He does alright asking with direct pressure, bending at the poll and stepping back nicely. In the saddle I use seat first but still have to reinforce with reins a bit since that's how he was previously trained (ranch horse) only to enforce the seat que.
I have stopped asking for faster and been rewarding effort and responsiveness instead. I haven't noticed any issues and had a lameness test on him before I bought him in April, but I'm being careful just in case for both of our sakes.
Had him out yesterday for a bit, he was very willing and responsive, I didn't focus on backing but asked for it a few times and he was responding to Just a small amount of pressure, and was backing much nicer off my seat when on him. I think ill stop asking foe speed and work on responsiveness to light cues and slowely work up the number of steps.
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