[[quoteright:350:[[Franchise/{{Zorro}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Zorro.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Kids, don't try this at home. [[RealityEnsues You'll fall off.]] Or worse.]]

The Rearing Horse is an iconic pose of a horse rearing back so its front hooves are off the ground. It is used in movies because it is so dramatic.

It looks wild, powerful, liberating, and, yes, [[RuleOfCool 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.

[[SomewhereAnEquestrianIsCrying 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]]one is on command, and one is not. This difference is important. There is an important physical difference too, to do with the angle above the horizontal at which the torso is held: in the Airs, the horse remains well-balanced and in control of its movements, with the body held low over bent legs so it'll fall forward. In a rear, everything goes up near-vertically on a very narrow base, and is prone to toppling, especially if the horse is agitated. [[/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 StabTheSky or SwordPointing.



* 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.)

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Done in the intro of the ''LightNovel/VampireHunterD : 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 ''Manga/PokemonSpecial'', Platinum's just evolved [[HellishHorse Rapidash]] strikes this pose after Platinum mounts it and declares [[spoiler:her intention to protect the three Lake Guardians with Diamond and Pearl despite her father's protests]].
* In ''LightNovel/{{Durarara}}'', Celty's horse does this all the time. Of course, said horse is a magical spirit [[MyHorseIsAMotorbike typically in the form of a motorcycle]], and Celty herself is [[Myth/CelticMythology a Dulahan]] (a HeadlessHorseman), so they can both do whatever the hell they want.
* In the second opening of the first season of ''Anime/SailorMoon'', the steed that Tuxedo Mask appears on [[http://www.sailorgalaxy.de/tl_files/gallery/anime_screenshots/Opening-ending-eyecatch/Season1_opening3/SailorMoon_opening3%20%2873%29.JPG strikes this pose.]]

* The iconic painting of ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Napoleon4.jpg Napoleon Crossing the Alps]]''. In reality, he crossed the Alps on a [[BoringButPractical sure-footed mule]].
* The Equestrian statues of [[http://img443.imageshack.us/img443/1283/plazabolivar12hs.jpg Simón Bolívar]].
* The original design Creator/LeonardoDaVinci 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 [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/39/Retrato_ecuestre_del_conde-duque_de_Olivares%2C_by_Diego_Vel%C3%A1zquez.jpg Count-Duke of Olivares]]. Velazquez was fond of this, he has several (more downplayed) portrayals of the spanish nobility in this way.
* The [[http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Kent_flag.svg 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.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* It is not uncommon to see [[http://www.tresor-de-momes.fr/Images/lucky%20luke%20sur%20jolly%20jumper.jpg Jolly Jumper rearing with his cowboy on his back]], on covers or splash pages of ''ComicBook/LuckyLuke''.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Strangely, one hero's mount does this way off in the distance in Ralph Bakshi's ''WesternAnimation/{{Wizards}}''. What's strange about it is that mounts in the film only have two legs, so [[FridgeLogic what exactly was the mount kicking out in front of it]]?
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirls'':
** The statue in the front yard of Canterlot High School, atop the portal leading to Equestria, is one of a rearing horse.
** In ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirlsRainbowRocks'', when you see [[spoiler:a giant ethereal alicorn with a rainbow mane rearing above the clouds, you know the battle is over]].
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheDarkKnightReturns''. While giving a RousingSpeech to the vigilante group Sons of Batman, Batman's horse rears in response to their leader holding a [[HollywoodTorches burning torch]].

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* When ''Franchise/{{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 Creator/StanleyKubrick's classic ''Film/BarryLyndon'', the protagonist's son tries this at home. He falls off.
* At the end of Creator/TerryGilliam's ''Film/TheAdventuresOfBaronMunchausen'' 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 ''[[Film/TheLordOfTheRings The Return of the King]]'' when Aragorn and his army are at the Black Gates at the end of a RousingSpeech. According to the DVD Commentary, [[ThrowItIn 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.
* ''Film/SleepyHollow'' has this occur several times with the Headless Horseman's steed.
* Mr. Bison from ''Film/StreetFighter'' is featured in a painting that is just the above-mentioned ''Napoleon Crossing the Alps'' [[http://s9.postimage.org/l951nxll9/tumblr_ly3dzy2w_Er1qghhwyo1_500.jpg after a switcheroo]].
* Taken UpToEleven in ''Film/{{Alexander}}'' (2004) where we have Alexander's horse rearing as it faces an enemy {{War Elephant|s}} ''which is also rearing!'' Then the horse gets speared and Alexander falls off it.

* Several joke lists purport to explain the code for equestrian statues (one hoof off the ground = died in battle, two hooves = died in bed, etc.) They're rarely the same (since it's a myth in the first place, but they always end with "four hooves off the ground = a very skilled sculptor".

