Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Gloomy Indianapolis
Personally I wouldn't use a chain, a lot of damage/pain can be caused with a chain. I use a training rope halter, it has knots at the poll and the bridge of the nose. It has a bit more "bite" than a regular rope halter but isn't TOO strong. There are a few different ways I've used to teach a horse to back, they all learn differently and it pays to have a few tricks up your sleeve,lol. A) Shake the lead rope while saying "back" and moving toward them confidently;often they are spooked in the beginning by the shaking lead and react by backing up anyway, by doing this you build on their instinctual reaction and associate it with a verbal or hand cue depending on your preference. B)Shake the lead and STOMP toward them while giving verbal cue if they don't respond to A;this almost always works for me. Same premise as A, just gives you a stronger, more dominant body language. C)Shake the lead while slowly swinging a "carrot stick" in front of your body and walking toward them. Mine is about 3.5 to 4 ft long, if they don't back up the stick bumps them in the chest and shoulder and they tend to not like it. I have seen another method(not crazy about it, to me it seems like it would make them headshy). Use the carrot stick to hit the lead rope/clasp just below where it clips onto the halter. The noise and swinging the stick at their head definitely gets them to move, but as I said I just don't like this method.
The BO doesn't necessarily have to be feeding treats for your horse to like her, maybe it's because she's the main one to feed or she scratches just the right spot.
As far as the arena I would say it's more preference than anything. Personally an indoor would be nice if only because the weather here in Indy is rather unpleasant in the winter.