This Is One Of The Scariest Situations To Be In On A Horse

I don’t know what I would do if I was riding this horse.  He flips over backwards when his rider is asking him to walk forward.  People are saying he did it on purpose and that this type of horse is called a “flipper”.  Have you ever heard of a flipper?

Do You Think This Horse Flipped Over On Purpose?

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Do you think he did it on purpose?  Is there anything the rider could have done to prevent this? What would you do if you were in this situation?

Share this on Facebook if you’d do just about anything in your power to avoid a situation like this!

89 Responses

  1. Kate Savage

    She was jabbing spurs into this horses side and he did not look like he knew what was expected of him. This could have been prevented. He should be trained from the ground and the spurs should go in the trash.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      I want to watch you ride this horse and fix this.im 46 years I’ve never seen a horse come off all 4 feet and flip without moving.she was trying get him to move forward so he wouldn’t do that.its OBVIOUS he’s done it before she was ready for it.

      Reply
      • Kate Savage

        Why would I ignore my own advice of training him from the ground first? Teaching a horse what is expected of him from the ground is safer for all.

        There is nothing obvious about this horse flipping over before or not – that is just your opinion.

      • B

        No she was jabbing him before he went up, he gave her a clear signal he was going up….

      • Anonymous

        This was a clear show of it being the riders fault. Take of your spurs and tie down and if the horse has a problem walking or flipping due to this continuously happening then have someone walk with you by a halter and that shank doesn’t help either. That’s a 5. to 1 pressure Atleast. Try a loose ring snaffle or maybe this magical thing called a bosal. Don’t ever move up the bit. You don’t need it!!!!

      • Stella

        I had a flipper. it was his was of avoiding the bit and not working. I fixed him of the problem with a mild bit, surcingle and very short side reins. He flipped himself 4 times. The fifth time he went all four hooves straight up off the ground and flung himself over backwards hitting his head on the ground. He never did it again.

      • Anonymous

        He knew exactly what he was doing. I’ve seen flippers before it’s no accident! They are dangerous.

      • Anonymous

        You are right. I know this horse this wasnt his first time. And she was completely aware that he had issues and is dangerous.

    • Pony lover

      The horse needs to be put down before he kills someone rib jabbing or not once a horse learns to do this good luck training him not to. There are many safe horses out there needing homes.

      Reply
      • Dkiggens

        Hmmm, humans break the horse then it’s the horses fault so now you want to put it down. Not cool.

      • Anonymous

        B S I have started alot of young colts and if u do ur ground work and never use spurs on a young horse…….they are several tricks they will try once maybe twice…..look at the girl she is pulling with one hand and pushing the horse farward with a spur…..rider needs training

      • Liz

        Agree! She gave him his head, every muscle in hi was prepping to go over, and it made a noise, thentried biting her…….cook chook brain. No good.

      • Anonymous

        I had a horse that started flipping , he did it more than once , the third time I got on i had a baseball bat , when he came up I hit him on the head he never did it again .

      • Kezza

        I don’t think Spurs had anything to do with this The horse has learnt this trick from previous bad treatment. Maybe a one rein stop immediately the horse started playing up may have prevented him flipping.

      • Anonymous

        I think there is too much speculation without enough information. All we saw was a short video of her already on the horse. How long has she been on? Has anyone checked this horses teeth or back, hips or neck? I have had a horse who was a great horse…. UNTIL you asked her to do what she didn’t want to do or tie her to something … over backwards she’d go !!! After much research on her past I learned she’d been in an accident and evidentally had issues from that. So hers were psychological not medical. But 90% of the time I think horses behavior is a direct response to either pain or rider issues. All goes back to desensitizing foals and doing ground work prior to expecting to get on! Actions get reactions so don’t always blame the horse. Personally I think this girl and whoever was filming knew the horse was irritated for some reason and thought she’d video herself being a “trainer”. Just saying….

      • Junebug

        Pony lover? Quite a name for somebody that obviously doesn’t have a clue, and obviously doesn’t “love” ponies or horses. Please avoid living animals and stick to figurines. Thank you

    • Anonymous

      Agreed. I’m no professional but never use spurs. Its like hitting a child because you can’t have patience to communicate.

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        Spurs can be a useful tool for both rider and horse if used correctly. And by correctly I don’t mean to jab it over and over to get it to move. You are supposed to roll the wheel of the spur up and down one to two times with little pressure

      • Anonymous

        I agree with that..aids are supposed to do just that..aid..not replace your common sense.

    • Angel

      I didn’t see spurs but do agree this could have been prevented with more ground training.

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        You can hear them. There’s a ringing noise of metal whenever she used her leg, simultaneously with clicking her tongue

    • Cassidy

      I’d work with this horse in a heartbeat, I’ve worked with harder horses!! Don’t ever put a horse down just because he’s more difficult then others!! Don’t ever own a horse if you can understand that they are animals!! They are like us. They think and feel like we do. That’s like saying this teenager is trouble and made some mistakes let’s put him down! It’s the same darn thing. If you have a horse/horses you should regime them until you can understand that.

      Reply
    • Anonymous

      I’m amazed how many people always blame the horse. I’ve heard instructors say it too. Horses have a reason for REACTING efore mountingthe way they do. Yes, lose the spurs, and ground training goes a long way to teach the horse to understand what is expected of it.

      Reply
    • Amanda

      There’s only one thing to do with him he needs to learn that he goes down he will not get his freedom he needs to be tied so he cannot get up upon going down and left to stay it may sound ctlruel but if that’s his habit that’s the only cure

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        Do you mean tying his head down so he can’t pull it up? If so, that would only make it worse. The tie-down she used seemed to be one of the reasons for him to flip over in the first place. Tied down heads cause horses to rear and ultimately flip over. They can neither lower their heads any further, nor move it to the sides or raise it, they start to panic and decide to go up all the way to try and get their heads up.

    • Anonymous

      I smell a set up. First of all she just “happened” to be filming. Secondly she smiled when she got up like she expected it. And the spurs. Why would you have all that gear on the horse? I feel sorry for the horse, having a rider like that. Totally the human’s doing. Poor horse.

      Reply
    • Judy Vowles

      Totally agree with Kate Savage.. you could see his sides flinching and the first thing I looked for was if she had spurs. Hate the things and I’ve been riding for over 50 years.

      Reply
  2. connie wilcox

    Yes Flippers are the most dangerous horses out there. Most likely this is a learned behavior. Horses are claustrophobic and trapping a horses head where they feel they have no other escape is likely to cause this problem. I’m NOT saying this girl did anything wrong. I would definitely loose the tie down on him though. The way I fix flippers is to first…stay off their back for now. Put them in drive lines and teach them flexation. They need to learn to give to pressure. There is an escape from pressure and that is to give to that pressure and search for the release. Start with lateral flexation. Once this is mastered get control of the hind quarters. Once the horse moves his hind quarters freely and is soft in his face I would again attempt to get on his back. NOW don’t try and force the horse forward. Hes already going to be worried about what your going to ask him. Bend the horse and move is hip around first. Just one step at first…then reward. Do it again,,and again..and again. Take it slow at first. You have to build the horses confidence. Obviously he has learned this behavior and probably suffers anxiety from it. Most horses do not like to throw themselves on the ground. The goal is to fist get him to use the thinking side of his brain rather than his reactive side. Think of it this way….its hard for a horse to raise his front end off the ground when his rear legs are moving. So do nothing but bend his head and yield his hindquarters in an “ask and release” fashion. This may take weeks maybe months but it will be worth it in the end. So in short how do you fix a flipper. Yeild the hind quarters and don’t trap the head.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      When I was a tween I saw a man I worked for break a horse from this, every time she would flip over he would sit on her neck while she was down. Made her stay that way for a couple of minutes after the third time she never did it again. I rode her for years after that

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        Someone may have a chance to save this horse from certain fate if the horse felt more trapped on the ground. This horse learned this behavior and will continue to repeat this no matter who is in his back. At this point, this horse is very dangerous.

      • michelle

        I’ve heard of this technique as well got to trap them while they are down..some horse yes it is a learned behavior, if even after u don’t trap their head and yeild.the hindquarters if they have learned it they will do it again

      • Anonymous

        Yep, I saw that happen too with an experienced trainer knowing what the horse was going to. Never did it again and went on to become a kids horse for the rest of its life. This was AFTER both a vet and chiropractor went over the horse first to make sure it was not a physical problem nor a poor fitting saddle.

    • joanne

      totally agree Connie! I hate that a label – “flipper” – is applied. It makes it sound like there is something wrong with the horse, when it is obvious something he has learned to protect himself from bad training. I do not believe any horse does this naturally/willingly without learning it as a protective measure. Very sad. This girl is very lucky she fell away from him.

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        When I watched the video I expected that the horse would go up and possibly over (or maybe a series of lunge and bucks). A horse that freezes should not be pushed with spurs as shown. The “unfreeze” is usually scary. A rider should be able to feel that an explosion could happen. Back to basics for both.

      • Anonymous

        I had a mare, very well trained but moody. When she did not feel like riding or her teeth floated or her feet trimmed she would flip right over on her back. It was a neat little trick she learned. The only time it was a problem was when I was on her back and she tried it I quick jumped forward on her neck with all my weight and she stopped. All this crap about horses being trained wrong or abused, sometimes a horse just gives something a try and when it works its hard to break.

      • Anonymous

        I disagree Joanne, I have a flipper and he will raise up and flip himself over everytime he decides he doesnt want to do something. Does not matter if your leading him or riding him. He flips. Before you ask, I have had him vet checked, an equine dentist checked his teeth and mouth, and a chiropractor has checked him. He was just an idiot. Today I am proud to say he is 100% kid safe and my 2 yr old granddaughter can ride him alone in our indoor arena. After having paid a ton of money to ensure there was nothing physical I grounf worked him until he was ready to be ridden. Everytime he raised up I flipped him the rest of the way over. Only did it 3 times and he figured it out. He never did it again. Now hes the best damn pony anyone could ask for.

    • marnie

      I agree with you about everything. I’ve had 2 horses that did the sudden flipping but with out the backing, just went over as soon as my bum touched. Had a chiropractor work on them and it never happened again. The horse in this post hollowed his back immediately, made me wonder if the saddle might have a nail or something poking him.

      Reply
    • Pony lover

      BS. pure BS. this horse or any horse that flips like that is not worth training once they’ve learned to do this. I was flipped by a horse and thrown clear. I was lucky. Sent him down the road.

      Reply
    • Joni Johnson

      You are spot on. When I had flippers I would force the issue and make them flip. They do not like going over backwards. This cured 99% of them. I start all my horses on the ground with driving in hand. But, there is the occasional horse that just can’t figure out forward with a rider. I never use spurs, especially on a young horse. What we don’t know here is what stage of training this horse is at. She did not pull him over.

      Reply
    • Anonymous

      Everyone can quote pat parelli, clint Anderson, Buck brennaman ect… I feel bad for this poor girl. What about the person she bought it from that told her “sure he’s a great little horse. He’s quite, sound and ready to go”. I’m sure she would have done a lot of this differently had she know that’s out come. I’d doesn’t really look like she ever rode him before. Presonally I might expect a little rear or buck but notflip over. Most decent horses have more self preservation than that.

      Reply
      • Kate Savage

        We know nothing about the horse or the girl expect what we see in the film. Why read something into the situation that you cannot observe?

      • Anonymous

        Seems to me that she knew what was coming. You don’t react with a laugh and shrugging it off if a horse you just bought and are now riding for the first time flips over like that

    • A. G.

      Great advice !! lateral bends and disengaging the hindquarters only way to go !! all on the ground first in a rope training halter for as many days/ weeks as necessary to gain his confidence and co-operation teaching him to bend laterally and follow his nose into an open rein, that rider was in my opinion was lucky not to have got seriously hurt or foolishly naïve to think she could attempt to convince this horse to go forward assuming she already knew it had an issue !!

      Reply
    • Dawn Zaugg

      I know this reply is old, but you have the best reply to this situation. Your advice is sound and I can only pray they listened to the ground driving and flexion part. This horse can be saved as can many others like it out there.

      Reply
    • Anonymous

      Best solution I’ve read. Spot on! Also using proper R+ training methods could help. A very thorough vet check is also a must. And some lessons in horse body language for the rider.

      Reply
  3. Anonymous

    First, helmet for gods sake.
    Person on the ground to help.
    And then the basics. You can tell this horse is all about going backwards, everything braced. Relax, talk to him, stop sticking with Spurs, buddy lead in front. Suspect this isnt the first time this behavior showed up.

    Reply
  4. Shiloh's Mom

    She is clearly poking him with spurs. Watch her feet. He gives her every signal he can that he does not like it. She does not catch on. He also most likely has no clue what she is asking. I do not believe he is a flipper or whatever term horse people want to use these days. The spurs hurt him and he just wanted her off. She is really gouging him with them. I would flip her off too, if I was the horse. Respect the horse, he will respect you back.

    Reply
  5. Chuck Mintzlaff

    It’s simply the result of archaic, 6,000 year old methods of ‘training.

    Reward-based training and sharing the ‘other relationship’ with horses does NOT have those ‘behavioral/bad horse problems.’

    Reply
  6. Angela Evans

    These are explosive, dangerous horses. They can be fixed, but it takes a long time and alot of patients. In my opinion, even after you untrain this behavior, they are never trustworthy mounts.

    Reply
  7. Corrina M

    HORSE OBVIOUSLY WAS NOT HANDLED CORRECTLY FROM THE GET -GO. INEXPERIENCED RIDER/HANDLER WHO CLEARLY PUT THIS POOR HORSE AND HERSELF IN A DANGEROUS SITUATION. FIRST “LOSE THE DAMN SPURS AS YOU CLEARLY DO NOT KNOW WHEN, OR HOW TO — USE THEM”. SECOND, “STAY OFF THE HORSE, AND GET SOME PROPER TRAINING IN BASIC HORSEMANSHIP”

    Reply
  8. Laura

    Don’t know much but would of turned the horse a little to get him going instead of spurring him.

    Reply
  9. vikki

    Poor Poor horse. Leverage bit, tie down and being kicked with spurs.
    Why wouldn’t you expect a response like that.

    No horse should ever feel that scared that they flip over or anything else like bucking, rearing, bolting etc etc.. ( all the results of the handlers)
    Only problem with this horse is the person on it. Issue’s like this are caused by people having no understanding of horses and not building a true relationship with them first before riding.

    Reply
  10. Chuck Mintzlaff

    I agree vikki.

    True forward impulsion cannot possibly come from external forces. But rather from from the horse’s heart and spirit.

    If you need a whip or spur, get off the horse!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  11. Heather

    She was pushing him out of his comfort zone…jabbing him with Spurs is not a reasonable way to train a horse. Shame on her. The horse did what he needed to do for protection. He got her off her back…

    Reply
  12. Anonymous

    Horses are smart but refuse to do something when pushed. This girl is in wide open spaces and the horse knows this. This horse is learning to get away from pain. Go back to basic training .

    Reply
  13. Dkiggens

    i could see within the first few seconds of this video that the horse was in great concern, not sure how to respond. The rider was not listening to the horse, she was only interested in her agenda not the horses welfare. Horses can not verbally communicate so we must pay attention to thier body language. I would have stopped the content jabbing and escalation of the negative stimulus. Got off the horse and begin ground work on giving to pressure, forward and back. That horse was being pushed too fast too hard, it tried to tell the rider. It probably learned this response to protect itself from what it did not understand. Slow and steady, on the horses time not ours. That 30 day “I’ll train your horse” is a detriment to horses and an ego trip for humans.

    Reply
    • Chuck Mintzlaff

      Agree to disagree about ‘giving to pressure.’

      That system of training has sort of ‘seen it’s day.’ We don’t need round pens or whips or clickers to train a horse anymore.

      Reply
    • Barbara Brown

      I’m sorry, but what on earth is the point of this tedious silliness – riding sitting backwards, and having the horse just go in reverse? Chuck brags ” no gimmicks, standing on their backs … ” etc, when all this is is nothing but show off trick riding. People ride facing FOREWARD. “Compassion, empathy” he mindlessly intones as if this is a wholly new concept thought up only by him. Gee! No trainer ever thought of that before?? All this dumb clip shows is the horse is rewarded for steeping backwards in circles. HUh??? In fact, horses rarely reverse in nature, only to step back a step to two to get around an obstacle when loose on their own. Chuck needs to understand the natural imperative of impulsion that all animals have inherent to be mobile. This clip is just ignorant, the coaching redundant and simple rehashed word salad.

