The word "backing" - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 08-17-2013, 01:10 AM Thread Starter
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The word "backing"

So is this new terminology like "text speak", or a regional thing, or have I just lived under a rock my whole life? What exactly does it mean?

This forum was the first place I ever seen it used and it took me the longest time to figure out that wasn't being used as the same word as putting your horse in reverse. Let me tell you the first couple of times I read it, I was thinking "WTH?", why can't you back a yearling or 2 year old?

In the context it's being used I'm thinking it means under saddle but is there more to it that that? Am I way off base?
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post #2 of 13 Old 08-17-2013, 02:43 AM
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Not sure if it's a regional thing or not, but I do hear it used for getting on the horse's back the first few times pretty frequently.

For walking backwards, it's usually "backing up" instead of just "backing"
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post #3 of 13 Old 08-17-2013, 03:25 AM
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I'd need to see the context of what you are talking about, but do you mean 'breaking'?

If so that's an English term, and means riding for the first time.
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post #4 of 13 Old 08-17-2013, 04:00 AM
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I don't think it's regional, but it's not overly common. To me, it refers to just the sort of getting on a horses back - possibly being led around, where as breaking is teaching them respond to aids and be ridden independently.

Some people seem to just "back" horses when they're younger and them put them out.
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post #5 of 13 Old 08-17-2013, 06:32 AM
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It may depend on the context, but around here "backing" a horse is basically starting a horse under saddle.

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post #6 of 13 Old 08-17-2013, 07:40 AM
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Around here, "backing" means backing your horse up.....hahaha....see I use it all the time

Putting your horse in reverse! There!! Whether on the ground or riding. " I need to start to practice backing my horse up prior to my trail class." I don't know....we use a lot of ' hilly billy' talk around that could be it!

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post #7 of 13 Old 08-17-2013, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by PaintHorseMares View Post
It may depend on the context, but around here "backing" a horse is basically starting a horse under saddle.
It means putting the horse in reverse where I am from, which is originally north of the Mason-Dixon

This is the same issue I came across, after retiring south, regarding "saddle".

It took me a while to figure out what the locals meant when they said "does that horse saddle?"

The horse in question was older, well broke and being ridden on the trails, so I thought maybe they meant HOW WELL did the horse stand to have a saddle put on; even though that didn't make sense.

"Saddle" or "saddling" is a term used in the south to say whether or not a horse gaits, generally meaning to perform a rack or a single foot.

I've been here ten years and still have to stop and think about the context when I hear someone say "that horse will really saddle, when you ask it"
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post #8 of 13 Old 08-17-2013, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AlexS View Post
I'd need to see the context of what you are talking about, but do you mean 'breaking'?

If so that's an English term, and means riding for the first time.
I've heard breaking, training and started under saddle used all my life. Those I understand. I finally found a thread where it was used.

Would you even consider
"Much depends upon the horse. The OP stated the horse was not only started before 2, but was small and immature. Under those circumstances there is too much risk of issues later on and yes, I would always pass on a horse like that. Always. There is no reason to buy an "at risk" horse when there are plenty of sound horses around with no issues.

No, starting a horse at 4 is no guaranty of not having issues, but that is not relevant to the question at hand. The horse in question is 2 right now - not 4, so the comparison to make would be to a 2 year old that had not been backed.

People that back horses before 2 are either ignorant, stupid, or irresponsible, or a combination thereof - I don't care WHO they are... "
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post #9 of 13 Old 08-17-2013, 02:39 PM
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"Backing" is a common term in the Uk for starting a horse under saddle. "Breaking" a horse is not used as often as it used to be as it seems to be less politically correct, people don't like to refer to "breaking" anything.

I use the term backing, it seems to sum things up. making a horse back up is called "reining back" usually here.
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post #10 of 13 Old 08-17-2013, 04:11 PM
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Yes as Clava says
Its a really old and still used UK term for getting a young horse used to having a rider on its back
You quite often read in an advert
'Backed as a 3 year old and turned away to mature....'
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