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Colt Rears Up

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#1 T-bird



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Posted 28 February 2010 - 04:02 PM

I am in need of some advice. I am working with a 10 month old colt, getting him halter broken, leading, picking feet up...Just general stuff. He has been handled since birth and is puppy dog gentle. He is extremely sensitive, and sulls up if I over correct him or get the least bit rough with him. His method of avoidance is to rear up, and has fallen over backward a few times. What are your methods in breaking them of the habit of rearing up?

#2 BuddyRoo


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Posted 28 February 2010 - 04:48 PM

QUOTE (T-bird @ Feb 28 2010, 04:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
He is extremely sensitive, and sulls up if I over correct him or get the least bit rough with him.

You recognize he's sensitive...and admit that this behavior only happens when you over correct or get rough with him. So stop over correcting and being rough. He's sensitive.

If he doesn't know what you want, ask a different way. We're supposed to be the smarter between the two species...so sometimes we have to change our game plan to suit the horse.

A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

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#3 T-bird



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Posted 28 February 2010 - 06:58 PM


I know his personality is of a sensitive nature, and have changed the ways I have worked with him. So, yeah, the game plan changes a lot. The thing is, if he wants to back up to avoid going forward, and I put the least bit of pressure on him, he rears up. And this can be if we are just standing together resting, or if walking forward from point A to point B.

I know all horses are different and we must be flexible in dealing with each one. I was just wondering what some of you who have trained young ones do when they rear.

#4 DiluteMe


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Posted 01 March 2010 - 12:37 AM

How big is the colt, has he been gelded yet?

It sounds like this might be his way to "get out of things." The first thing you want to do in a rear is to get forward movement. Does he know a send away command? You point in a direction he goes that way? I'd work on that. Then when he chooses to rear, get at his side ASAP and send him around you in a circle. Enough to get forward movement again and then head the direction your going again.

If he's not too big yet you can always go back to a butt rope.

I had one of those sensitive horses and had to change my way of working with him also. He's doing very well now. Got him at 10 months and at about a year and some he finally got over the hypersensitivity and is just sensitive now. I find almost every baby is going to try and throw a good old fit at least once. As long as it's treated correctly the first time it usually doesn't come back. It sounds like your little guy might have gotten away with continueing work once or twice by a rear and maybe a flip.

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#5 Trinity



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Posted 01 March 2010 - 01:46 AM

My filly was like that at first. I had to become very aware of her displeasure and rebelliousness as soon as it started and change my tactic or she would sull hard and then learning would go out the door till I got her thinking forward again.

If I were asking her to go forward and she was sulky, I would just change what I was asking for her to yield her hingquarters instead or perhaps step over sideways ...Anything to make her feet move as directed, yeild her body and get her brain engaged. Sometimes unbalancing her and forcing her to move her feet to rebalance was where I had to start. If the horse is going up when it gets sulky, the easiest thing to get the feet moving again is to take their head to the side and make them yeild the HQs to both sides and then ask them to step over away from pressure. Need to reinforce moving away from pressure too and be SURE to release ALL pressure when the horse complies. You have to be spot on with the release on a sensitive horse.

You need to have a great sense of how far you can go and when you need to change what your asking to get the horses brain back. At this age, I think avoiding head to head clashes are best and redirection is much better than a fight. I dont think muscling around a 10 month old is called for and since it knows how to lead but throws a fit, a butt rope isnt the best course either because it isnt learning anthing.

You need to play the mental game and always be ahead with this baby. If you dont you will be "training" it to have problems down the road instead of practicing compliance. I would never allow any situation to come to a rear. You simply have to be very aware of your horse and know what its thinking before it acts out.

If it does rear, allow the baby to complete it with no tension on its head and just stand out of the way of getting struck till its over. It WILL stop even if you do nothing This is where going head to head will do you no good. Regain composure after its over and allow the baby to calm down a second and then redirect the body and feet laterally. Never pull forward and down on a rearing horse as that will cause them to want go over.

Redirect and regain control of the body and feet and the head WILL follow.

Edited by Trinity, 01 March 2010 - 01:57 AM.

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#6 manesntails


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Posted 01 March 2010 - 02:06 AM

How are you teaching him to lead?

You don't pull them forward with the lead rope. You ask them to give to pressure to one side then the other. Once they will give to pressure you ask for one step to one side then the other. You release when they show the least bit of a try to move in the direction you want. It will not even be one step the first try, just a lean is all you need to release pressure and praise them. Then you ask for two steps. Then to follow 3, 4, 5, 6, and completely around in a circle with you.

Pulling a horse forward when they don't know what on earth you are doing that for, ie, you havent taught them to give to pressure or follow you in a circle yet, will MAKE the horse pull back, and/or rear up and go over.

Get thee a book on how to correctly train a horse to lead and ask the horse for his forgiveness.

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#7 Smilie


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Posted 01 March 2010 - 12:27 PM

Don't confuse sensitive with spoiled
It is much better to get after a horse hard in the correct manner, and then go back to as nothing happened than to pick , pick, pick at a horse. A horse that is picked at becomes resentful
Horses like clear , strong leadership. If you are not their leader, they will assume that role for you
Sulking, poor attitude, is not the sign of a sensitive horse, but of a barnyard pet, that does not truly respect you. If you don't correct this now, you are well on your way to having a large spoiled animal.
Get a be Nice Halter, or teach your horse how to respond to a stud shank under the chin, whatever, and get some respect without worrying about his sensitivity.
Sensitive horses do not sulk. They might over react6 until you earn their trust. Spoiled desrespectful horses sulk and rebel when they don't get their way
PS, just re read your post and see that this horse has not been taught to lead fully yet. In that case, take some of Mains advise on first teaching him how to give to pressure correctly. You can also use a butt rope

Edited by Smilie, 01 March 2010 - 12:30 PM.

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#8 T-bird



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Posted 01 March 2010 - 01:28 PM

Thanks for everybody's input. I appreciate it.

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 02:19 PM

I agree with Smilie. Sounds like this fella is spoiled a bit, and disrespectful. He wants his own way. Lots of good advice given to help you toward getting your desired results.
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#10 MizParker


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Posted 01 March 2010 - 05:29 PM

In my experience, horses who sull up are not sensitive, they are lazy. Sensitive horses will just about turn themselves inside out trying to figure out how to understand pressure, and to learn how to make it go away.

He has now found your "off" button. You will be working twice as hard to convince him now.

Don't take it personally.
Keep calm at all times.
Be consistent.
Make all corrections with an eye towards being effective.

Good luck!

Edited by MizParker, 01 March 2010 - 05:31 PM.

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#11 goldengirl88



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Posted 01 March 2010 - 06:35 PM

A horse can't rear if he's going forward, so when he starts to sull up drive him forward hard! Use the end of the lead rope to pop him on the butt, just swing it behind you while you're still going forward, or if that's awkward for you carry a longe whip and use it to tap him on the hiney when he sulls up. Do watch where you're standing so he doesn't jump on top of you cause it may startle him a bit. But leading should never be optional, give him a light tug on the lead rope to say "hey we're going someplace" and if he starts to think about sulling up instead of going forward tap him on the hip with your longe whip or lead rope end. The whip is easier for me as I can stay facing forward easier and it's just easier to coordinate it all cause I'm clumsy lol. Also I said TAP not whale on him, it just needs to send him forward, if he's as sensitive as you say he is it won't take much to convince him to move forward. But do get this fixed now otherwise it will come back to bite you later, think about trailer loading a sulky horse...... not fun
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