Archives MAIN PAGE

Franklin Levinson's

Horse Help Center

Professional support for you and your horse!

Won't go forward, unwanted rearing and backing

I have a 15.2 5 year old throughbred cross welsh cob ive had him ten week i bought him to bring on when i first got him he used to rear when i used to try and ride him to the paddock he naps alot when with other horses so i have stopped riding with others as much as possible his rearing has gradully reduced but is still a great problem my horse has certain place where he rears i tryed walking him past these places that seem to scare him but he has started backing up alot i have even lunged him round the place where he rears on the paddock, my horse also begins backing up at thses spots but if i try to push him forward it makes him worse and causes him to rear he always rears up at the exit on the paddock and backs up trying to get to his stable he also rears up at the bottom of the path to the field when im riding him across to the paddock or taking him out when i have finshed riding him i stop and try to make him wait at the exit off the paddock but he backs up and begins throwing his head around my horse is always in a rush to get back to his stable.My horse really gets aggressive and scared because hes really gentle i am riding him in a kimblewick with a curb chain on and a standing martingale to stop him getting his head up and sometimes draw reins my horse schools really well if you keep away from the exit but if i jump him he gets really fizzed up and pulls for the exit alot i have been doing lots of figures of eights with him and chaniging the rein all the time to try and take his mind off it t did work but now it doesn't. what can i do to help take my horses mind off the exit and the path to the field and help him overcome this fear and stop rearing and backing up in these places please help

Love from Natalie

Hi Natalie,

You have asked for quite a bit to give you in a relatively brief email. Sounds like your horse is 'leading the dance' as opposed to you. Sounds like he has learned he gets not to work by rearing and backing. He has been trained to think this way because he always wins. Here are a few suggestions:

You need to have a few movements you can ask him to do to take his mind off of rearing. One is leg yields in tight circles around an inside leg and then go the other direction. Do 4-5 rotations in both directions. Then put a stop on him. Then ask again for what you want. If he goes up at all you immediately bend his head around in one direction and then other and have him yield his hind quarters tightly. He cannot rear in this position doing this activity. It will stop the rearing immediately when done correctly and with appropriate feel for the right pressure in the request to turn. Do this to modify a lot of behaviors you do not want. Balking, rearing, backing and not wanting to go forward will be helped by this. For a horse backing you need to set the situation up where you have a lot of room to back the horse or the ablility to back him in a circle. As soon as he begins to backup, you firmly begin to back him up. Keep him backing until he doesn't want to back anymore. Then ask him to go forward and see what happens. Again, this requires the skill to appropriately and firmly back the horse up. These skills must be practiced beforehand. You must get proficicent at these moves before you go somewhere where you will really need them. Do not just try these without practicing in a safe area first.

Anyway, there you have it. If you do not have the skills to do these moves, find someone who does and have them show them to you. These hind end yields should be learned from the ground as well as in the saddle. Keep me posted.

Sincerely, Franklin

Look for: