short answer, because busy busy busy
About the rearing, make sure you only practice it with your horse beside you and not in front of you. I raise my hand a bit and say 'up'. Also I only ask it with her on my right side so she won't rear when I lead her.
In nature the Mother MareÂ© early in the foals life has little discipline to do. Later on though, as baby explores more MMÂ© starts to have to move baby around more. The "step back from me," most common instruction motion is a wave of the head from low to swinging overhead. It tends to lift baby from the forehand. I did not see it with Altea and Bonnie until Bonnie was at least five or 6 months old.
It also works as a boundaries reminder. I've used it for horses that rush me when I'm bringing the hay or feed into their stall with them in it.
One learns quickly to moderate it considerably because used with great energy and lifting the hand (it's our "neck and head" to the horse) causes a more energetic (and sometimes unwanted) reaction from the horse. In fact, one can get rearing. Hmmmm.....
And of course especially if one rewards beginning with minimal approximations.
Many people that teach horses to rear do stand directly in front and it works, without danger, precisely because either they know it's a boundary marking gesture to the horse, as MMÂ© taught it first, and of course then qualifies as a natural "aid," or they don't know why but only that it works.
Yes, I am using it with Bonnie now. I would not risk using it with a baby, say younger than five or six months. I think it's too alarming at that age, and I've seen Altea NOT use it until Bonnie was older.
Interestingly there is another gesture, unrelated to developing and aid and response for rearing that also is a boundary setter. I don't know how he figured it out, other than I know that he is one of the most keen horse observers out there, but Pat Parelli uses it to move the horse's butt away and keep him back ... bending over and "flattening the ears," by squinting our eyes up (since we can't flatten our ear literally) works very nicely to the the horse, "move away, keep back," without adding lift.
Where does it come from in the MMÂ© paradigm? Weaning, of course.
When the mare has weaned the baby mostly, and has kind of used up the butt hop (threat of a kick that momma never really gives) he will resort to snaking her head in low, ears laid back, and going for a bit above the knee on the front leg, or just above the hock on the rear.
It's a very serious statement from MMÂ©. As a herd social device it's obviously much used, "stay away from me patch of grass," or "I'm first at the water trough and you better remember it, you stupid nag." The facial expressions make me laugh. And MMÂ© most certainly socializes baby to these communications the baby will use later in the herd.
If a horse won't move back from me (never happened yet) by a soft overhead wave of my arm and hand, I would use the same arm and hand, bending over a bit, to snake a "strike," toward the front leg. If I trust the horse, as I do Bonnie, I would use it on the hind leg as well.
I'm teaching Bonnie to yield all around her body at present - to move away from the flat facing hand cue coupled with my voice cue. She's trying but often gets confused because she was also taught to move toward two wiggling fingers with whatever body part I point to.
I will likely, next time or two, use the naturally derived "aid" of the snaking hand and arm to move her over, if I must, but prefer not to. My reason? I prefer to reserve these "hard," aids derived from horse social learning for only very urgent issues.
And why reserve them? Because I avoid playing "herd boss," or "herb buddy," with horses. I think there is risk in that the first role is a challenge role. That is to say that the position of lead mare or herd boss is always up for grabs, though rarely challenged it can get rough very quickly should it occur - and I'm little compared even to Bonnie. And the second social interaction, herd buddy, is one of very rough play.
Bonnie slams ... or used to ... me in her play like yearlings play with each other. This while I'm attempting to lead her down the road or forest paty.
I give her the Obnoxious Monkey Elbow for her trouble, so that she finds it unpleasant to ram me.
She is learning.
I would not teach her to rear at this time, but I can see she'd love to because she does it well away from us (Kate and I) out of youthful exuberance and joy. Mom has socialized her well.
By the time she's another half year old I might experiment with it. It depends on her maturity and her responsiveness to our safety signals. Her maturity in other words.
For now putting her ears in our hands (by name, left or right ear), lifting and holding her own feet up, again by name, giving a thank you curtsy, and such small things are enough.
I was pleased to see some of the effects of this training so far come out last evening as the trimmer was working on Altea, and Bonnie was standing on a lead line next to the very high (18 inches or so) concrete driveway. She wanted to come see what we were doing, and get in on the treas her mom was getting during trimming. When the trimmer was done I told Bonnie to come on up and join us, and she just wasn't up to it with the usual commands, so I stepped over by her, asked her to come with me, as I cue her to be lead forward, and she tried. At that moment of her trying I asked for her off front hoof (the right hoof, as I was on her left), and she shifted weight and brought it up on the concrete. That was enough. She then hopped up the rest of the way.
When the sun comes out here she'll now be more ready to learn to get in my horse trailer(box).
And I think I'll be using the driveway slab some more before then.
The reason I went on about all these things really does have to do with "wild games," the forum topic. I like to play, and to make our encounters play as much as possible, and I'm delighted in how much wildness Bonnie is willing to express, and still keep us safe.
Though she's bumped us a time or two, sometimes out of fear and wanting to have 'Momma,' protect here, and of course sometimes in play, she is generally rather careful.
Don, Altea and Bonnie