Originally Posted by TwistedSerpent
I don't think I mentioned the main issue is on the ground. The only time he gets backed for a correction is usually just to reposition him if he walks off without me after a whoa, done with seat and legs with rein backup if needed. He does it alright but without speed.
On the ground I start off nicely by wiggling the lead line then increase pressure waving with rope and stick, then proceed bumping in the chest. He takes his first few steps without much fight, they're just very slow steps.
I was asking for a few quicker steps when the problems came with the increased pressure, or if I ask him to back more then 5 or so steps.
He's usually very quick to pick up on things so I think I was just pushing him too fast out of his safe zone, but my worry is he's putting up a fight and by taking steps back to ease him into it and avoiding his frustration is a way of letting him win and not fixing the issue, just avoiding it.
I feel bad about it for being in his face, and hope he doesn't resent me for pushing him that far, this has been our first major hiccup together.
I haven't noticed any hopping or physical distress but I will pay close attention to it.
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without much fight? To me, that is a big logjam that needs to be broken free. It's like the hrose is stuck, and while he moves, he moves as if through molasses, no? I bet there are other things wherein his response is sluggish and resentful. Will he move forward promptly, and willingly? Step over a bit when you are grooming and need him to move over? If you think about it, is he stuck in more ways than just backing?
But, for this thing, first of all, it sounds as if you go from a 1 to a 2 to a 5 to a 7 to a 9 to a ? In intensity in your "ask". If he has a finger wiggling, then rope, then a stick waving then the stick hitting his chest, he has way too much time to build up resentment and resistance.
It's not how fast he actually backs up, or that he back up a long ways, but that his response to being asked to back up be reasonably prompt, and the quality of how he lifts his feet and moves backward be light and committed. And all the steps are just too much nagging .
Wake him up! Ask at a 1, go to a 5 then go to a 10.! Do something surprising to get him to take a second look at you, then when he does, ask very softly and I bet he'll back lighter. Once you have his real attention, he'll be so available to you