So my gelding is an OTQH and he does not know how to back up. I am assuming because backing up in racing is bad since you want them to go forward really fast lol. Maybe not
Anyway can someone tell me how to teach him to back. I assume that I start on the ground and then take it to under saddle. Tips tricks detailed description very much appreciated :)
I ride alot of babies with no ground work, everything is done off their back. I start practicing backs right away. I might put the baby against a fence and then pulling gently back, wiggling my hands I ask for a back. I might even nudge the horse with my heals to go forward but because of the fence and the bit he moves back. The instant I get one single step back I release all pressure and praise him. I do this a few time every time I ride him. In a few days he gets the idea and starts moving back on command
Again I say the word back, lighlty pull back but wiggle my hands and now to speed him up I bump him with my spurs. Back is just forward in reverse. So while my heels are asking for forward the reins are fixed perventing him from going forward so motion is rearward. I also steer the back end with my legs, not the reins.
Remember at the first movement backwards to quickly release all pressure and praise. In a few days you will have it.
Speeding up the back it done with your legs same as speeding up while walking.
If we want to look at the body mechanics of the back up we have to look at the bend of the body.
It would be great to just say the magic words and have a horse drop into reverse but it does not always work that way.
I have a couple of horses here that were just about born running backwards and a couple the I would like to hitch up to a backhoe.
Let's assume that your horse is one of the tough one's.
If you were to bend a horse to the left from the ground and get him to step with his left rear foot,then the foot would step back as the pivot began.
If you bent the horse to the right and the same thing happened,then you are on your way.
So I feel that the backup begins from the ground and from the pivot.
A horse can get kind of "bound up" and need to bend and pivot and then expand it into the back up.
I just posted these pictures on another thread but I think the maneuver is part of the foundation of basic training.
In these pictures you can see the horse bending to the right and the first REAR step that will happen is with the right rear foot as the front feet step across with the pivot.
This is the very beginning of the back up.
In the beginning the handler hopes for one step.
Bend to the left....step.
Bend to the right ....step.
You have to watch this and not over bend the horse to the point that they step forward with the outside foot instead of stepping back with the inside foot.
If there was a next picture it would show this horse picking up the right rear foot to step back but I missed the shot.
I will try to get that moment next time.
Hmm....that seems a little odd since my OTTB came to me knowing how to back up. Maybe you're just using the wrong cues? I know my guy is super sensitive to seat position, so I can't just be sitting there and ask him to "back" with my reins....I have to actually lean forward (literally sending my energy back) and use equal pressure on both my reins, pulling them--not in one solid pull, but like half halts-- so that they're level with my pommel. Then I say "back up" and it works like a charm!
The real question is when you ask him to back up from the ground does he do so? If he doesn't then you're right, he probably doesn't back up, but if he does, then its just a matter of finding the right cue.
I have taught my mare three different ways to back up. The first was the EASIEST:
1. Find a narrow U-shaped corridor. (I used the barn aisle and walked till my back faced a closed door. Have carrot nibs. Wait until your horse gets bored. They will start to back on their own. Your timing has to be impeccable, because as he starts to move back you want to voice a clear "Back" command, followed by a reward. I wouldn't repeat this too many times, at most 3-5 a day. Moving backward is tough, my mare can get nippy if I ask her in a row too many times.
2. Stand in front of your horse with a lead rope attached to their halter. Grasp the rope (palm down) slightly taught and about 16 inches from where its connected to the head collar. As you voice "Back" pump the rope (gently, not aggressively) in a "ask" "release" manner. Release as soon as your horse has an intention of moving backward. This is their reward. At first 1-3 steps back should be enough.
3. Stand in the typical leading position, with a lead rope approx. 10feet long. Wrap excess rope in your left hand, but leave slightly less than 2 feet of lead rope as a "tail" of sorts. Halt your horse using your right hand. It is preferable to have a wall or fence along the right side of your horse's body. Begin to twirl the tail in your left hand in front of the horses head, but be VERY careful not to hit the horse. Most horse's will back up and realize the rope is a barrier. This is also very helpful for a horse that crosses into your space when making a right turn. It tends to help teach them how to respect your space and maintain a distance, not to get too far in front of you or cross into your walking line.
When I first got Frida, I practiced this exercise where I led her and didn't look back at her at all. I would get about 8 feet ahead of her, and then suddenly spin around, wave my hands or stamp and say back. she would initially freeze because she was caught off guard, but then she would back up. If she moves towards you unasked, this is considered "disrespecting your space" unless your energy is secretly inviting her to do so. As soon as she began to back I would drop my arms and turn around again, releasing pressure. When you spin around you DEFINITELY don't want to look her in the face, but rather at her feet, where you want the movement. In fact, however you try to make her back refrain from doing that, as its imposing and confrontational. In fact, the only time I ever look her in the eyes is when its close "snoodling" time. The purpose of that exercise, is to get "your energy bubble to move her energy bubble." Which is the last and most important thing you need to get a horse to move their feet in any direction, and that is the belief and confidence that you can do so. They know the difference! haha. I have tried all of these and they have been successful, some more than others, but each horse varies I'm sure.
Phew! Long post!
He will back up on the ground but not very willingly. I had my neighbors take him to a playday and warm him up and she was like your horse doesn't know how to back up. I never had any reason to back him so I hadn't thought of it. The last time I rode I tried and he had no idea what I was asking.
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