      Reply
    • Barbara Brown

      Dangerous and irresponsible by any estimate. Letting a horse, (in this case a stallion no less), invade your personal space, rear up at you, run and buck around you is lunacy, and to stuff him with treats for it to boot! Letting any horse put his nose up to your face and press on your shoulder… GAK! So this particular horse was kindly, that sure does not mean any stallion can be thusly handled. Imprinted, bottle fed and treat stuffed horses soon learn to become even more aggressive and dangerous. I noticed how often the camera was switched off at certain junctions, suggests to the viewer he carefully edited out the points where the horse was getting dangerous. These are big animals, with strong instincts – man cannot treat them like big lovable pet dogs. Just look up all the horror stories of maulings and deaths of idiots pet-loving whales and other sea mammals to know this is just plain wrong. I hope no one ever takes instruction from this air head. Or else they better have some very good insurance.

      Reply
  14. Anonymous

    The initial problem is not the flipping. The horse was frozen up for whatever reason (there are actually many reasons horses freeze.) If the rider tries to force the horse forward by any method, the horse will explode in one way or another, usually by going straight up, running backward, and/or flipping over. The proper thing to do is to (very carefully!) turn the horse, asking him to take a step sideways. Once the horse takes a step the danger is generally over. As to WHY the horse froze up in the first place, there is no way to tell from this video. It’s like trying to determine why someone coughs a single time. More information would be needed to determine the root cause accurately.

    Reply
  15. Sandy Wallis

    There are horses who are flippers. It is an instinctual survival behavior which would be used if a predator such as a mountain lion jumped on their backs. While a horse will flip over without a rider, it is much more common with a rider, since the rider on his back will trigger the horse’s instinct more easily. Sometimes horses fall over when they rear, either because the rider’s weight throws them off balance, or the rider’s pressure on the reins -or a tiedown- doesn’t allow the horse to use his head to properly balance, or the horse’s feet slip out from under him. But there are a few horses who will flip on purpose. The horse on this video did actually flip. The flipping though, is not the real problem. The initial problem was that the horse froze up. When a horse freezes for whatever reason (and there are many reasons that horses freeze), trying to force him or her forward will always result in the horse blowing up- usually in the form of him going straight up, running backward, and/or flipping over. The correct thing to do with a horse that freezes is to (very carefully) ask him or her to step to the side. Once the horse actually takes a step, the danger is usually over. Without more information, all the theories as to why the horse displays this behavior is pure speculation. While someone may have hit on the correct reason, there’s no way to tell by this extremely short video.

    Reply
  16. melanie

    I have to disagree with most of the comments that say bad things about flippers. We all want to think it was nothing to do with us, but when it really comes down to it – it is human error that causes a horse to flip.
    The only time I’ve seen horse flip in the wild, be it on TV what when it had a predator on it’s back and it was protecting itself. Flippers in horses develop when the horse feels the need to protect itself from what ever is being inflicted on it! If you buy a horse that seems to flip, then something in it’s past has caused it, if you repeat what caused it to start then you reinforce the problem that has been created in the horses mind. Only when we change will the horse.
    Our sense of feel, speed and response is so much slower than the horses, something that might have seem quick to us is incredibly slow to the horse and they would have taken in far more information that our slow minds can process in their time. I’ve taken a screen clip of the video and slowed it right down so you can see and feel what the horse is feeling and saying back to the rider. The above video was rider error, too much pain inflicted, too much hand movement and too many commands that this poor horses did not know what was expected of him, his only release was to get the rider off.
    The slow motion version of part of the above clip…. http://youtu.be/i6VMn-Zxrm8

    Reply
    • Sandy Wallis

      I have seen some horses who flip without any rider interference (or rider) at all. At one time, many of the thoroughbreds coming out of Argentina would flip over if you looked at them wrong. Most of them were similarly bred, so I suspect that had a lot to do with it. I don’t think what this rider did actually caused the horse to flip, since a horse who has frozen up is likely to flip no matter what you do. She did not, however take action to AVOID the horse flipping over. So while she contributed to the problem her actions which we can see on the video did not actually cause the problem. What happened before the video started would have given a better handle on why the horse froze up in the first place. Once a horse is frozen, even the gentlest and/or most well-known cues can trigger a blow-up. The key is understanding what caused him or her to freeze in the first place.

