Why wouldn't you want your horse well rounded so that he COULD back over ground poles? It also helps horses gain confidence with things behind them, gets them more aware of their feet and they get better at backing up.
^ Not better in regards to hwo they should back in the ring though. It takes time to get a horse backing lightly and consistently over their hocks - I would in no way be teaching any other way of backing up.
Not the best video but it shows a good stop with an excellent backing over the horses hocks. This is what a back should look like. Light, well rounded, back over the hocks with good speed. If you try and teach the back over ground poles you will never get this.
^ It's not about winning. It's about giving the best performance that me and my horse can.
I bet that if I actually asked my horse to back over a pole, he would. Right away. But it's not something I feel the need to do, especially as it teaches the opposite of what a lot of my training teaches. That just seems counterproductive.
It's also a good thing to do BEACUSE it's different and unpredictable. Keeps the horse's life interesting and just adds one more thing to his list of things he's capable of doing. To me, that is not counterproductive.
It is a very simple reason. These horses are not only tought to back like that but they are also bred to stop and bred like that. If my horse got it into their mind to have to reach back to in the backing to step over a ground pole they would be in the wrong position in the stopping process and they would end up getting hurt. It is all one maneuver. The backing gets them over their hocks which puts them in the correct position for the stop.
It is not all about what a horse can or can not do. It is about giving them best training to keep them from getting hurt. Could I get my horses to back over ground poles?? Yes I could and it would be quite easy. However in the end I would only accomplish setting them up to get hurt for no reason but to say I can do that. Which I am not willing to do.
You don't back your horse over ground poles every day....you do it so that you know your horse is able and confident with things back behind him. If he is, then great, get off it. If a horse is unconfident with things behind him and he has difficulty backing over a pole, I'll certainly work on it a lot (but not all in one session), to help him gain confidence.
Do you really think a horse will back like that if he dose not have confidence with what is behind him??? You do not need ground poles to get a horse confident in backing. A horse who is confident will back well as shown in that video.