Backing Up?right way? wrong? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 10-19-2012, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Exclamation Backing Up?right way? wrong?

Many of you many know.. obviously my Gelding sunny.:) I had him on barrels.. but this winter. I am just going back to the basics.. walk trot whoahh.. and back up.. and getting him collected.. I will probably start a thread for him as well.. and maybe Poncho too:P

okay her is my question.. I have been working on getting sunny to back up with leg pressure.. I will first put a little pressure on he reins.. then puts pressure on with my heals and say back up... then let go of the pressure with the reins..

now.. I got it where I just put pressure on with my heals and none with the reins:) I will shoot a video of what I mean as well:)

but is that^^ a bad way to teach a horse to back up? Or is it a good way because he is working off my leg?

another question.. he wont back up straight..:/ how can I teach him to? by keeping him up against a fence or something?


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post #2 of 8 Old 10-19-2012, 11:39 AM
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The easiest way to teach backing up is to teach it on the ground and give your horse a solid education that when you ask for backing YOU decide how many steps. I really like how Clinton Anderson backs his horse through the barn, around trees and makes them back in yards, not in steps. Teach backing straight, or you'll never get a straight back from the saddle. I learned that in the saddle when you want a back-up, you start from a halt, ask for forward (walk) but stop the energy with the bit, continuing to cue "forward". Horses understand everything as a forward movement, and they will take that energy and walk backwards. Expect only 1-2 steps at first. You can reinforce the cues with the word "back" which, if you teach backing on the ground you horse will already have learned, just translating it to you mounted.
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post #3 of 8 Old 10-19-2012, 05:31 PM
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post #4 of 8 Old 10-19-2012, 05:47 PM
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Yes, that way has worked for me fine. It is a good way, imo. I do it in a slightly different order than you, but I've trained Brandy to back up by my legs, too.

Here's how I do it: I first say sssss, sssss, and sit deep, then I use my legs to motivate her feet, then if I have to use the reins I will. I've gotten to the point now where I hardly ever have to use the reins at all. If anything I only have to slightly jiggle them, with no pressure. (Btw, I say sssss instead of back because then nobody can tell you are even saying anything. My riding instructor taught me that; she used to show in Western Pleasure all the time).

I like how Clinton Anderson does it too, I'm a big fan of his. I do it his way on the ground. And in the saddle too, actually, I just changed it a teeny bit.

**I must not forget to thank the difficult horses, who made my life miserable, but who were better teachers than the well-behaved school horses who raised no problems.**
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post #5 of 8 Old 10-19-2012, 06:02 PM
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As far as backing up crooked, make sure his leg yields/turns on forehand and haunches are solid. When he backs up and starts drifting one way, be there with leg pressure to block him.

With my mare, I give some leg pressure and tilt my center of balance back. She's a reiner and I don't use the reins to ask for the rein-back.
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post #6 of 8 Old 10-23-2012, 06:00 AM
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I would think it would be confusing when you ask him to walk forward and you squeeze..? oh well, whatever works!! lol my mare backs up solely off voice command, seat and leg position, so I guess to each his own :) Back him up around a barrel and in figure 8's. This really helps to get control of the hip, but also make sure you try to back straight too. That way if you ask him for a straight back up and he kicks his hip out, you can correct it and keep on backing straight :)
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post #7 of 8 Old 10-23-2012, 09:09 AM
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Yes, you are doing it correctly. I had one of my adult students ride her horse without the reins to teach her how to control her horse by her body. She rode her horse to a halt then back up, without touching a rein.
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post #8 of 8 Old 10-23-2012, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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okay thanks for some of the input guys:P and Armywife yes agree. with my other horse. He would get confused if I was squeezing and trying to get him to back up. but with Sunny I dont even have to squeeze to get him to go forward.. so I dont really lol.. Just voice command there.:)
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