Always consult your veterinarian or professional trainer before attempting any techniques described below.

Rearing is a sure sign you are applying to much pressure on your horse. You need to go back to the basics, apply groundwork and work on your hands.

I am seeing a lot of photos of horses rearing lately. Horses are going around scaring women and children not to mention putting a lot of gray hair on the men that love them. Yes it is spring and there are a lot of horses that have been left idle all winter and many of us have not rode near as much as we should have. New green grass, warm weather and horses with lots of energy can make you feel not as secure in the saddle as you did last fall.

First!! Check your horses teeth and tack just to make sure the horse is not being hurt. He is already telling you something! If that checks out, start with some ground work get the boogie woogies out before you get on, I do ground work before I get on every horse, it may be a few circles around on a lead rope on a horse I know and trust or, I may spend as long as it takes to get what I want before I get on. * A loose bronc is not going to get any work done, and can cause a lot more unwanted work so I can justify spending my time doing this* This also gives me a chance to make sure my horse is sound and capable of doing the job I have in mind.

Next GET OFF YOUR HORSES MOUTH trust your horse let him have his head. Do you drive a car with one foot on the brake and one on the gas? If you do things are going to break. Do that to your poor horse and it will say, you need to go! And sooner or later you will. Use their energy, do not confine or try to stop it, you redirect it, she’ll slow down and even stop, turn her, give her slack,use your seat to tighten up your circle, let her find it.”That speed you are looking for.”If your horse needs to move let it move, channel and control that movement. Disengage the hind quarters I have never had a rear or buck when a horse untracks their hindquarters, it puts them in an awkward position to rear or buck.

Be kind, but be in charge, a horse wants a leader, so be the leader your horse wants. Choose a destination and go there,use your seat and focus to guide your horse, keep changing things along the way, step around a bush, change gates, cross the road ride in the ditch, stop, back up, keep your horse interested in what you want, be interesting to your horse. Think ahead of your horse prepare for the next task ahead, keep him focused on you. You being focused on him that is trouble looking for a place to happen, so is riding the same trail, doing the same pattern all the time. Your horse will get board and start taking on the leadership role.
Feel your horse I’ll bet you know when your horse is starting to take over, now is the time to make adjustments before it takes over. Redirect his attention and get him back to feeling your leadership.

Some time ago my wife and I went to a rodeo at the opening of the rodeo as they were presenting dignitaries a gray horse caught our attention ringing it’s tail, hunching up and fighting to get it’s head.

This horse was looking for a way to get rid of it’s rider. The rider stopped and another rider came up we watched intently as they switched horses. The new rider was an older gentleman, he stepped up on the gray and took off in a lope on a loose rein. This new riders confidence and leadership took over, the horse took to his role and partnered up with this man immediately. All of the signs of resistance were gone this horse had a job to do and was happily going about it. I think about that man and horse from time to time and what I learned that day. That man treated that horse with respect and kindness, he asked it in a way the horse understood and got out of the horses way while the horse preformed the task it was asked to do. The horse knew it wasn’t going to be asked for more than it could do and the rider wasn’t asking him to stop and go at the same time. This horse now had a rider that presented what he wanted before asking for it and it was never forced. It was simply asked for and given with out any frustration from the rider to the horse then back from the horse to the rider

– TC Chappel Lonesome Dove Rescue ­