Leading Techniques: Rearing
(From Clare's article archives, Circa 2010-2015)
Part 2: Rearing, Bucking, Balking...
So, lets talk about some of the issues that you, as the handler, may have when you are leading a horse, and some very Helpful Hints to dealing with each of these issues.
Controlling your horse's rear from the ground (in hand) takes skill, practice and finesse.
If your horse rears up, which is when their front legs leave the ground, be sure to allow the leadrope to loosen as the horse goes up into the air.
When your horse comes back down, quickly shorten the rope and recollect your horse.
Never try to hold your horse down!
This will usually cause the horse to become more violent, potentially pulling you off your feet, or rearing up and over backwards.
Once your horse comes down, you can correct them with the rope and your voice, and try to keep them moving forward (It's much harder for a horse to rear if he is not at a standstill.)
Turning a horse around in a circle is also helpful to preventing them from rearing,
or controlling them after they come down from a rear.
Most horses will strike or paw the air with their forelegs during a rear.
While the horse is up on their hindlegs, try to keep them from getting a foreleg over the leadrope.
When this happens, it's very difficult to control your horse when he comes back down from the rear, as the leadrope will be under a leg.
If your horse does get their leg over the leadrope, usually the only way to salvage the situation is to get your horse to Whoa, so you can detangle the rope.
If your horse comes down and starts running backward with the rope under a leg, only hold on as long as it takes to see the situation is either salvageable, or futile.
Sometimes, the best, and safest thing to do in this position is to let go, and hope that your horse will stop, or run over to the nearest horse or patch of grass.
Then, hopefully, he will let you catch him
Again, to repeat myself, emergency situations like these are why it is important to always have a leather, or breakaway halter, and a cotton leadrope!
The halter breaking will hopefully keep your horse's body from breaking, and the cotton lead will prevent rope burns and injury to the legs!