There is a dangerous problem that horse owners should be very aware of. Itís when a horse stands up on his back legs. Itís called ďrearing.Ē This problem can be quite dangerous and cause severe injuries to rider and/or horse.
Rearing is perhaps a horseís most effective defense against rider. It is dangerous in that horse can fall over backward onto its rider. Because of a horseís enormous weight this can cripple and even kill rider. Thus, it is good to know why, if possible, a horse rears. But even more importantly, how to stop it.
If your horse ever does rear with you on him, there isnít much you can do. If he rears suddenly, he could lose his balance and fall or he could rear so explosively that he can throw himself back to ground with rider under him. If youíre on him while this is happening and you use reins to pull on to keep from falling, youíre likely to pull horse over.
Although itís not one hundred percent infallible, best way to protect yourself when a horse rears with you is to lean forward immediately and put your hands forward so you have loose reins. If you have to, you could even put your arms around his neck, let go of reins and slide off. For my money, there arenít any other safer ways to deal with a horse if he suddenly rears.
Why do horses rear? There are several reasons why. Here are some examples.
Iíve read where a rider was on an obedient horse while trail riding. They came upon cows and it scared horse because horse was not used to cows. The rider tried to get horse to go toward cows to get it to learn that cows are not spooky. The horse obeyed and went forward but finally became so frightened that it reared up, lost balance, and fell on its rider. The rider suffered numerous broken bones.
The rider later understood horse felt trapped. The horse obediently went forward even though it was frightened. As it got closer, fear overpowered horse and it had nowhere to go but up.
Some horses rear because as colts they were too young to be ridden. Another reason rearing happens is because training may confuse horse. The horse may be asked to do too much at one time and not know what to do.
Sometimes a horse will rear if it is forced to yield to bit. Other horses may rear if you try to get them to put out more energy than they can. On opposite end, some horses may rear because they want to go and you donít let them.