Walking Backward!
 
 

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Walking Backward!

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  • Horse is walking backwards when asked to halt
  • Why does my horse go backwards instead of forwards

 
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    09-18-2009, 07:26 PM
  #1
Foal
Smile Walking Backward!

My 16yr old QH has a habit of walking backward- a a pretty darn good pace when he decides he's done going forward. Whoa takes a while for him to respond to when he's acting like this. Today he almost backed right into a fence. I finally got him to stop- made him take one step forward and then got off, led him forward for a short distance, got back on and he was fine. It's like a teeny tiny tantrum, but I don't know how to correct it. He doesn't do it all the time, but when he does... Good grief it's frustrating! Any advice?
     
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    09-18-2009, 07:45 PM
  #2
Started
I always joked my ex-horse can go faster backwards then forwards. I mean he could FLY. The biggest things are don't pull the reins and don't tip forward. Depending on wich type of training you prefer, I'd suggest you

A) Sit back, look up, keep a steady leg and smack his buttto get his attention and startle him, then apply a strong, steady leg. Don't tip forwrds or it won't do any good. The second you get a forward step, stop, release the leg pressure and praise him. Then keep going

B) Sit back, look up, keep a steady leg and then pull one rein with leg pressure leg to spin him in a circle. He can't back in a circle. Once he's paying attention and forgets about backing, squeeze him forward (eyes up, don't tip ahead) The second you get a forward step, stop, release the leg pressure and praise him. Then keep going.

For me, a) was best. This horse was a snot if he thought he could get away with it, so a smack assured him I wasn't dealing with his sh*t.
     
    09-18-2009, 08:16 PM
  #3
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1dog3cats17rodents    
a) Sit back, look up, keep a steady leg and smack his buttto get his attention and startle him, then apply a strong, steady leg. Don't tip forwrds or it won't do any good. The second you get a forward step, stop, release the leg pressure and praise him. Then keep going

B) Sit back, look up, keep a steady leg and then pull one rein with leg pressure leg to spin him in a circle. He can't back in a circle. Once he's paying attention and forgets about backing, squeeze him forward (eyes up, don't tip ahead) The second you get a forward step, stop, release the leg pressure and praise him. Then keep going.

For me, a) was best. This horse was a snot if he thought he could get away with it, so a smack assured him I wasn't dealing with his sh*t.
yup, I agree, that either option should work. Just knowing my horse I think it would be more productive to turn him, but I think either should work as long as your consistant.
     
    09-18-2009, 09:31 PM
  #4
Started
The real thing is to figure out WHY he doesn't want to go forward. Is it because of tack? Is he bored? Etc. Then it's your job to fix it. In the meantime, if he does do it, simply take one rein and ask him to take a step to the side, unsticking his feet and able to go forward again.
     
    09-19-2009, 12:43 PM
  #5
Green Broke
I used to know a horse that would be fine for a little bit, then when she decided it was too much work she would just stop and refuse to move, then when you tried to make her move forward she would start backing up.

Backing up is pretty scary for the rider I guess because it feels out of control. Horses actually really do not like backing into things, so you usually see stopping before a fence or swinging around to the sides.

What I would do is don't put pressure on the reins, but hold so that the horse cannot go left or right. I personally don't think circling helps for anything but immediate things (ie if you need to stop the horse right then). Turning them is allowing them to face the direction they choose, which is behind them. So while they are running back I would not have any rein contact at all, pulling can lead to rearing and its not good, but if they try to swing around then hold the opposite rein firm - keep their head straight.

If its a regular thing I would go in an area with a solid fence (not wire) and if they are backing give them a firm kick to move forward - but if they want to back into the fence then let them. Most horses I ride get a shock from feeling the fence behind them and jump forward - be ready for that, and as soon as they are moving forward keep them moving forward.

I think the best way to deal with it is to just wait them out. Decide on somewhere to ride (if you are going out) bring a crop, and ride. If they back up ask for forward with your legs, if they refuse give them a sharp tap on the bum (don't repeatedly hit them) and if they keep backing keep asking forward with your legs and just wait for them to stop backing - even if they back all the way home, eventually they stop and then you ask for the forward.
     
    09-19-2009, 03:00 PM
  #6
Started
In the past someone may have fitted him up with too fierce a bit and if the rider was also heavy handed then that would have encouraged the horse to move backwards to evade the pain. The backing up then became a habit.

Let someone check your seat especially whether you sit upright at 90 degrees and that your hands are light, especially at the halt. Make sure the bit in use is not too fierce for your purposes.

Check the saddle that it is sitting horizontal. Make sure it is not digging at the back or the front end

The longer he has been doing it, the more difficult to erase. Your chap is 16 - he won't forget now.

You,ve got to send him forwards immediately he hints of going backwards. A experienced rider used to wearing spurs might help you to cure the chap - ie the prick of the spur would send him forwards but if you are inexperienced with spurs you might do more harm than good.

As the lady said - maybe worth a few dollars for a professional's help. You don't need that type of evasion in the wrong environment.
     
    09-19-2009, 03:27 PM
  #7
Showing
My 7 year old gelding will do that if he decides that he doesn't want to go somewhere. What I won't do is to spur him forward - he is in too good of a position to rear. What I do is one of two things.

The first is to keep him moving backwards until I tell him to stop. The other is to turn him in very small circles (3 or 4 should do it). Either one of those methods are enough for him to get the idea that if he does that it means unnecessary and unpleasant work.

I've only owned him for 3 months and the frequency of his backing has greatly diminished.
     

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