How To Break A Horse From Rearing

If you have a horse that rears up habitually, it is a serious and dangerous problem. It poses risk, not just to the rider, but others in the vicinity as well. The horse may fall over from losing its balance or deliberately rear high enough to flip over backwards. An 1,100 lb. animal is going to hurt anyone it lands upon (unless you happen to be lucky enough to have some mud or really soft dirt).  Some horses learn to flip over because it is an effective means to end the day. Many riders won’t get back in saddle once a horse goes over and the horse quickly it figures out.

The average person has no business trying to ride, train, or work with a horse that regularly rears up. It should be addressed by an experienced trainer who knows how to stop the problem. If it can’t be fixed, the horse needs to be put down, not taken to the sale barn where some unsuspecting buyer gets hurt.

Jodi Wilson, a professional horse trainer, has a good article on rearing. She argues against the practice of intentionally pulling the horse over backwards to teach it not to rear. We agree and especially for those who don’t know how to do it. Pulling a horse over carries significant risk. We care far less about the risk to the horse than the rider, but either way there can be some bad results. Is pulling a horse over an effective means to stop it from rearing? It can work sometimes. If it doesn’t, you can end up teaching the horse to fall backwards with a rider, thereby increasing the potential risk for harm.

Bottom line – we agree with Ms. Wilson, any horse that rears needs to be taught not to rear up for the safety of everyone. The horse needs to be trained by a qualified professional to break the habit. There are several methods an experienced trainer can use to resolve the problem.


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