Horses Rearing

Why does my horse stand on two legs?   

Horses rearing are a natural reaction to an action that has been part of the horses make up since time began.

This behaviour is a tool that wild stallions will use when they fight each other for breeding rights.

They usually combine the rear with striking out of a front leg (fore leg).

Colts will often exhibit the same behaviour, but in a playful manner whilst around other colts or fillies.

This is natural herd behaviour, whether in the wild or in a domestic setting and an important part of growing up, but not with a rider on board!

Horses rearing with rider

Have You Ridden A Horse That Rears?

A frightening experience, even for the more competent rider. There is so much to remember when a horse decides to "stand on two legs".

One mistake and you could end up pulling the horse over backwards, with both of you on the floor. Something you never want to experience.

Rearing with rider is often a form of napping to avoid what is being asked of him, but you need to rule out all the possibilities that could attribute to the rear.

In my opinion, horses are not born bad, they generally want to please.

They are sometimes miss understood. When a horse rears, I always go through a process of elimination.

If a horse feels pain, he will tolerate so much when you are riding him.

When the pressure builds, this is the horse’s way of saying “I’ve had enough”.


Is the saddle fitting correctly?

You may have had the saddle checked or had it made to measure and now the horse has changed shape.

When some horses are sold, they come with a full wardrobe, so you do not have to buy anything.

If you do buy a horse with a saddle included, do not assume it fits the horse.


A bit that is too small for the horse will pinch or cut into the mouth. Is the bit suitable for the horse?

The bit could be too severe, causing pain.


Has the horse been seen by a dentist lately?

You might have recently bought the horse. Just because someone tells you that the horse is up to date, it does not mean it is always the case.

Does he have sharp teeth, ulcers or sore gums?

If the rider is heavy handed the horse could rear through pain.


Has the horse had his back checked?

Scroll down from horses rearing for more rearing information.

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Horse Problems

Horses rearing > > Home

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Why does my horse rear?

Rearing advice

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Horse choke

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What is crib biting?

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Have You Ridden A Horse That Rears?

Share your story!
When did the horse rear and why! Did you manage to sort the problem out or did you find a way to avoid the situation ocurring.