why shake the leadrope to back your horse explained
 
 

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why shake the leadrope to back your horse explained

This is a discussion on why shake the leadrope to back your horse explained within the Natural Horsemanship forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Horses move back from lead rope shaking
  • How to get a horse to back up without lead rope

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    01-03-2012, 01:34 PM
  #1
Foal
why shake the leadrope to back your horse explained

I've seen this question come up a bunch of times, and it seems most people don't understand why this is taught to horses. Shaking your horse back has a practical purpose, it comes from Vaquero horsemanship which is the foundation of NH. It's essential for when you're doctoring cattle. Here's a picture where I'm working on a calf with my horse. I'm holding the calf down, you can see my horse has stepped up to give me slack in my lariat, the dark rope is my mecate lead that's part of my reins. I need the rope loose so I can get the loop end off the calf's head and put it on it's front feet. You don't want the rope on his neck more than you have to and when you're done you can let him loose and he'll simply kick the rope off. So once I have the front feet in the loop I shake my mecate rope and my horse will backup and retighten the lariat for me. That's where shaking them back comes from, I'm holding the calf so I can't get up and back my horse. Also if the rope gets a little loose and the cow tries to kick free that will shake the rope and my horse will step back and make it a little tighter.

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    01-03-2012, 02:29 PM
  #2
Green Broke
Hmm that's interesting! I was always taught NOT to shake a rope at a horse but I'm an English rider and have no need to rope cattle ;D
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    01-03-2012, 02:46 PM
  #3
mls
Trained
Maybe practical for that purpose but not for 99% of what an every day horse person needs to do with their horse.

For instance, a tie down roper wants their horse to back until the pressure is tight on the rope. That would be highly impractical and even dangerous in other areas of horse handling.

I step into my horse, he backs. If I need him to back (such as out of the trailer or tie stall), I simply say 'back'.
     
    01-03-2012, 02:51 PM
  #4
Green Broke
I actually have taught Cinny both methods and have found uses for both methods. I ride Dressage. I like the versatility of being able to tell him more than one way if I have to. I have also taught him to come close to me with a couple different commands as well.
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    01-03-2012, 02:54 PM
  #5
Super Moderator
That's interesting. I never gave it a thought, but that explanation is very elegant.
     
    01-03-2012, 03:02 PM
  #6
Showing
That's very interesting.. I like hearing and learning about how things are what they are, especially to do with older methods of ranching and whatnot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mls    
Maybe practical for that purpose but not for 99% of what an every day horse person needs to do with their horse.

For instance, a tie down roper wants their horse to back until the pressure is tight on the rope. That would be highly impractical and even dangerous in other areas of horse handling.

I step into my horse, he backs. If I need him to back (such as out of the trailer or tie stall), I simply say 'back'.
I agree.

Though I've spent all this time teaching my horse to stand still and trust the handler and those around him.. I don't want him mis-interpreting a shake of the rope to back. I prefer to voice it or use my body language.

Like I said in another thread, a parelli handler was trying to teach my horse to back (he was just showing me how any horse is trainable to the methods) and my horse got very frightened and very confused then frustrated and he backed, but it was more like a shuffle where he was leaning on his hinds rather than stepping. I don't dislike the shaking of the rope, I just didn't find it very helpful.

Maybe one day we'll try it again, but right now I have no need for it. I'm very open to trying new things with my horse :)
     
    01-03-2012, 03:43 PM
  #7
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by mls    
Maybe practical for that purpose but not for 99% of what an every day horse person needs to do with their horse.

For instance, a tie down roper wants their horse to back until the pressure is tight on the rope. That would be highly impractical and even dangerous in other areas of horse handling.
The horse does keep it tight, once you back them up until the slack is out they'll hold it tight as long as you need.
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    01-03-2012, 03:50 PM
  #8
Super Moderator
My horse was taught to back up by shaking the rope, but, as the four phases were used, he now backs up if I just raise a finger and say "back up!" if necessary - as a warning that I will start shaking the rope with my palm in a couple of seconds.

But the origins of the rope shaking is a very interesting fact to know, thanks!
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    01-03-2012, 03:53 PM
  #9
Showing
It was interesting to read, Mike. However I still don't get why you have to shake it to basically whack the horse's jaw with it like some NH trainers do (not saying every trainer does/teach it this way)?

I also think mls brought some good points.
     
    01-03-2012, 03:53 PM
  #10
Yearling
It's a handy wee trick to have if you're ever in a situation where you need to be operating a gate, have the horse in one hand while holding onto something else, or some other sort of multitasking activity. Also useful for awkward bloody gates where if you had to move your body into your horse to get it to step back out of the way, it would be even more awkward. I just wiggle the rope at my horse and say "back" and back she goes.

Edit: There was no "whacking" to teach her this. She already knew how to back and I just attached the wiggley rope to my other back command (stepping towards her chest) until she understood the meaning of the wiggley rope and would back off the wiggley rope alone. Easy. And not traumatic at all.
     

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