Horses that rear are annoying, scary, and downright dangerous. To us, sometimes it is hard to figure out why a normally quiet and content horse suddenly shows a mean underside. To them, though, the reason they do it is quite plain. Our job is to figure this out.
If a normally calm horse begins to show signs of aggression and begins any vice, whether rearing, bucking, biting, or kicking, I would first go to a veterinarian and make sure that there is nothing causing pain to the horse. The horse is simply trying to alleviate the cause of his discomfort. Likely, he has already tried several other ‘odd’ behaviours that you have noticed, but not given any real attention to. If this is the case, a simple vet visit may cure your horse’s bad behaviour.
Rearing is generally not caused by pain, however. It is usually a sign of a confused horse, or one who has decided he wants to do what he wants to do. Don’t reach for that whip just yet! This can be resolved by some retraining. Although it probably takes longer than beating into the horse’s brain that you are his boss, it will certainly last longer and be more reliable if you and your horse ever get into a scrape. A horse usually rears when he is faced with a scary object which is telling him to ‘stop’ while you are telling him to ‘go’. These are two conflicting messages, and his little brain can’t deal with that. Taking him home and working on my desensitization lessons will most likely assist with the problem. If it doesn’t, you will need experienced help. Please contact us for help.