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Discussion Starter #1
My horse is well behaved for me while riding in the ring but as soon as I take him outsideI can tell he gets nervous.

He has been on trail rides before with previous owners but the first time I took him out he started backing up and wouldn't stop. I try to turn him around but he always seems to want to backup in a straight line. I am scared that he is going to fall into a ditch or get hurt so is there any way I can get him to stop without having to turn him? Just incase that isn't an option if I am in a small space.
 

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Just a question, but do you know if during his training whenever he did something wrong did they always back him up? Reason is I have a friend that has the same problem with their horse. This happened during training with the previous owner. Now the horse thinks to get out of a situation he doesn't want to be in reverse is his answer, and boy can he back straight and fast! I would love to hear the answer as she is considering selling him since they ride all over the country and she is having deep concerns in taking him on a mountain. Backing up there is something you don't do.

So far they have tried riding another horse behind him - he just backs into them and makes them move, spurs - that just sped his reverse up.
 

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Keep him moving. Kick him forward. Don't give him the chance to think about backing up. Keep his mind and feet busy.
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Discussion Starter #4
Just a question, but do you know if during his training whenever he did something wrong did they always back him up? Reason is I have a friend that has the same problem with their horse. This happened during training with the previous owner. Now the horse thinks to get out of a situation he doesn't want to be in reverse is his answer, and boy can he back straight and fast! I would love to hear the answer as she is considering selling him since they ride all over the country and she is having deep concerns in taking him on a mountain. Backing up there is something you don't do.

So far they have tried riding another horse behind him - he just backs into them and makes them move, spurs - that just sped his reverse up.
I'm not sure what happened during his training. I only got him a few months ago... He is an amazing horse to ride so I dont think there were any problems with his training. He does well when I ask him to back up and stop in the ring, but outside is a different story.
 

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I would back him up untill he thought his legs were going to fall off then I would ride him forward. If that didn't work then I'd take a crop and warm his butt up as soon as he started backward. Don't pussyfoot around get after him with that crop like he just stepped on you puppy. Be prepared for a big lunge when he does decide to come forward though.
 

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I like to play the horse's game except I change the rules and don't tell the horse. As Kevin says, when the horse starts backing up, just let him but when he wants to stop, keep him going. Now his little game has backfired. He's nervous about leaving the security of the stable alone but he also needs to listen to you.
 

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^^ Like they said......he wants to back-FINE! Lets go! until he can back no more...then a few ore steps!
 

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I would be sure that his butt was turned the way I wanted to go and then when he backed, I would still be going forward. Seems like the sport would get old to him eventually. Backing for a mile or so is bound to be tiresome.

It really sounds like he just doesn't want to go and is trying to intimidate his rider. Spurs or a nice crop on the backside might be in order.
 

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My Arab mare did that all the time when i first got her. Whenever she reached a point in the ride or encountered something that unsettled her she would just back on up and not stop and no amount of "whoa" or kicking would help and there were times when she wouldn't even turn.
The only thing i found works wonders with her is a whip. All i have to do is wave it in her line of sight or smack my boot with it and she stops instantly and walks on.
Im not surprised that spurs wouldn't work as spurs aren't necessarily meant for making a horse move forwards or go faster. Whips are which is why you never see jockeys wearing spurs ;)
 

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I have to agree with Kevin and others. My second pony (back in my childhood days) did exactly the same thing to me, he would back - into electric fences, creeks, trees it didn't matter what was behind him. In the end the thing that solved the problem was a foot and a half of alkathene hose pipe. One day I had had enough and I cracked that little **** on the bum until my arm was tired. I carried that hose pipe for ever after with him but I never had to use it again!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
In the moment -- disengage his hindquarters. He won't be able to back.

Does he do better if you ride with another?
I was with my friend and her pony at the time. I was thinking of going on a larger ride with more horses and my friend who owns the barn where I keep Stormy. She is very experienced with horses and I feel that she would be able to direct us in the right direction before he decides to back up and then bolt home.
 

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I was with my friend and her pony at the time...I feel that she would be able to direct us in the right direction before he decides to back up and then bolt home.
There is a reason why we start riding horses in a fenced in area, so that they cannot run away with us. There are multiple bad things that can happen to you if your horse bolts, and most of them are very dangerous!Your horse needs to be under your control in an arena before you ride trails. People think trail riding is simple. Truly, only the best behaved horses are good trail horses. People that train horses specifically for trail riding teach them things like not moving under low lying limbs and to not move close enough to trees or fencelines so that your leg isn't smacked. I have owned 2 horses trained like this, and it's a blessing.
Obviously your horse doesn't back on cue. Your horse should move under saddle ONLY with your deliberate cues or orders. Go back and school him until he listens. THEN, you can ride him outside.
 

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My mare does this also. History... I got her 4 months ago, she hadn't been ridden in 2 yrs (she's 4), the only riding she received was a month with a "trainer". The so-called trainer beat the he!! out of her, and it's taken time to gain her trust, but if she comes to a situation she's not comfortable with she backs, if I wack her on her ****, she tries to buck, but I don't let her get her head down enough so she can. I sill make her back longer than she wants to, then make her go forward again... she's coming around, but it's really slow!
 

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I would just disengage his hindquarters. encourage circles over backing.. I wouldn't allow him to back because he could think that he is just doing what you wanted him to do in the first place. Try and teach him that when he gets nervous to just stop. I taught my gelding this and it is safe and allows me to be aware of the situation and a chance to read how he may react. Backing on a trail with out control is dangerous and I wouldn't encourage it. Remember after you have completed a circle to stop him and make him wait before continuing, this will keep him from automatically moving forward in the future.
 

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If the horse is in a straight line the his body is braced to do as he wants, forward or back. Pull your left rein (thinking side of the horse) until you see his eye. Keep your hand on the pommel/forks and lightly put both legs on him. He may back up but with his neck bent his back end will begin moving laterally as he's trying to back up. This is tiring as his legs are designed for forward movement. The moment he stops, skoot your hand forward to allow him to straighten his body and relax your legs. Let him stand a few seconds then ask him to go in your direction. You may have to repeat the exercise two or three times as that's how long it takes a horse to sort out that if he does this, then he has to work harder. He figured that by balking and going home was the easiest for him. Now you will show him that by being compliant is a lot easier on him. BTW when you trail ride for several hours or longer do you stop every 20 min or so and let the horse graze a little? He may associate a ride with going hungry.
 
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