Backing Up?

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Backing Up?

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    08-13-2009, 05:31 PM
Backing Up?

My horse is fully trained but has been a spoiled brat for the last 3 years. The lady I brought him from purchased him fully trained at 3 years old, but she never rode him and let him become pushy and dominant over her. She treated him like a big ill behaved dog. Since I brought him in April he has come a long way (stopped biting, kicking, bucking, crowhopping, walking infront or on top of me, etc). I started from the very basics (walking on a lead, etc) like I was retraining him. I have just started to actually ride him and when he doesn't want to do something (which is always) he just starts to backup. I try to get him to walk, change directions, do circle, etc to get him to stop backing up but it hasn't really worked. I don't have alot of training expierence and I was seeking help from the people at the barn I boarded him at but I just recently moved to a new house and I have no one to help me. Any suggestions?

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    08-13-2009, 05:48 PM
Super Moderator
Have you tried turning the backing up into "your" idea? Like when he starts backing up you just start asking him to back up for as long as it takes until he stops when you stop telling him to back up?

This didn't work for my mare just because she would back up because she was confused (she also "acted" out but it was more of a confusion/scared thing) about what I was asking and that was her way of saying "what are we doing? Help!" but it sounds like it might work in your case. =)
    08-13-2009, 05:50 PM
I have tried it before, but he will back me all the way into trees, fences, trailers, etc.
    08-13-2009, 05:56 PM
Super Moderator
Hmmm. Does he do those neck flex thingies? Where you let one rein go loose and bring his head around to your foot? That worked pretty well to get my mare out of backing up. She would just turn really tightly in a really small circle until she decided to stop, which she would pretty quickly.
    08-13-2009, 05:58 PM
My gelding used to do this, and I would just give him a big smack on the butt as soon as he started backing, but for some reason I don't think that would work with your horse.

Does he do it on the ground or while you're riding him or both?

I would make him do a 180 as soon as he backs up. As soon as he completes the spin, stop him and give him a chance to hold still. It might distract him enough to keep him from continuing to back up. If he keeps backing up, make him do 4 or 5 spins and then see if he'll quit.

I like the other girl's idea too. Back him up about 30 feet or until he's sick to death of walking backwards. That's the same way I trained my other gelding to stop spinning and trying to go back home. Every time he spun, I'd spin him in circles about 10 times. Eventually he learned that if he tried to spin, he'd be forced to spin a LOT, so he stopped trying.
    08-14-2009, 07:14 PM
Thumbs up

Does he do those neck flex thingies?
He doesn't stand and flex his neck but he will bend pretty far before he will turn a circle.

My gelding used to do this, and I would just give him a big smack on the butt as soon as he started backing, but for some reason I don't think that would work with your horse.
I have a feeling that if I smacked him on the butt I wouldn't be on his back for long lol. I have tried making him do circles before, and it has helped in the short term but it hasn't solved the problem. I guess I will just keep trying this and maybe it will become more effective.

Thanks for the suggestions
    08-14-2009, 10:26 PM
Paul does the same thing when i'm riding. He seems to do it more when I don't let him stop and eat on the trail. I have to pull his head to the side I want him to turn to and give him a nice strong kick in the side to get him going. Once he gets started, I praise the heck out of him. It's a process and I take it one step at a time. Good luck.
    08-15-2009, 08:55 PM
paul does the same thing when i'm riding. He seems to do it more when I don't let him stop and eat on the trail.
Thats probably why Andy does it too - and because he is very attached to my other two horses and he hates being taken away from them.

Thanks everyone for the advice, I'll keep working on it and hopefully we will see improvement!

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