06-30-2010, 01:52 PM
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I think it depends on the level of the problem and the horse's personality. I took a gelding on for a friend who was absolutely horrible with this, especially on trails. If he didn't want to go somewhere or do something, he would back up, and if you popped him on the butt, he would run backwards, if you brought his head around, he would run backwards stumbling over everything and eventually he would circle. If you asked him to back until he was done.... we would be dangerously backing and tripping over things and it never got better. It became less frequent, but every time we hit this wall he fought me with everything he had. One time it was in an alley way; we were by ourselves and he started doing this ridiculous backing thing. The passage was lined on one side with barbed wire fence, and he ran backwards right into it. He wasn't hurt too badly, he had about 8 small punctures from the wire and a tetanus shot. But, he definitely never ran backwards after that. When I would feel him getting worked up, I would put him on a small circle and trot for a bit. I would do some upward and downward transitions, ask him for some half halts, try and get him to give to bit and flex to the circle. I found with bratty trail horses, making them put their mind on actual work helps a lot. They forget completely about running home or the horse that just passed by, or running backwards or crow hopping or whatever. Eventually they start giving and flexing, and doing the transitions and half halts you are asking for. I do 20 laps one way in the circle, and 20 laps the other way, and then we talk off like nothing ever happened.