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My Horse Is Running Backwards?

This is a discussion on My Horse Is Running Backwards? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Horse that backs up when unsure
  • Quarter horse running backwards

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    09-15-2012, 10:26 PM
  #11
Started
Agree with all the others, something has to be happening to make her back up. I would get saddle checked, maybe whatever position you sit in causes her pain when you ask to back up. I would get her teeth checked and make sure her bit is clean. Are you using a happy mouth? SO many of those rubber bits, the horse chews and they get little sharp ridges that cut into their tongue - that would make a horse back violently away. Get everything checked and next time, don't jump off, that's just teaching her to back up to get you off. Sit up straight and tall and pull 1 rein. Maybe you and your horse should learn the 1 rein stop, I'm fairly certain it'll work for going backwards too. Assuming she's balanced and won't fall over? Release pressure on the other rein ALL together - any contact may be driving her to back up.

The other thing - when a horse backs up on their own free will they will trot backwards. Not at high speeds, but they pick up diagonal pairs to move backwards. When a person is asking a horse to back up and the horse is unsure or nervous they'll stumble backwards one foot at a time. Ideally you want a horse to trot backwards - obviously only when you ASK them to back up though.


ETA: saddle fit changes too - whenever the horse has a fluctuation in weight or muscle tone/shape their back shape changes too, you need to continually check.
     
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    09-15-2012, 10:29 PM
  #12
Foal
I have a 29 year old gelding that use to do that all the time, are you heading toward "home" when she does this? It was always when we were heading toward home when he would do it. It started it when a friends daughter was riding him and she pulled back to hard and he backed really fast and she got off said he was trying to throw her, doing this several time's she kept getting off him, he thought if he did it all the time the rider would get off, how I got him over his was I just stayed on him, and would make him "work" turn left turn right, wtc away from home, and he figured it out that everytime he did this he had to work and stopped doing it after awhile. He is a well trained horse and had no probably's heading away from home, only when you would try to stop him heading home.
     
    09-15-2012, 10:31 PM
  #13
Super Moderator
Do Not get on this horse until you figure it out. Horses doing this are are very prone to run a hind foot into something and roll over up-side-down on a rider.

If this is a new behavior, it is probably just an extreme version of a horse losing forward impulsion. I would check saddle fit just because some horses are very sensitive to it and I would add an extra thick wool felt pad (with her regular pads).

Then, I would start ground driving her. I have not seen any behaviors like this that could not be duplicated in driving lines.

The other thing I would do is teach her a 'one rein stop'. This stops a horse from running or lunging forward and it also stops a horse from backing up. It can quickly put a rider back in the 'driver's seat'.
     
    09-16-2012, 02:45 PM
  #14
Weanling
As Cherie mentioned, going fast backward is dangerous and can get you and your horse hurt. Hopping off when it is happening can actually promote the behavior, but in certain cases that's all you can do. I know from experience on that.

Rule out all the possible physical causes you can, such as a bit pinching, too tight or twisted chin strap, abscess or injury in the mouth, sore back, etc., before deciding whether it is a training issue.

If your horse is a Quarter Horse, google "hyperkalemic periodic paralysis" and see whether this might be a possibility. I have had two QHs that suffered from this. They would occasionally just seize up and stop. If I did anything other than get off when that happened, they would literally explode, running backwards uncontrollably in a panic until they fell over backwards. Nearly got me a couple times. One nearly killed my dad by backing off a steep mountain trail. I thought it was simply misbehavior by the horse until I began to research it a little. Some studies indicate it affects 1 in 50 Quarter Horses. I have never heard of it affecting any other breed, but I suppose it could. Both of my horses (one the foal of the other) had excellent "Three-Bar" QH breeding. Some say it is more common in the "Bar" lines than others. It seems to be a malady that causes intense charley-horses or muscle cramps, and it appears to be hereditary. It affected our horses in their older age, upwards of 16, but never a hint in their earlier years.

So now I pretty much stick with mixed-breed "grade" horses that just look and feel right to me and stay away from registered animals altogether.
     
    09-16-2012, 02:57 PM
  #15
Started
HYPP can affect any horse that inherited the gene from the QH stallion Impressive.
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    09-20-2012, 02:50 PM
  #16
Green Broke
Perhaps a video is needed...
barrelbeginner likes this.
     
    09-20-2012, 03:03 PM
  #17
Super Moderator
How long have you been riding this horse?
How long has it been broke?
What sort of bit are you riding it in?
Have you tried walking alongside the horse and asking it to halt by putting pressure on its mouth?
If he reacts in the same way - wants to run backwards then try doing it with the horse in a headcollar and see what happens
barrelbeginner and PunksTank like this.
     
    09-20-2012, 03:39 PM
  #18
Yearling
Not sure how old she is , but see if her wolf teeth grew in and check to see if the saddle is putting pressure by her withers. There is a nerve on the side of her withers that if you put pressure on it she will be very irratated and move away quickly. Try finding the spot first without the saddle.
barrelbeginner likes this.
     

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