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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I have a 22 yr. old foundation morgan gelding. He's awesome but were having a little problem with backing up in the saddle and on the ground. On the ground to get a back up I have to push against him and even then I rarely get a few steps he usually try's to turn around or go sideways same when in saddle. how can I teach him when I wiggle the lead rope or pick up on my reins he backs up nicely without resisting so much?
 

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There could be a reason he doesn't want to back. I had an old walking horse that never would back. I'm not sure if he was never taught or if his ring bone and arthritis was behind it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
There could be a reason he doesn't want to back. I had an old walking horse that never would back. I'm not sure if he was never taught or if his ring bone and arthritis was behind it.
I've had him vet checked and he's actually really good health so I don't think that could be reason. He has been taught to back and side pass etc.. but I think he's a little rusty on those things. He may just be stubborn he can be that way lol
 

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To teach him to back up on the ground start out next to a fence on the side he usually tries to turn to the fence will help keep him straight. Then stand about four feet in front of him where he can see you and use a training stick and tap the air in front of his nose with steady rhythm and count 1,2,3,4 if he does not move increase the pressure and tap the rope for a count of 4, if he does not move increase the pressure hit the rope, then the clip, and if he still has not moved tap him under his chin. Usually though by the time you get to the clip they will take a step back. One step is all your looking for as soon as he takes one step release the pressure and rub his face with the stick then ask again beginning with tapping the air. Once he knows your going to increase the pressure and make him uncomfortable for standing he will move with less an less pressure. Once you get him backing on the ground then do it from the saddle, using the same principle make it uncomfortable for him not to back up, and release the pressure as soon as he does. One way to get him backing under saddle is to first yield his hind end then redirect feet to back up so he already has momentum and your just redirecting his energy.

Horses do not naturally back up and some are more willing then others. At his age he probably sees no use in backing up so his feet stick. So you have to make it uncomfortable for him not to back up and he will seek the release of pressure and back up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
To teach him to back up on the ground start out next to a fence on the side he usually tries to turn to the fence will help keep him straight. Then stand about four feet in front of him where he can see you and use a training stick and tap the air in front of his nose with steady rhythm and count 1,2,3,4 if he does not move increase the pressure and tap the rope for a count of 4, if he does not move increase the pressure hit the rope, then the clip, and if he still has not moved tap him under his chin. Usually though by the time you get to the clip they will take a step back. One step is all your looking for as soon as he takes one step release the pressure and rub his face with the stick then ask again beginning with tapping the air. Once he knows your going to increase the pressure and make him uncomfortable for standing he will move with less an less pressure. Once you get him backing on the ground then do it from the saddle, using the same principle make it uncomfortable for him not to back up, and release the pressure as soon as he does. One way to get him backing under saddle is to first yield his hind end then redirect feet to back up so he already has momentum and your just redirecting his energy.

Horses do not naturally back up and some are more willing then others. At his age he probably sees no use in backing up so his feet stick. So you have to make it uncomfortable for him not to back up and he will seek the release of pressure and back up.
Thank you so much for your help im going to try this for sure! :)
 

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You should teach him to follow the feel of your leadline, first in putting his head down, bit by bit, then to take a step back, by off-centering the lead toward the hoof that you want to step back. One bit of cooperation rewarded by a release, at first. If he gets stuck, you can tap the hoof that you want to step back.
 

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To teach him to back up on the ground start out next to a fence on the side he usually tries to turn to the fence will help keep him straight. Then stand about four feet in front of him where he can see you and use a training stick and tap the air in front of his nose with steady rhythm and count 1,2,3,4 if he does not move increase the pressure and tap the rope for a count of 4, if he does not move increase the pressure hit the rope, then the clip, and if he still has not moved tap him under his chin. Usually though by the time you get to the clip they will take a step back. One step is all your looking for as soon as he takes one step release the pressure and rub his face with the stick then ask again beginning with tapping the air. Once he knows your going to increase the pressure and make him uncomfortable for standing he will move with less an less pressure. Once you get him backing on the ground then do it from the saddle, using the same principle make it uncomfortable for him not to back up, and release the pressure as soon as he does. One way to get him backing under saddle is to first yield his hind end then redirect feet to back up so he already has momentum and your just redirecting his energy.

Horses do not naturally back up and some are more willing then others. At his age he probably sees no use in backing up so his feet stick. So you have to make it uncomfortable for him not to back up and he will seek the release of pressure and back up.

Horses back up all the time when getting out of tight spot, or moving off of feed. You need to spend some more time around them.

And the method you described is the worst one to use. You should never hit a horse under the chin to get it to back, and furthermore these "methods" would get you fired in a training barn, if you weren't shot first.


To OP.

Run your hand down his face and lightly tip nose towards chest while telling him to back...rock nose some to get him to shift back and release when he steps back. This also works to get him used to it from saddle too.

But will throw this in. While you may think there is no pain involved here? This is an older horse, and you may not be able to see what is wrong with him internally. Old bones ache, and old joints and muscles do too. If he is doing the things he is, I would be willing to bet there are pain issues. Could be up in poll, neck, spine, hips, legs...but would be willing to bet if you had more diagnostics done you would find several things wrong that are making him unwilling to back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Horses back up all the time when getting out of tight spot, or moving off of feed. You need to spend some more time around them.

And the method you described is the worst one to use. You should never hit a horse under the chin to get it to back, and furthermore these "methods" would get you fired in a training barn, if you weren't shot first.


To OP.

Run your hand down his face and lightly tip nose towards chest while telling him to back...rock nose some to get him to shift back and release when he steps back. This also works to get him used to it from saddle too.

But will throw this in. While you may think there is no pain involved here? This is an older horse, and you may not be able to see what is wrong with him internally. Old bones ache, and old joints and muscles do too. If he is doing the things he is, I would be willing to bet there are pain issues. Could be up in poll, neck, spine, hips, legs...but would be willing to bet if you had more diagnostics done you would find several things wrong that are making him unwilling to back.

I have just worked with my horse on this and hes awesome now all I have to do is jiggle my lead and say "back" and I can ensure you my horse isn't in pain I just had the vet out and hes one of the best looking healthiest oldest horses he's seen.
 
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