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Franklin Levinson's

Horse Help Center

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Rearing, girthy horse

Dear Franklin,

Your web site is great and I've been reading trying to find a solution to our problem. We have an 8 yr old Qtr Horse gelding and have had this horse for 4 years. He has always been very cinchy and we cinch him very slowly because he will rear up and flip over backwards. He is also very spooky and jumps at his shadow, trees, you name it! Now he has begun to rear while riding when asked to "work", ie horsemanship patterns, etc. We had his teeth floated recently so I don't think that's the problem. My 18 year old daughter rides him and she is a very good and patient rider. She doesn't get "heavy-handed" with him but is becoming afraid to ride because of this rearing and is afraid he could flip over on her like he's done while being saddled. Several times he has also flipped over while being lunged. What can we do?


Here is a brief suggestion. Try asking the horse to move forward (simple leading forward) or move in a circle while being led while he is slowly cinched up. Lead him with the left hand forward and gradually tighten the girth with the right hand. See if that helps. Try having a person on both the near and off side of the horse. Each holds the end of a soft, terry cloth towel. Then work the horse's girth area by see/sawing the towel up and down. Try holding a neoprene girth like the towel and work the girth area.

To prevent the horse from rearing while being ridden the rider should get good at asking the horse for a yielding of the hind quarters whenever anything even starts to happen that the rider does not want. This is a quality move that horse and rider need to get very good at. It immediately puts the horse to a task and refocuses the horse's attention back on the rider. It is used to quickly stop any behavior that is undesirable without going to abuse. A horse cannot rear, buck, kick, bite, strike or do anything other than that task once he has begun it. It should be perfected with the horse slowly at first and in a quiet safe palce for both horse and rider. The horse should move its hind quarters away from leg pressure, with an 'inside' rein help straight up so as to tip the horse's nose in tightly and slightly up. The horse's neck will bend in the direction of the lift. The inside leg moves behind the girth and pressures the rump to move in the opposite direction. The horse should be pivoting on its front feet and crossing over with its hind to move the hind end in a circle as the front end pivots. It is extremely hard to describe this in an email. But I tried....Let me suggest a bit of telephone coaching for you to get over this. It is the most cost effective way for you to get effective horsemanship techniques while being convenient, timely and easy to do. Meanwhile...Good Luck and Be Careful......

Sincerely, Franklin

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