Size: 14×19 cm
Rearing occurs when a horse or other equine “stands up” on its hind legs with the forelegs off the ground. Rearing may be linked to fright, aggression, excitement, disobedience, non experienced rider, 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, but may rear if they need to strike at a threat in front of them.
When a horse rears around people, in most cases, it is considered a dangerous habit for riding horses, as not only can a rider fall off from a substantial height, but also because it is possible for the animal to fall over backwards, which could cause injuries or death to both horse and rider. It is therefore strongly discouraged. A horse that has a habit of rearing generally requires extensive retraining by an experienced horse trainer, and if the habit cannot be corrected, may be deemed too dangerous to ride.
A horse that rears when being handled by a human who is on the ground also presents a hazard, as it is able to strike out with its front feet and can also fall even without the weight of a rider to unbalance the animal. A rearing horse can also break away and escape from a human handler.
However, rearing also has survival value in the wild. It is a tactic that can be used to dislodge a predator that has landed on the animal’s back, it is used when equids fight one another, and a horse can rear slightly to add force when striking out with its front feet. For these reasons, horses, particularly young ones, are sometimes seen rearing when loose in a pasture, particularly when playing or mock-fighting with pasturemates.
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