AskDefine | Define rearing

Dictionary Definition

rearing adj : rearing on left hind leg with forelegs elevated and head usually in profile; "a lion rampant" [syn: rampant(ip)]


1 the properties acquired as a consequence of the way you were treated as a child [syn: raising, nurture]
2 raising someone to be an accepted member of the community; "they debated whether nature or nurture was more important" [syn: breeding, bringing up, fostering, fosterage, nurture, raising, upbringing]

User Contributed Dictionary




Extensive Definition

Rearing is when a horse "stands up" on his hind legs, so that his body becomes more perpendicular to the ground.
Rearing is considered a dangerous habit for riding horses, as it is possible for the animal to fall backwards, especially when carrying the added weight of a person, and possibly injure himself and crush his rider. It is therefore strongly discouraged by riders, and a horse that has a habit of rearing is generally best left to more experienced horsemen.
Rearing may also be taught as a trick, in which case the rider must be careful to let the horse know that it is only acceptable to rear when the movement is asked. A horse may also neigh loudly or snort when rearing.

Causes of Rearing

This movement is usually performed out of fright or aggression, but it also may be caused by excitement, confusion, or pain.
It is not uncommon to see stallions rearing in the wild when they fight, while striking at their opponent with their front legs. Mares are generally more likely to kick when acting in aggression, rather than rear.

Dealing with the Rearing Horse

If the horse is rearing due to pain, or if it is unknown why the horse is rearing, the owner should have an equine veterinarian come and examine the animal, paying great attention to the horse's mouth and teeth, back, and feet. The rider should also check the fit of his saddle, make sure the tree is not broken, and check the placement of the saddle on the horse's back, as many riders place the saddle too far forward. The fit of the bit should also be checked, and the rider should take into consideration the severity of the bit. Riders should also consider the management of the horse, especially his turn-out time and diet.
If the problem is due to fright or excitement, it is best to keep the horse out of situations that cause it to rear, rather than to provoke it. If the horse rears out of habit, many trainers advocating punishing the horse after it rears.
Rearing While Riding: If a horse rears while under saddle, the rider should lean forward, possibly to one side of the neck, and keep the reins slack, so as to discourage the horse from falling over backwards. Some riders prefer to grab the neck of the horse.
These horses should be treated with caution, and are not appropriate for inexperienced riders or handlers. It is generally best to send a horse that rears to a knowledgeable trainer, rather than risk one's life on injury, especially if the rider is frightened by this behavior. Generally a rider can feel if a horse is about to rear, as it backs and places its weight on its hindquarters. This is the best time for the rider to act to prevent a rear, either by driving the horse forward with a whip and spurs, or to disengage the hindquarters. Some trainers also advocate the use of a martingale, tie-down, or gogue. The important thing is to get the horse moving forward.
The rider should be sure that the horse is not rearing out of confusion because he does not understand what the aids mean, or because the rider is giving harsh or conflicting aids. In these cases, training of both the horse and rider is required.
Rearing on the Ground: For horses that rear while leading, it is best to stand right next to the shoulder, so that the handler has maximum control but is still away from the front legs should the horse strike out. Stallions that rear out of aggression on the ground should wear a stud chain while being lead. Leading with a bridle on also increases control.

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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