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Why Horses Rear


When a horse rears it in communicating the desire to stand its ground rather than run away. Rearing is done to gain height, cause damage by striking with the forelegs, and to bring the force of the horses weight down on another's back during play or a fight.

Hopefully if a horse is rearing under saddle it is for a well-controlled trick. Warhorses used to be trained to rear for battle and now police horses are taught to rear to control crowds. Rearing is very dangerous to the horse and rider and if a horse rears for any other reason under saddle, it is usually because that horse feels unable or unwilling to move forward or backwards. If the horse was to flip over on its back under saddle it could kill both horse and rider.

When training a horse it should be kept moving forward quietly and steadily, and be thoroughly desensitized to overcome its fears to objects on or around its body to prevent dangerous reactions. A horse that deliberately tries to remove a rider should see specialized training.


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