If he does it for the owner he is testing you. Don't let him get away with it and keep at him until he responds. Don't just keep the same pressure either - start real small and work your way up, and if you REALLY have to get after him, do so.
I can back both my older gelding and my yearling with minimal pressure and both are pushy types. The reason they both back softly is because I am not afraid to really get after them if they don't listen to the softer asks.
You ask, tell, demand, promise. As in, "please pretty please" and if the horse doesn't listen "back up". Still no response? "BACK UP RIGHT NOW" and your last resort is "BACK AND IF YOU DON'T YOU'LL WISH YOU WERE NEVER BORN" which you will find you rarely have to use if it's truly a GOOD and STRONG phase four. That said your phases are tailored to your horse, a stronger pushy type needs stronger pushier aids than a timid and shy type.
Your aids can be anything. My mother uses a raised finger for the ask, a wiggled raised finger for the tell, and then a wiggled rope for the demand and a harshly wiggled rope for the promise. She rarely has to go above a tell. MY aids are soft constant pressure on the noseband or bit, and then stronger constant pressure, then on-and-off, then strong on-and-off. If I go to the promise phase I'm sometimes accused of being abusive but both my horses are pushy types and if I don't go to that REALLY strong aid when they're not listening, there's no way in hell they'd respect me. I'm little, and I'm light, and either of them could easily push me around if I was soft on them too!
Respect is key.
Last edited by blue eyed pony; 01-03-2012 at 11:02 AM.