The Horse Forum banner

Is there a difference between "the rein back" and backing up a horse under saddle?

719 Views 19 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Zimalia22
I've been reading some German books lately (not in German LOL) and they talk a lot about "the rein back". They don't think you should introduce it until later in a horse's training. Does anyone know if this is different than just asking a horse to back up under saddle? I don't see why you wouldn't teach a horse to back up under saddle pretty early on.
  • Like
Reactions: 2
1 - 2 of 20 Posts
I don't like the idea of backing a horse for punishment, I know it is done often but not by me. I see horses that get upset about something and immediately start running back, this can be dangerous if you are in traffic or tight spaces where there is no room for this, like a deep bank or ditch.
I do include it in ground work but not as punishment i just want to horse to back with little or no pressure on the lead, mainly by voice or a touch on the chest and a calm couple of steps back and then stand quietly. I don't want the horse anxious about it.

I don't even rush into it when starting to ride the horse as I have also seen horses use it as an escape method to avoid what I want in a forward motion. I want them going forward nicely and when that is well established I will ask for a back up. I sit deep close my legs to bring the horse on the bit but don't give just keep steady hands and say the word back as they already know it well. When a get a step or two stop asking and praise while standing quietly. that way they learn to back up without anxiety and also to stand still after, this method has always worked well for me.

I will insist however in the barn if a horse tries to rush out a stall door or in and out the barn door that they stop and back up and I use as much force as I have to to get this job done, it only takes a few times until they know they have to be polite at doorways. I can lead a horse down the aisle with no rope or halter and stop or back a step any time I wish with just a word so they will go quietly through the door ways.

they usually are very familiar with backing before being ridden so easy to transfer it to riding with no trouble/
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 3
After my post about backing up I didn't mention my thoughts on the back up or rein back.
I always thought back up was a quiet few steps back while rein back was something that a reining horse would do or a western trained horse would kind of run back a few or several steps.
this is just my thoughts on it and can be completely wrong.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
1 - 2 of 20 Posts