Need help teaching to back
 
 

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Need help teaching to back

This is a discussion on Need help teaching to back within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    • 1 Post By Elana
    • 2 Post By beau159
    • 2 Post By Palomine
    • 1 Post By loosie

     
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        11-18-2013, 09:34 PM
      #1
    Weanling
    Need help teaching to back

    So, from my last post "need help training" the progress I've got was desentitizing with the training stick I was using. I can slap the stick all around on the ground and he stays relaxed.

    So I moved on to backing. I tried every single exercise with the stick and and
    1. He just tries to turn away from the pressure and walk the other way or turn around and of course I try to close that "door" but and get him back but he just keeps going for that option
    2. He walks forward until he's up next to me and then of course I have to back up, in which he follows me when I do that
    So I just ditched the stick today and worked with him with the halter lead rope. I want to be able to stand still and make him back so I did the exercise where you wiggle the lead rope, but he was very unresponsive to that so I wiggled harder and harder unitl it was so hard that the clip was smacking him in the jaw and neck pretty hard and then he'd just try to turn away. I finally go thim to take half to one step back, but I kept having to use the same pressure of getting the clip to smack him in the jaw, but after that one step he just tried to turn again. I would do soft pressure first and build. My goal was to day was to get him to back 3 good steps, but I never accomplished that and had to quit before I got frustrated and made it worse.

    I feel like I'm out of options and can't get him to back! He's 13 years old and is well trained! I rode him over the period of a month before I bought him and he could do all this stuff!!! No in the 2 and half weeks I've had him he's lost all his training it seems like....
         
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        11-19-2013, 09:59 AM
      #2
    Green Broke
    This is Ground work? Take him to a corner (indoors or inside corner of a fence). Have him parallel to and against the wall/fence and his nose in the corner so the only turn he can make is toward you (which you won't allow) and then back him up.

    Use the stick to keep him parallel to the wall.

    Rope wiggling and all that is not necessary. Just put one hand on the halter or the lead right at the halter and ask him to back. Give him that as his only option and his only way to the reward of pressure release. If he is well trained, use a bridle and bit and ask.. again with the only release being to take a step backward. The INSTANT he takes a tentative step back, release the pressure and spend time stroking his neck and relaxing.

    Backing when on riding is another thing.. but I think you are talking about ground work?
         
        11-19-2013, 10:00 AM
      #3
    Green Broke
    If he lost his training it is usually the result of the handler not being assertive enough (or way too assertive) to keep the horse doing what they want.
    Boo Walker likes this.
         
        11-19-2013, 10:24 AM
      #4
    Started
    Maybe, when you use the Parelli method for the backing, he doesn't know what you are asking.
    Try to first practice acking him by holding his halter and pushing back and also putting pressure on his nose and backing.
    Do this a few times until he is OK with it and knows what you mean. Then hold the leadrope close to his head, and to the wiggling again. If he isn't sure, keep wiggling and give him a hint iwth either pressure back with his halter or nose. Then as soon as he makes any move to back up, stop everything. I mean drop it, so everything comes to a halt and he knows that what he did was good. To begin with - even the sligthest shift backwards.
    But the next time you do this, have him go even further, if he only leaned back, make him either lean back even more or take on step back. Once he get the one step back with you close to his head, gradually start making your way out to the tail of the leadrope.
    Each time you do this, make sure to build it up. So if he made it five steps one day, do six or seven the next.
         
        11-19-2013, 10:31 AM
      #5
    Green Broke
    Let me just make sure I am understanding you correctly.

    He will back up if you pull backwards on the leadrope like you normally would.

    But he will not back up if you jiggle the leadrope, and that is what you are trying to accomplish?

    Simply jiggling the leadrope doesn't make a horse back up. Your BODY LANGUAGE makes a horse back up. Are you just plain standing there when you jiggle the leadrope? If so, I don't blame your horse for being confused.

    Honestly, backing up should be the last thing in body control that you accomplish. You should first be able to disengage his hindquarters, and move the shoulder. If you have those two tools first, then it is easy to keep him body straight when you back him up.

    Disengage hindquarters:
    Stand near your horse's left shoulder with lead rope in left hand, and stick in right hand.
    Use your body language to GLARE at his left hip (kinda crouching position, as if you are a predator about to pounce on his hip ... make sure to literally glare with your eyes at his hip). Count to 3 seconds.
    If no response (and you won't have a response until he learns), then raise your stick. Count to 3 seconds.
    If no response (again, if you've never done this before, you won't have a response), start lightly tapping his hip with your stick with rhythm. Remember to keep your GLARING body language. Do that for 3 seconds.
    If no response, every 3 seconds start tapping a little harder. Some horses don't catch on right away and you may be literally smacking them pretty hard.
    The VERY instant your horse shifts his hip away from you (even if it is a 1/2 step), immediately stop tapping, stop glaring, and walk a few steps away from him. Stopping the pressure is his reward.
    Then repeat. And make sure to do both sides.

    Your end goal (Which may take several weeks) is for him to move his hindquarters away from you, when you simply glare at his hip. A true hindquarter disengagement is when the hind limb closest to you (in my example, the left hind) crosses over the front of the other hind leg. This disengages forward motion.

    Timing is so important. If you leave the pressure on too long, he'll be confused as to what the right answer is. If you remove the pressure too soon, he'll learn he doesn't have to do what you say.

    Use this same concept to control his shoulder using the exact same steps.

