Under saddle I use firm (but not hard) pressure evenly on the reins and usually very slight pressure on his sides, but the one and only time I have managed to get him to step back under saddle was when I took my feet out of the stirrups and put my legs way forwards, almost brushing the front of his shoulders. Any other way he will not go backwards.
Is this just purely a training issue or could there be an physical problem? He is having trouble on the left rein in a circle at trot/canter undersaddle and lunging, so out comes the chiropractor hopefully next week (Mitch scrambled a bit getting out of the float on sunday) dentist and farrier are also out next week so here goes the royal treatment for him .
If it is not a physical issue, then how should I go about training him to back under saddle? I have had mum brush his chest for me while I am giving signals in the saddle, but apart from the one time I haven't been able to get him to back up without another person helping from the ground, and it's starting to frustrate me... Because I can't really open gates on the farm on him if he won't back undersaddle... and getting on and off a 16.1-16.2 horse every 4-5 minutes isn't really ideal for me.