* ''Literature/BlackBeauty'' sometimes displays this trope on the front cover.
** Humorously downplayed with the pony Merrylegs -- when he's had enough of children clambering on him, he rises up so they slide off his back onto the grass.
* The fourth book of the ''Literature/SongOfTheLioness'' 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 ''Discworld/GoingPostal'', Moist Von Lipwig and Boris the horse get themselves splashed all over the front page of the newspaper in this pose.
* In "[[Literature/SixteenThirtyTwo 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.
* Creator/MercedesLackey's ''Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar'':
** 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.
** Also part of the offensive repertoire of equines in combat -- not only Companions but also trained horses like the Shin'a'in warsteeds.
* This is a maneuver frequently used in ''Literature/TwentyYearsAfter'' to save the rider.
* In Literature/TimeScout's ''Wagers of Sin'', Skeeter winds up on a horse that rears in protest. He rapidly brings it under control.
* ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'': 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.
* [[Literature/TheHorseAndHisBoy Bree]] (an IntellectualAnimal and former war stallion) mentions that war horses were taught to rear on cue in combat to give added heft to a blow.
* Parodied in ''[[Literature/TheElenium The Tamuli]]'' with a minor character who rears his horse for dramatic effect, thinking it makes him look cool. The main characters immediately declare it cliché.
** Done by Sparhawk during his goodbye to Lilias, again for dramatic effect as he is trying to impress her neighbors. The others call him out for it.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* The ''Series/{{Zorro}}'' TV series, naturally. A shot of Tornado rearing with Zorro concludes the opening credits. As do many episodes, with Zorro saluting his pursuers before disappearing in the night.
* ''Franchise/TheLoneRanger'' and his horse, Silver.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** The horse the cheetah rides in "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", SantaClaus (yes, ''that'' Santa) does this on Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer after doing a BigDamnHeroes.
* Lancelot in the episode named after him does this on ''Series/{{Merlin|2008}}'', just before he kills the griffin.
* Parodied during the credits of the first season of ''Series/{{Blackadder}}''. After a montage of Blackadder riding (and chasing) his horse swiftly across the countryside to dramatic music, the horse rears up... and Blackadder falls off.
* ''Series/GetSmart''. The same gag is used at the end of the episode riffing ''Literature/ThePrisonerOfZenda'', involving Max of course.
* ''Series/PowerRangersSamurai'': Jayden's conjured horse when he rides in to take charge of his team in "Origins".
* ''Series/{{Angel}}''. VampireHunter Holtz makes a BigEntrance in a flashback to Rome 1771. Likely it was the presence of evil vampire Angelus that caused the horse to rear.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones''. Inept squire Podrick Payne finally manages to get control of his horse after losing control of it during a ChaseScene, 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). [[BigDamnHeroes Only Brienne's intervention saves his life]].
* Spoofed in the Danish series ''1864'' in a scene where an artist is painting a picture of an officer on a rearing horse, while said officer posing in his studio on a wooden horse (which is not rearing, of course).

* The G1 ''Franchise/MyLittlePony'' pegasus "Firefly" is one of few ponies posed in a rampant position.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Players have the option of Heroic Pose in ''VideoGame/TheSims3'' ''Pets'' expansion if the Sim has a high-enough Riding skill. The result is a rearing horse.
* In ''VideoGame/ShadowOfTheColossus'', you can make Wander's horse do this, and with practice you can use it to get Agro right into a gallop.
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'':
** Like Wander above, Link can command his steeds to do this ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess Twilight Princess]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild Breath of the Wild]]''.
** ''Twilight Princess'' also has several other instances of the trope:
*** After Link has defeated King Bulblin in a joust on Eldin Bridge, Epona rears up on her hind legs in a VictoryPose, with Link brandishing his sword and the curtain of Twilight rippling in the background.
*** There's a moment which should be cliché, but somehow isn't, where [[spoiler:Ganondorf]] rears up on his horse surrounded by fire in contrast to Link with Epona in the sunset.
*** Amusingly, spurring a [[ALoadOfBull Bulbo]] to a gallop results in this trope as well. RealityEnsues when Link utterly fails to keep his ass in the saddle, loses his grip on the reins, and spends the entire charge hanging onto the ridge of the saddle for dear life.
** Happens as well on the title screen from ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]]''.
** When you finish a stage as Link using the Sword weapon in ''VideoGame/HyruleWarriors'', 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 ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedI'', 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 ''VideoGame/{{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 ''VideoGame/FireEmblem'' series. FridgeLogic 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.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'': 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 device).
* Can be done in ''VideoGame/RedDeadRedemption''. Try doing it while the camera is facing the sunrise/sunset.
* The horses of ''VideoGame/StarStable'' will rear if you press X to stop them really fast instead of slowing down gradually with S; [[SomewhereAnEquestrianIsCrying 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 ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsOnline'', 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 ''VideoGame/{{Darksiders}}'' shows the protagonist, War, rearing back on his horse.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'': 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.
** Fluttershy takes this stance to gear up for her final cheering attempt in the opening scene of "Sonic Rainboom."
** 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 ChewingTheScenery...
** In "Luna Eclipsed", [[LargeHam Luna]] enhances the dramatic effect of this trope by thrusting one of her front legs skywards when rearing. [[DramaticThunder Then a lightning bolt strikes.]] [[PhysicalGod 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.
** [[TheFashionista Rarity]] appears [[SilkHidingSteel to know kung fu]], [[CulturedBadass or a pony equivalent]]. [[GirlyBruiser She is not shy to use it, should the situation call for it]] -- ask the [[EmotionEater changelings]] she punched in the jaw (with a [[GrinOfAudacity small smile of enjoyment]], it should be said). Naturally, the stances have her forelegs in the air.
** In "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS5E13DoPrincessesDreamOfMagicSheep Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?]]", a giant-sized Derpy cannot resist doing a showy "rearing pegasus" move when DragonKnight Spike chooses her as his steed.
* Happens a couple of times in ''WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003'', of all shows:
** The Tengu Shredder does this on his HellishHorse 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.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheNewAdventuresOfWinnieThePooh'': In "Paw and Order", Winnie-the-Pooh as [[NonPoweredCostumedHero 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.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* 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.
* Similarly, many Hollywood stunt horses are taught to "rear" on command; as with the Airs, however, the horse remains balanced and in control of its movements.