cool. It ends up appearing in many cowboy movies, historical movies and European coats of arms. In heraldry, the pose is referred to as "rampant" and is so popular that it is applied to pretty much any four-legged animal, including lions, wolves, and even mythological creatures like griffins. Technically, in heraldry, a rampant animal will stand on its left hind leg, with the three other legs elevated off the ground. The rearing pose also appears on some equestrian statues, although contrary to popular myth, the horse's pose has no relation to how the rider died. In real life, it's a Very Bad Thing, and only experienced trainers should even get on a horse with a rearing habit (although there is a difference between an actual rear and several of the dressage moves known as the "Airs Above the Ground")note . It is very easy to cause a rearing horse to fall over backwards on top of the rider, which can easily lead to serious injuries or even death. Often combined with Stab the Sky or Sword Pointing.
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- The Ferrari logo.
- The Winchester logo and the Colt, sans rider.
- The Norfolk Southern Railway's locomotives are painted with the silhouette of a rearing horse on the front ends. Their corporate logo is also a silhouette of a horse's head next to the letters: NS. (This logo is usually seen painted on locomotives and vehicles they own.)
Anime & Manga
- Done in the intro of the Vampire Hunter D : Bloodlust movie, posing in front of the hugeass moon, right after catching an arrow in flight. Just to show how cool and Badass D was. For bonus point it was a cyber horse with horns. And to make it even cooler, his cape flies up to form the shape of a massive pair of bat wings.
- In Pokemon Special, Platina's just evolved Rapidash strikes this pose after Platina mounts it and declares her intention to protect the three Lake Guardians with Diamond and Pearl despite her father's protests.
- In Durarara!!, Celty's horse does this all the time. Of course, said horse is a magical spirit typically in the form of a motorcycle, and Celty herself is a Dulahan (a Headless Horseman), so they can both do whatever the hell they want.
- In the second opening of the first season of Sailor Moon, the steed that Tuxedo Mask appears on strikes this pose.◊
- The iconic painting of Napoleon Crossing the Alps◊. In reality, he crossed the Alps on a sure-footed mule.
- The Equestrian statues of Simón Bolívar◊.
- The original design Leonardo da Vinci wanted for his horse statue was this pose. However he deemed it to difficult, so he went with a less awesome design. It was never finished due to a war.
- Velazquez's portrait of Count-Duke of Olivares◊. Velazquez was fond of this, he has several (more downplayed) portrayals of the spanish nobility in this way.
- The rearing white horse on red (though he looks more like he's about to kung fu some mother into next week), the arms and flag of the State of Lower Saxony in Germany, and of Westphalia (nowadays part of North Rhine-Westphalia).
- There is a statue of a horse in this pose atop the scoreboard at INVESCO Field, home of the Denver Broncos.
- In Washington, D.C., stands a statue of Andrew Jackson upon a rearing horse. The popular wisdom of the time was that such a statue — balancing solely upon the horse's hind legs — could not possibly be stable, and it's said that people used to take bets as to when it would finally collapse.
Films — Animation
- Strangely, one hero's mount does this way off in the distance in Ralph Bakshi's Wizards. What's strange about it is that mounts in the film only have two legs, so what exactly was the mount kicking out in front of it?
- My Little Pony: Equestria Girls:
- The statue in the frontyard of Canterlot High School, atop the portal leading to Equestria, is one of a rearing horse.
- In Rainbows Rocks, when you see a giant ethereal alicorn with a rainbow mane rearing above the clouds, you know the battle is over.
Films — Live-Action
- When Zorro movies stop having slow-motion rearing-horse scenes with the hero waving his sword as his cloak ripples in the wind, Zorro will be officially dead.
- In Stanley Kubrick's classic Barry Lyndon, the protagonist's son tries this at home. He falls off.
- At the end of Terry Gilliam's The Adventures of Baron Munchausen the Baron raises his hat as his horse rears up... and they both vanish. Both the horse and rider in this shot were doubles.
