My horse has gotten into the habit of backing up everytime I put any leg on her while she is stopped. When I ask her to turn on her hauches she starts to back up, even when I try to get her to side pass she starts to back up. Lately I have been backing her into a corner and asking her to do things which makes it impossible for her to back up at all, and she'll do all that I ask her to, but when I take her out of the corner again she continues to back up. IDEAS>?!?!?!
Backing up is their way of getting out of work. As long as you don't have any saddle fitting or soreness issues, it's probably an attitude thing.
When she is backing up swing her to the right or left and get her moving forward and put her back in the same direction you were initially going. Eventually she should learn that she's moves on your terms not on hers. With some horses it takes quite a bit of circles to get them moving forward again.
I wouldn't keep backing her or keep fighting her to go forward. It's not worth the battle. Swing her around, get her moving forward, repeat as many times as necessary.
Also, when you are in the middle of the arena you could be sending her mixed messages with your seat and legs on what you really want her to do, so make sure you are focuses and different cues for sidepass, yielding and backing.
It may sound harsh but if I'm sure I'm not putting any unnecessary pressure on the reins and my cues are correct in asking him to move forward and he backs up, instead of nagging with squeezes he gets a kick.
He's got it figured out now.
I agree with turning to left/right and getting the horse circling going forward, and then head back to the same direction...
But if all else fails or you're getting so frustrating that you want to start beating him bloody (happens to the best of us :) ) get soemone on the ground with a dressage or lunge whip to ensure the message is getting across loud and clear. Most of the time just seeing the whip back there is enough they wont even try it.
I know a gelding that used to do this. When he wanted to get out of work we would start to back up. Nothing would make him stop. So finally when we started to back up I would make him back up fast and hard. He finally realized that backing up wasn't go to get him out of work and he stopped doing it!