Help...Backing Up - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 06-21-2010, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
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Help...Backing Up

I have an OTTB im retraining, hes coming along but one thing we are having problem with at our stage is backing up when asked while under saddle..he does it most of the time on the ground but when im on his back yea doesn't really. I have pulled back on the reins while moving my hands back and forth..but he still resists it I make sure he atleast moves back a few steps before I stop but thats after a while of me doing this. Any suggestions? He used to do it when I first got him but then he was off for 4 months and when we got back into training and I forgot to work on backing up at first.. I know shame on me..but it was only a couple rides. Theres a pic of my baby <3
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post #2 of 13 Old 06-21-2010, 10:12 PM
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Backing shouldn't come from the hands. Backwards is still a forward movement, just in a different direction.

Your legs or seat should ask for movement and your hands should simply block forwards so it isn't an option.

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post #3 of 13 Old 06-22-2010, 04:37 AM
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Yep as said above. Keep your hands still so you have a steady contact on the bit but not pulling backwards. From there, sit forward a little (tilt onto your pubic bone) and put your leg on. Do not change your position until the horse takes a step backwards, then release all pressure and ask him to walk forwards again.
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post #4 of 13 Old 06-22-2010, 06:49 AM
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It could be hit bit? if it hurts him too much from pulling back


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post #5 of 13 Old 06-22-2010, 09:53 AM
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Oh and not shame on you for not working on backing up in your first few rides. My boys been in work since he came ott for almost 4 months now and I've only recently started to introduce rein back under saddle. It is far more important to get forward aids first before worrying about rein back, plus some horses will use it as an evasion once they learn they can do it!
Don't focus hugely on rein back, just when you're riding him, maybe do one or two, just casually ask for a couple of steps backwards, then go back into working him again. You really don't want to over do it.

White foot, I very much doubt the bit is hurting him. The OP stated that they are moving their hands around to try and get rein back, this is going to make the horse resist. Quiet hands make a quiet mouth.
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post #6 of 13 Old 06-23-2010, 06:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayty View Post
Oh and not shame on you for not working on backing up in your first few rides. My boys been in work since he came ott for almost 4 months now and I've only recently started to introduce rein back under saddle. It is far more important to get forward aids first before worrying about rein back, plus some horses will use it as an evasion once they learn they can do it!
Don't focus hugely on rein back, just when you're riding him, maybe do one or two, just casually ask for a couple of steps backwards, then go back into working him again. You really don't want to over do it.

White foot, I very much doubt the bit is hurting him. The OP stated that they are moving their hands around to try and get rein back, this is going to make the horse resist. Quiet hands make a quiet mouth.

I knew my horse was uncomfortable when backing because he was hesitant to back, would throw his head and chomp on the bit. Come to find out the bit was pinching his tongue.


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post #7 of 13 Old 06-23-2010, 06:45 AM
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How were you asking for the rein back though? Every rider I've seen try to rein back by moving the reins around has had a resistant horse. If the OP's horse travels fine and comfortably with a contact at other times and will pull up with the rein, I'd be dubious in saying it's the bit.
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post #8 of 13 Old 06-23-2010, 08:52 AM
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Something I was told a few years ago and stuck with me is that horses don't actually learn from pressure, they learn from the release of pressure. I would start over with him again, make a wall with your reins tilt your pelvis and give leg cues but AS SOON as he takes a step release the pressure. Do this a few times and then ask for two steps, and so on. I would back him a few times and then go to something else, coming back to backing after a few minutes. I know most of the horses I've worked with if you do too much without a break they get testy,lol.
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post #9 of 13 Old 06-23-2010, 09:00 AM
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That's right jacksmama, they learn from pressure/release or discomfort/comfort. That release of pressure the second they give the appropriate reaction is vital for the horse to know that they have done the right thing. If you don't release the pressure immediately, the horse has no idea that the reaction it gave was the right reaction. Like if you give a kid a maths question, keep smacking it when it gets the wrong answer and hen it gets the right answer you smack it for taking so long to get the right answer. How's the kid meant to know it did the right thing?
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post #10 of 13 Old 06-24-2010, 06:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayty View Post
How were you asking for the rein back though? Every rider I've seen try to rein back by moving the reins around has had a resistant horse. If the OP's horse travels fine and comfortably with a contact at other times and will pull up with the rein, I'd be dubious in saying it's the bit.
I would pull back with both then whichever back foot went back first I would release the pressure from the rein, and so on. I changed his bit and he backed wonderfully after that. I actually haven't seen him throw his head once since changed.


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