- Happens in The Return of the King when Aragorn and his army are at the Black Gates at the end of a Rousing Speech. According to the DVD Commentary, this happened entirely by accident, but Viggo Mortensen stayed on the horse and it looked good so they kept the shot.
- The Sicilian. The bandit protagonist Guilliano is robbing a train. The train's whistle goes off causing his horse to rear at the same time as a captured soldier takes his picture. The resulting photo is splashed across the newspapers.
- Sleepy Hollow has this occur several times with the Headless Horseman's steed.
- Mr. Bison from Street Fighter is featured in a painting that is just the abovementioned Napoleon Crossing The Alps after a switcheroo◊.
- Taken Up to Eleven in Alexander (2004) where we have Alexander's horse rearing as it faces an enemy War Elephant which is also rearing! Then the horse gets speared and Alexander falls off it.
- Black Beauty. It's on the freaking cover!
- The fourth book of the Song of the Lioness series is called Lioness Rampant, which is also the design the main character has on her shield. (Also, the Thai edition of the third book is a tracing of that famous Napoleon painting.)
- Subverted in the novel Sovereign by CJ Sansom. It turns out the protagonist's horse has been deliberately injured to make it do this as a murder attempt, and the character thrown off breaks his leg.
- In Going Postal, Moist Von Lipwig and Boris the horse get themselves splashed all over the front page of the newspaper in this pose.
- In "The Wallenstein Gambit", a Grantville American is leading the defense of Prague (on a borrowed horse) one of the other Americans tells him to do this to inspire his troops. He flat out refuses (being a decent rider, but a 50-odd year old jeweler) he does agree to wave his plumed hat.
- Mercedes Lackey's Heralds of Valdemar:
- The Kingdom of Valdemar's coat of arms is the Windrider, a winged horse rampant with broken chains.
- Appears in the original cover art for Arrow's Fall, though the "horse" is Talia's Companion, who is more like a guardian angel made flesh.
- This is a maneuver frequently used in Twenty Years After to save the rider.
- In Time Scout's Wagers of Sin, Skeeter winds up on a horse that rears in protest. He rapidly brings it under control.
- The Lord of the Rings: the only time a horse rears is when King Theoden's horse is spooked by a Nazgul. The horse falls over and crushes Theoden to death.
- The Lone Ranger and his horse, Silver.
- Doctor Who
- The horse the cheetah rides "Survival". Yes, the horse the cheetah rides. Note: During filming, the stunt man couldn't get the horse to rear, or do anything else, but the actress playing Karra could. It turned out that the horse hated men.
- In "Last Christmas", Santa Claus (yes, that Santa) does this on Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer after doing a Big Damn Heroes.
- Lancelot in the episode named after him does this on Merlin, just before he kills the griffin.
- Parodied during the credits of the first season of Blackadder. After a montage of Blackadder riding his horse swiftly across the countryside to dramatic music, the horse rears up... and Blackadder falls off.
- Get Smart. The same gag is used at the end of the episode riffing The Prisoner of Zenda, involving Max of course.
- Power Rangers Samurai: Jayden's conjured horse when he rides in to take charge of his team in "Origins".
- Angel. Vampire Hunter Holtz makes a Big Entrance in a flashback to Rome 1771. Likely it was the presence of evil vampire Angelus that caused the horse to rear.
- Game of Thrones. Inept squire Podrick Payne finally manages to get control of his horse after losing control of it during a Chase Scene, only for the horse to rear and throw him into the river. The knights who've been chasing Pod ride up and find him not only without a horse, but without a weapon (given that his axe is strapped to the horse). Only Brienne's intervention saves his life.
- The G1 My Little Pony pegasus "Firefly" is one of few ponies posed in a rampant position.
- Players have the option of Heroic Pose in The Sims 3 Pets expansion if the Sim has a high-enough Riding skill. The result is a rearing horse.
- In Shadow of the Colossus, you can make the protagonist's horse do this, and with practice you can use it to get the horse right into a gallop.
