Step Four – Backing Up
Teaching a horse to back up correctly can solve many problem such as barging over the top of you when leading. Its a great asset when lunging and long-reining, especially for downward transitions and it helps your horse to led in position and stand correctly in the show ring. It will help to stop horses pulling on the bit under saddle, to come off the forehand and build up their back muscles before breaking in. Most importantly the horse will gain confidence in your as a teacher and leader.
A lot of horses try to establish a pecking order by pushing their owners around. Backing up politely when cued will teach your horse to have respect for you and will stop any pecking order vices.
I like to combine body and voice cues for a very clear understanding. When I point and give a command, I want my horse to respond happily and obediently. If he has been taught well, he will obey without question. This kind of training produces a very calm, relaxed horse who is confident in his position in the pecking order.
The backing up cue can be used for many situations:
- backing out of the float
- downward transitions on the lunge or when leading
- teaching young horses to engage their hindquarters
- teaching stallions to not rush at a mare
- respect for you
- leading in the show ring