Backing up, not what I want! - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 12 Old 01-30-2011, 08:00 AM Thread Starter
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Backing up, not what I want!

So the past two times we have gone for a ride when we get home Gizmo doesn't want to go up the hill to get to his barn and I have no idea why. He will take one step in the snow and be like "what! No way" and turn on his haunches. So I keep trying to make him go up it but then he started backing up without me pulling on him or anything! And back up right into the snow bank or backs down the drive way. When I try to pull back to make him stop he just backs up quicker. Yesterday I said "HOE" and gave him a smack on the shoulder and that seemed to work but not very much.
The first time I didn't have enough time to fool around with him so I just made him put his front feet in the snow and then walking him up, but yesterday I wasn't giving up. I ended up have to use my reins as a whip to smack him to go up it.
So now my question is how do I get from stopping that backing up stuff? I know you are supposed to turn them and I have tried, but he has really fast turns and that part of the driveway is a little icy so I am afraid he is going to slip and hurt himself. Any ideas?

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post #2 of 12 Old 01-30-2011, 08:14 AM
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Hmmm. Well, icy creates an issue for sure. Normally when a horse wants to back to avoid something I have always done one of 2 things, depending upon the room available and what the situation is. I either say "ok-you want to back-fine. Go for it!" And make them back...and back...and back..until they no longer want to. If, as my old guy was prone to do, they are backing to avoid something like a creek-I turn him and back him thru it. You also can try, if you have the room, go back and forth and zig zag up the hill instead of straight on.
That said, I did have one years ago who took to misbehaving on hills, out of the blue. Turned out to be a hip issue. So, it this is something uncharacteristic for your guy, you might want to think about back, hip, etc.

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post #3 of 12 Old 01-30-2011, 09:03 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franknbeans View Post
Hmmm. Well, icy creates an issue for sure. Normally when a horse wants to back to avoid something I have always done one of 2 things, depending upon the room available and what the situation is. I either say "ok-you want to back-fine. Go for it!" And make them back...and back...and back..until they no longer want to. If, as my old guy was prone to do, they are backing to avoid something like a creek-I turn him and back him thru it. You also can try, if you have the room, go back and forth and zig zag up the hill instead of straight on.
That said, I did have one years ago who took to misbehaving on hills, out of the blue. Turned out to be a hip issue. So, it this is something uncharacteristic for your guy, you might want to think about back, hip, etc.
Hmmm, ok, if he does it again I will try to back him up. I have a really long driveway. I just didn't want it to seem like I was giving into what he wanted which is to back up. Yes, the ice stinks and its just in the spot too grrrr. I don't think its that because he went on the hills just fine on our ride. I think its just that hill. IDK if its because he isn't used to going up that one because normally I would take him up a different one but the one I take him up when there isn't snow is shoveled and steeper and I'm afraid it would be too slick and the other hill that we have been going down this winter is now blocked in with HUGE snow banks because we have gotten so much lately.

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post #4 of 12 Old 01-30-2011, 09:26 AM
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Just be really careful on the ice!

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post #5 of 12 Old 01-30-2011, 12:36 PM
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Also remember that if he is backing up and you want him to stop, do not pull back on the reins. Cue him forward, or turn him, but pulling back will just continue him backing.
Is there ice under the snow where he balks? Has he had a bad experience entering a snow bank in the past? Is he wearing shoes, afraid he will slip? It is funny that he doesn't want to head toward the barn.
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post #6 of 12 Old 01-30-2011, 12:36 PM
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Usually what I do when a horse refuses to go forward and is backing away from where I want to go I will turn them around and back them up that way. Basically I'm telling the horse (in a way they understand) that they are more then welcome to back up if that's what they really want, but we are still going to make progress in the direction I want to go in. It usually only takes 5-10 steps before they say "hay, I don't want to do it this way" and then they will stop backing up. I then turn them back around and ask them to go where I want forwards. Usually it only takes a couple of times of doing this before they choose to go where I want forward.
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post #7 of 12 Old 01-30-2011, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franknbeans View Post
If, as my old guy was prone to do, they are backing to avoid something like a creek-I turn him and back him thru it. You also can try, if you have the room, go back and forth and zig zag up the hill instead of straight on.
This is a great idea, I love it.
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post #8 of 12 Old 01-30-2011, 04:19 PM
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Thanks Alex-I also do the same thing going down hills with him....he tends to get in a hurry.

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post #9 of 12 Old 01-30-2011, 08:21 PM
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That's good thinking franknbeans.
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post #10 of 12 Old 01-31-2011, 12:36 AM
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He might be very unsure of his footing, and not want to fall.

And it could be the angle puts a strain on the saddle too. Making him uncomfortable enough so that he does this.

And how long has it been since his sheath has been cleaned?
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