need more trainer's that are honest about their limitations, their market and their knowledge. Heah...we can't all be GranPrix riders/trainers (most of them wouldn't ride a greenie if their life depended on it anyway.), or show trainers...we need solid citizens that can start horses correctly, ride them correctly as they teach them the basics to the next level, and so on. I am tired of breeders and owners being taken advantage of. I can't afford these people, and neither can my horses.
I really don't believe there is really anything many of us can do about these so called trainers other than like myself. " Learn what works for us" To get the results we want.

The sad thing I found when I realized just what this trainer was doing and had to stop her was " She was so young" !!! Maybe 23 years old. I could not believe that such a young woman took such pride in running around beating the crap out of a poor horse.

When I say I don't believe it will change , that is because this young woman was a member of the Canadian Equestrian Association and she had her level 4/5 I think training degree.

When I called the head office they gave me a name of a person to contact who would have been her superior, well turns out he was worse. Someone else had dealings with him. Now he is the head of his district.Reporting her was not my purpose and I did not. What would have been the use. They are all trained the same, but I believe like training to be a cop, you are either there to help and are a empathetic caring person or you are on a power trip.

The sad thing as well as there are so many folks who hire people because they want the horses to ride, but don't really care to know anything about their care or training " As long as it works"

I am just glad that I have a questioning personality and know right from wrong.
Wow...I didn't know that Equine Canada had trainer certification. I thought they only offered Coaching programs, English and Western, along with Rider certification. I will have to tell our trainer, as she is an EC Level I Coach, and is a great trainer. Maybe she is missing out on adding on another level of qualifications. On the other hand, if there is a certification program for trainers, your take is not making it sound great.
I know you all will say "He's a vet and makes his living working on teeth" - but wait a minute. Unless I missed it, no one made mention of having a thorough and good floating to eliminate a bit issue. Unfortunately just because you get the teeth floated does not mean that they were done well.

Another point is that I have found that some horses that rear and especially bolt have responded fantastically to injection of their nuchal bursa as well as several facettes of the cervical vertebrae. In other words, my vet friend in Palm Beach has actually been able to identify lesions using great X-rays and ultrasound of the neck and poll. As a dentist, I send to my colleague horses with a sudden onset of rearing or bolting PLUS I am unable to float them without pain medication. These horses return to a "normal" state after one treatment.

Unfortunately, few vets are perusing this. Ask your vet to ultrasound and X ray the poll and neck looking for lesions and then inject them. These lesions usually occur from a paddock injury that goes unseen by the owner.

By the way, several vet chiropractors in my area are finding neck lesions 2 to 4 months after the head is hung from the ceiling by the modern equine dentists so stop that if it is the case with your equine dentist.

My 2 cents, Doc
You have to look at the context of the rearing. What is going on when it decides to rear. Try to find the stressor and eliminated. One way to eliminate it is by habituating the horse to the stimulus it rears at. Also you should look closely to rule out and physical causes for the rearing. perhaps and ill fitting saddle? or a bit that the horse finds uncomfortable? Maybe it has a sore spot? It might help to get a chiropractor to take a look at your horse.. (this helped find and fix a problem in my horse)

I think the most important thing is to really look at the situations it happens in and try to figure out what is common in all of it to figure out the cause. Horses dong just do things just because. You just have to really look for the cause. If you could give more details it might help to figure out the cause.
You are totally right, they don't rear for nothing. They are trying to tell us something. And it is funny because of the 5 horses we now have only the 2 who were bought as older trained horses reared . My gelding used to be a dressage horse so going into an arena reminded him of those days he suffered . I showed him he could go in and play that it was not all about pain.

My husband's X barrel racer rears when you are on her back, she does not want anything to do with going for a ride.

But our other two that are young, will go and do anything you ask of them. No reluctance no rearing, just total trust. They are being shown to trust us and that we will bring them back to their friends , they will even cross our ponds and brooks the older ones won't.

That is our project this year to get our older horses to go across that brook, there is lots of good vegetation for them on the other side. So the sooner they do, the sooner they will get lots of goodies.

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