    When you can control the shoulder and hindquarters on both sides, then you are ready to back up.

    Start by glaring at his chest.
    If no response, start lightly jiggling the lead rope.
    If no response, start tapping your stick between his front legs.
    If no response progressiving tap harder, and possibly take a step toward his chest.
    The instant you get one tiny tiny step backward, REMOVE all pressure.
    Reward his small efforts in the beginning because he doesn't yet understand what you want.
    When you get to the point where you are asking for several steps backward, then you can easily keep him straight because you've already laid the foundation to control his shoulder and hip.

    The problem most people have with training, is they want their horse to back a mile on the first day. Not going to happen.
    Start with baby steps.
    loosie and dkb811 like this.
         
        11-19-2013, 07:30 PM
      #6
    Green Broke
    WWJJWHACK has got to be the stupidest thing ever started. Good way to get a headshy horse, and teach one that humans are fools at the same time.

    Not to mention that won't fly in a training barn if you ever hope to work in one.


    Stand beside horse slightly to side, facing hips. Run your hand down nose to just about where halter noseband lies, and gently push nose to chest...and I do mean gently.

    Tell horse to back as you do it, quietly and calmly, and lightly rock horse's nose to chest and back, very little movement, so that horse shifts weight back and steps back, release immediately at that point.

    Don't hit horse, or poke him in chest. Just hand on nose and tip towards chest while saying back. And the very lightest pressure you have to use, and start light each and every time.

    Horse will learn to step back by voice, hand on nose, or stepping into and saying back to it.

    As for the hitting horse to make it back? I'd like to do that to the idiot parelli woman.
    loosie and COWCHICK77 like this.
         
        11-19-2013, 11:29 PM
      #7
    Trained
    OK, basically agree with below posts & there are numerous ways & cues to teach your horse to back up(or whatever you want). I personally do like to teach them to back up to a waggling finger/rope, so you can ask for it from a distance, in different positions, etc. I did start out learning to train with Parelli principles(many moons ago) & I think that's what 'bandwagon' it sounds like you're on? So I'll give you my take on what you wrote...

    First thing, I would first be teaching him to yield to actual direct pressure, from leadrope/halter, fingertips, pushing with the end of the stick, etc. Get him soft & reliable about moving away from that first.

    Don't forget to make the most of bodylanguage though, as that's very important, especially as you want to teach him to respond to that without physical pressure. Use assertive & focussed bodylanguage when you're asking for something & don't forget to 'switch it off' & relax yourself when you get it, or you're not asking.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Horse racer    
    He just tries to turn away from the pressure and walk the other way or turn around and of course I try to close that "door" but and get him back but he just keeps going for that option
    As someone else suggested, start out with him standing beside a fence or such, to remove at least one of the 'wrong' options. Make it as easy as possible for him to get it Right & reduce likelihood of Wrong.

    So it sounds like you're saying you can get him to take a step or 2 back, but he keeps trying other behaviours? You need to instantly reinforce the behaviour you want, by quitting the pressure, quitting asking. Let him know that it works, even if you only got one step. Practice that a number of times before asking for a little more. Build gradually on success. Don't ask for too much to begin with.

    Quote:
    He walks forward until he's up next to me and then of course I have to back up, in which he follows me when I do that
    If you haven't specifically invited him into your space or asked him to follow you, you should be making him yield, never the other way round. If he doesn't yet understand what you're working on, forget it & use whatever he does understand to make him move.

    Quote:
    I want to be able to stand still and make him back so I did the exercise where you wiggle the lead rope, but he was very unresponsive to that so I wiggled harder and harder unitl it was so hard that the clip was smacking him in the jaw
    Firstly, let me say I agree with the *principle* of 'being as soft as possible but as firm as necessary'. BUT I have found 'firmness' past the level of mild discomfort is rarely necessary if you're clear enough about what you're teaching. And getting heavy handed as the method of teaching is rather like getting LOUDER because someone doesn't understand your language.

    So... instead of just getting louder, find ways of making it easier for your horse to understand what you're asking. Should be easy if he's already learned to yield to your direct pressure & bodylanguage - wiggle your finger/rope GENTLY and back it up with your bodylanguage, and if/when necessary, direct pressure on his nose/chest.

    Quote:
    I finally go thim to take half to one step back, but I kept having to use the same pressure of getting the clip to smack him in the jaw, but after that one step he just tried to turn again.
    Repetition is as important as timing in linking associations. The more you reinforce the horse for whatever he can give, the more he'll be likely to give it. But it's got to work for him - ie the pressure stops. Instantly. You don't keep asking & trying to get him to do more, or he'll just keep trying other things to stop you hassling him.

    The other thing about going overboard & using pain to train is that it becomes emotional, stressful, the horse may panic or shut down, but whatever level, you've lost at least some focus on what you're asking & are likely getting more unthinking, fearful reactions than conscious responses. Meaning that aside from other effects, the desired lesson will be harder for the horse to learn & his association with the request will be of pain/fear.

    So... I'd save any heavyhanded punishment for emergencies or occasions where it's necessary to back up an *ignored & known* cue.

    Quote:
    No in the 2 and half weeks I've had him he's lost all his training it seems like....
    So he understood how to softly yield backwards to a wiggling rope? It sounds like he didn't lose it, just never learned it. If that's incorrect & there are other things he was doing well *with you* & now won't, it sounds like he hasn't lost his training, but he is training you effectively.
    beau159 likes this.
         

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