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Franklin Levinson's

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Rearing horse


I was just wondering if you could give me some advice on my horse that rears. He is a 12 year old new forest pony which is a little nappy. On the road he is a perfect angel does not put a foot wrong. If I go off the road sometimes he is fine but if you do not go in a direction that he wants to go in he will go up in the air. Also if I am with other horses if he thinks he is getting left behind he will also rear, they used to be little one about a foot off the floor but today he had me off and nearly fell back on me. I feel partly to blame that I do tend to hold him back when he wants to canter but I am slowly giving him rein. Even if we are standing still he gets in a panic. The trouble is I am losing my confidence with him and he is not particularly well schooled. 9 times out of 10 if I am on my own he will not rear offroad, not sure how to beat the nerves as when he behaves he is a lovely little pony with a fantastic jump.

Hi Beverly,

You probably are making the situation worse by having too tight a rein. Rather than restraining his forward motion, direct him in small, tight circles. I promise he won't want to do them for long and will modify his behavior if you remain consistent. If he goes up at all take one rein and pull it up tipping his nose up and in, kick his butt in the opposite direction and bend him in a tight circle. This is called a hind quarter yield. He cannot rear when doing this move which is not fun and also not abusive. Get good at riding his canter in a smaller space (arena) so you do not have to hang on his mouth. Ride him in a rope halter and leadrope in an enclosed area. Let him go as fast as he wants and as much. Believe me he will slow and want to stop within ten minutes at the most (it may seem like 10 hours to you depending on how accomplished a rider you are). Once he looks to slow begin to train him to have a better way of moving off of your seat. Lastly, become a better rider with lighter hands and a developed seat. The horse will only come up to the abilities of the human with it. If you want a great pony, you need to become a great horse person. You can do it......I have written quite a bit on rearing horses. Use the handy, easy search feature within my free help center and type in "rearing horse" in the search box. Good Luck.

Sincerely, Franklin

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