Ex Racehorse Backing Up? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 09-02-2013, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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Ex Racehorse Backing Up?

I'm looking to buy an ex racehorse, 16hh QH gelding. He's not trained to back up, I don't want to make it stressful on him or irritate him with the training. What are some simple ways that are safe for horse and rider and aren't a hassle to go through to teach him to back up? He's a very nice horse, and i'm extremely interested in him if I can get him to back up.

I worked with him today for about 15 minutes, (so darn hot). I stood by his shoulder and gathered the reins. While I pulled back on the bit, I pushed my hand into his shoulder and said back. Every time he took a step back I released the pressure and rubbed him down and spoke encouraging words and tone. I repeated it a lot.

After that I tried it in saddle and he took maybe four steps back before he got a bit confused again. Progress is Progress. But i'm wondering if there are any other simple methods?
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post #2 of 13 Old 09-02-2013, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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post #3 of 13 Old 09-02-2013, 04:32 PM
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I would get the backup command to a perfect T on the ground first before even attempting it in the saddle. Try to do it without facing him. Stand beside him; apply pressure with the reins with your left hand which will allow you to use your right elbow to pressure him on his chest. Use a voice command every time.

Once he has that down pat, move to the saddle.
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post #4 of 13 Old 09-04-2013, 11:19 PM
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In a snaffle, hold your hands, not pull, just hold and create a 'wall' in front of him and gently bump with your legs. That's a simple basic way to teach. As soon as he takes one step back release all pressure. Then ask again
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post #5 of 13 Old 09-04-2013, 11:23 PM
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I would do it on the ground first, teach him the voice command back up and then once he's got it down packed get on and do it
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post #6 of 13 Old 09-04-2013, 11:29 PM
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I vote for doing it on the ground first!

I'm working with my Off the track guy right now. The last owners actually sold him because everytime they tried to get him to back up by creating that "wall" with their hands, he reared up.

So we have been practicing on the ground and really getting it good! He actually backed up for the first time under saddle the other night! No rear attempted!! It was a great moment
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post #7 of 13 Old 09-05-2013, 12:27 AM Thread Starter
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I spent all day today on ground with him and now he backs like a champ with the occasional stop and 'what am I doing??' than backing up again!!(:
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post #8 of 13 Old 09-05-2013, 12:31 AM
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Making a wall and bumping with your legs is a great way. All my training horses get the concept after a few minutes and most back with just my seat and legs now
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post #9 of 13 Old 09-05-2013, 08:12 AM
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Teaching a horse to back by using your leg can backfire on you. If you get into a situation where he doesn't want to go forward and he wants to back out of it, using your leg will only get him backing faster. At first teach him to back with rein only, you can add leg later.
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post #10 of 13 Old 09-05-2013, 08:25 AM
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Using the leg ENCOURAGES the horse to back up instead of just hauling on his face. Never use just your reins. Bump with legs, make wall with hands, horse backs off the bit and your hands. Anything can go wrong with horse training, but this is one of the basic ways to teach a horse to back up.

The horse needs to be soft and off your hands, bumping encourages this.

Please do tell how you train a horse to back up under saddle, not from the ground.
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