Horse stuck in neutral or reverse
I have a 3 year old filly that I have just started. Her big problem is that when you are in the saddle she refuses to go forward and if you just sit on her to get her used to you in the saddle she backs up. She will go forward fine as long as someone either leads her or just walks beside her but will not go on her own.
Do you have someone who can assist you from the ground and help you move her forward using a lunge whip or flag to gently encourage her forward until she understands what you're asking for?
Going back is either defiance or confusion; most likely confusion. Try what MyBoyPuck said, and if she seems to know what you're asking for and just not doing it, give her a pop with the crop or dressage whip.
What are you trying to do to get her going forward?
Have you tried simply taking up one rein, and asking her to atleast 'move her feet'? If you can't get her going foward, atleast get her to unstick her feet, that way you don't have a problem later of "if I don't want to move, I don't have too". You have to control her feet, no matter if she doesn't want to move 'foward' or not.
^^ Good post.
Also, have you established forward motion from the ground and use a consistent cue like words or smooching that would easily transfer to the saddle?
When I have a young horse that is "stuck", I will generally take up one rein and bump with the outside leg while smooching and if that doesn't get their feet moving, a gentle pop on the outside butt (away from their head) with a bridle rein will usually do the job. But be prepared for a big jump if you use the rein and have never done it before. :D
Don't get frustrated, many young horses go through a stage like this. As long as her feet are moving, then you have control and it will just take some time before she figures out that it is more comfortable to line out and trot a bit as opposed to turning in little circles. Just keep at it and don't give up. ;)
My 3 year old has the same problem. She occasionally(especially on trail rides) will stop and turn refuse to to forward and she will turn herself and try and sidepass back home/to her friend. I can turn her back the way I want to go and she will do little baby rear pirouette things that would make a dressage horse amazed.If there is another person there they can grab on to the bridle and lead her and she has no issue but if they let go she starts again.
When this mare stops I start by just using my normal "go forward cue" and if she ignores that I gently start pulling her head to each side because eventually the horse will start walking to follow it's head. If that doesn't work or she starts sidepassing or backing I gently tap her with a crop if she ignores that the crop gets more harsh. This has yet to work for me.
You could probably have someone with a lunge whip or a flag stand behind your horse so it can't back and either tell them to use the whip to get the horse to move forward or try turning it's head.
When I start a colt and get on them for the first time I usually can get them moving by bumping my legs and wiggling from side to side and generally just being obnoxious until they move then I just ride like normal unless they stop then the wiggling and bumping start again. If that fails then I might use the rien on thier buts or turn little circles. another thing you could do is get someone else on a horse in the pen with you and let them start going and see if that encourages her to move out a bit.
Don't know if it was already said, I didn't really care to read many replies.
But, I'd say that she's just pushing your buttons, unless there is some ulterior motive for her to not move forward such as tack. When my horse wants to back up incessantly, I pull her backwards, because then she's doing what I want. So then she goes forward when I tell her to. There isn't a need to fight your horse, so, instead of LETTING her go back when she wants, MAKE her go back when she wants.
If you wear a breast collar, that may make her back up, I know a horse who wouldn't go forward with a breast collar, but once it was off she was fine!
I had the same problem.
Let her back up, don't punish her for it. She doesn't know any better. She has no clue what you want, and scaring her into it isn't going to help. She has to get confortable with going forward. If she already knew better then id say, if she wants to back fine, then make her back untill she wont want to anymore. But she doesn't know any better and you must teach her.
Have someone walk next to her as if they wer leading her and praise the crap out of her. Slowly ease the person off her. Eventally she will realise that going foward isn't all that bad. You got to get her so she understands forward motion and goes along with it happily.
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