Check it Out!
[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]
[Date Index] [Thread Index] [Author Index] [Subject Index]


The polo crosse guys have a standard response to rearing, which is to ride with a rope with a big knot (they call it a monkey fist) at the end.  When the horse goes up, you swing the rope under his belly and hit him with it.  Not hard enough to hurt him, but enough that he feels it.  I have yet to see a horse who's immediate reaction to this is not to get those front feet down FAST! 
On Sunday, I went out to see a young Arab who had recently been gelded and brought off of the farm.  He is just over 5, has run wild for most of his life, and his owner is now starting ground work with him.  His standard response to the "go forward" cue was to go straight up and try to chop with his front feet.  Because he's a baby, and kinda cute, I didn't want to make too big a deal out of it by flipping him over, or doing anything traumatic (we're trying to get him to trust people).  So, as soon as he stood up, I said "no", pulled gently on the head collar, stepped back and into his side and put my hand under his belly.  He came down really fast.  Second time, all I had to do was say "no" and give a gentle tug on the head collar (can't tug too hard or they'll pull away from you).  Third time, "no" was enough. 
I don't advocate whipping the belly, which I've seen some people do.   Horse's skin under there is so thin that all you need to do is brush it with your hand, or if you're worried about getting too close, then brushing it with the end of a whip.  They don't like exposing their bellies, and if you let them know that it is exposed, they'll try to protect it, and they can only do that if the front feet are on the ground.
CAVEAT : The horse I was working with was on the ground, in a plain leather head collar, so I knew that there were no "tack issues" to consider.  I'd also had a look at him beforehand to eliminate possible pain issues - he could move freely, so wasn't in any discomfort.   I wouldn't suggest that you "punish" a horse this way by moving into his personal space like this until you'd eliminated physical causes.  It's just not fair.
Also, when I'm working with a horse like this, I wear a helmet, steel toed boots and gloves.   Even when doing ground-work.

    Check it Out!    

Home    Events    Groups    Rider Directory    Market    RideCamp    Stuff

Back to TOC