      Reply
  17. Emily Barrett

    She should have tried to turn him around before using her spurs (if she had spurs)… The horse was froze for some reason that will never be known, but you just don’t sit there and start kicking you give the horse a minute. I just hope the horse and rider are ok.

    Reply
  18. Anonymous

    The horse didn’t think, “Oh, gee, I think I’ll rear up and flip over for something to do.” He was shaking, either in fear or uncertainty. If the rider had been smart, she would have gotten off and figured out what was wrong. Maybe teach the horse what she wanted from him before trying to spur or push him forward to prevent this kind of action. Anything she had done to him at that point was going to result in an explosion. I don’t know what the situation (or series of circumstances) was that led up to this moment, but the rider is 100% at fault for not recognizing the mental state of the horse.

    Reply
  19. Sarah Tucker

    Some horses are just crazy. I got flip on by a bottle-fed nightmare and it almost killed me. Flippers are real and dangerous!!!!

    Reply
  20. Anonymous

    This person obviously has no clue on how to train a horse that has no experience. Spurs were being used in a manner not intended. Spurs are a cue instrument not a gouge in the side to make to move thing..
    You can tell she is kicking him in the side with the off leg, jabbing the spur into him. Its an automatic reflex to try to protect himself. It hurt and she was the object of that pain. She got what she deserved..

    Reply
  21. gallantendeavor

    I bought a horse that was from the race track and flipped on a guy in an arena trying to get him to back up. He was sea sawing his mouth and spurring him. I could see it coming. He flipped and broke the guys pelvis. After about a month of ground training he was fine. I used a short whip on his chest and lightly tapped is chest and used a halter to put presser while I told him to back. Worked like a dream and he never flipped on me. When a horse plants his feet and isn’t moving that’s a red flag right there if you are asking him to move. I rode with spurs too because he was hot headed and suborn. But I knew my limits and picked my battles with him wisely.

    Reply
  22. Pango Hoiho

    I had a 1st cross 1/4 horse stallion who was dream to ride. His only fault was he wouldn’t tolerate drunks and abuse, he would immediately back flip drunks onto the ground, with abuse verbal or physical he would back flip them to the ground, if their foot was stuck in the stirrup he would stand there calm as till they dislodge themselves then gallop home. He was a abused horse when I got him

    Reply
  23. tash

    Personally I gotta wonder why she didnt open one hand. If they wont go forward wouldnt u see if he will at least take a sideways step. The way he was standing, looked like maybe first or 2nd time backed. He seemed pretty worried. Perhaps they rushing his education. To those who say put it down, grow up, u dont know what ur talking bout.

    Reply
  24. Stella

    I had a flipper. It was his way of avoiding the bit. Took his own medicine to cure him. Bitted him in tight side reins and asked him to move forward. After flipping himself 4 times and then getting his butt whipped when he refused to get back up, the 5th time he jumped straight up all four off the ground and flipped himself over. Hit the back of his head hard. Never did it again. We then started his education over with ground driving. He had been started wrong and allowed to get away with it. Dangerous habit that could get a human killed.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      Stella, you should really not have animals if you think that beating is the right thing to do.

      Reply
  25. Shelly

    The relationship between a rider and a horse should be one of mutual respect. Only then will the bond be established that will keep both safe and make that relationship one of pleasure. I think she knew what was going to happen and I believe she wanted it to happen. She actually seemed pleased when the horse flipped. That was pure abuse on her part. She should not be allowed to be around animals of any type until she learns that they are no toys.

    Reply
  26. Lifetime Equestrian

    TERRIBLE riding! She’s giving confusing messages to the horse and hasn’t the first clue how to ask the horse to move forward.

    The notion that the horse is a “flipper” is blaming terrible riding on the horse. It is never the horse’s fault. This woman needs a good trainer to teach her how to ride. She’s awful and I’m not surprised the horse just gave up on those mixed, confusing, and VERY irritating messages.

    Reply

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