Join Date: May 2011
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
We have success! I went out to the barn today to work with Levee and made a special point to watch exactly what he does when he begins to refuse forward motion. He plants his feet and begins to shift his weight onto his hindquarters, like he's thinking about backing up. So, I let him back up.
I turned his hindquarters in the direction I wanted to go and began asking him to back up. Uphill, downhill, around trees...whatever we would have had to walk through forward to get to the gate, we walked backwards. The first time, I backed Levee nearly 10 feet before he started indicating that he wanted to turn around and walk forward. And walk forward he did, for 2 steps, until he put the brakes on again. We repeated this exercise over and over until eventually, he walked forward quietly until we were about 15 feet from the gate (mind you, we'd already crossed about an acre of pasture). Once more, I turned him around and told him to back up. One step, and he asked to walk forward. He walked forward with me, right out of the gate and across the yard. Not only that, but he listened far better than he ever has AND stood quietly while tied. Usually, he's tossing his head around, but tonight... he dozed while tied.
SUCCESS! I'll be heading back to the barn tomorrow to see if he remembers the lesson. I'm pretty excited.