- The Legend of Zelda:
- Like the above example, the protagonist's horse can do this The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
- Epona pulls it off completely in one cutscene. After Link has defeated an opponent in a joust setting, Epona rears up on her hind legs in a Victory Pose, with Link brandishing his sword and flames leaping in the background.
- There's a moment which should be cliché, but somehow isn't, where Ganondorf, the true Big Bad and the Foil to Link, rears up on his horse surrounded by fire in contrast to Link with Epona in the sunset.
- Happens as well on the title screen from Ocarina of Time.
- When you finish a stage as Link using the Sword weapon in Hyrule Warriors, during the victory cutscene, he jumps onto Epona's back as she runs past at full gallop, and then has her rear as he brandishes his sword. Ironically, the victory cutscene for the Horse weapon is far more sedate.
- In addition, one of the Horse weapon's Heavy attacks has Epona rear and flail her hooves, nailing any enemies in the vicinity multiple times.
- In Assassin's Creed I, you can get your horse to rear as well. Makes for some truly impressive shots when doing it on the bluffs overlooking Jerusalem...
- Pegasus is a ridiculously useful creature in Scribblenauts. He also rears sometimes. It's possible from time to time for him to rear just as you grab the Starite, making for an extremely awesome end scene.
- This happens in some of the critical hit animations in the Fire Emblem series. Fridge Logic ensues when you realize that even more damage could be done if the horse reared and pummeled the opponent in the middle of the attack, rather than the beginning. Bizarrely, even pegasi (i.e. flying horses) do this sometimes.
- Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning's Eidolon transforms into a horse, which does this in an official image without a saddle or reins (possible with strong legs and good balance, but in Lightning's case it's more likely that she's using her gravity manipulation powers).
- Can be done in Red Dead Redemption. Try doing it while the camera is facing the sunrise/sunset.
- The horses of Star Stable will rear if you press X to stop them really fast instead of slowing down gradually with S; this is never treated as a training problem as it would be in real life. Your horse may also rear if you run into things, but this is slightly more understandable (especially since smashing into things at a full gallop will take out half your horse's HP, so you know it hurts).
- In The Elder Scrolls Online, can be done by pressing the spacebar if the horse is standing still. If you are in combat and take enough hits, the horse will rear and knock you off.
- The box art for Darksiders shows the protagonist, War, rearing back on his horse.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: The ponies sometimes rear without a rider (it's not like they usually have one) as a kind of stock gesture, but they're so diminutive that it tends to look more cute than impressive.
- Twilight Sparkle obliges Spike by doing this when they go off to rescue Rarity.
- During the Season 1 finale "Best Night Ever", Fluttershy goes a little off in the head and starts Chewing the Scenery...
- In "Luna Eclipsed", Luna enhances the dramatic effect of this trope by thrusting one of her front legs skywards when rearing. Then a lightning bolt strikes. This may have been her intent.
- In "Too many Pinkie Pies" one of Pinkie's clones does this while being ridden by another Pinkie clone.
- Rarity appears to know kung fu, or a pony equivalent. She is not shy to use it, should the situation call for it — ask the changelings she punched in the jaw (with a small smile of enjoyment, it should be said). Naturally, the stances have her forelegs in the air.
- Happens a couple of times in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003), of all shows: The Tengu Shredder does this on his Hellish Horse in "Enter the Dragons Part 2". Happens again with a regular horse in "Tempus Fugit", when Viral sends the Turtles back to the medieval ages
- The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: In "Paw and Order", Winnie-the-Pooh as the Masked Bear tries to do a Zorro-style dramatic rear with Eeyore twice. On the first go he falls off. The second time he pulls it off, but then falls off almost immediately afterwards as Eeyore walks away.
- Spanish Riding School in Vienna trains horses and riders to do awesome tricks like this. It requires tremendous strength and balance on the part of the horse to do it safely, which is why these moves represent the high point of a long training career.