HIDEAWAY TRAINING TIP
If you came here from another site, please click here to see all our tips and the other great resources at the HIDEAWAY QUARTER HORSES website.
up is an important part of building a strong foundation on a horse. A
horse that backs well will be better at every other thing that he does.
We always make backing a big part of our horses early training.
Strong backing is the basis for a good whoa, good rollbacks, sliding stops
and many other maneuvers. To back well, a horse must learn to move
his hind end up under himself. To do this strongly and consistently takes
practice and repetition. Use a snaffle bit for all early training (full
cheek, dee or ring). Start by sitting relaxed and quiet in the saddle
and picking up both reins equally to put just a small amount of pressure
on the horses mouth. I stress that it should be gentle pressure,
not hard pressure, which will only confuse and worry your horse. You cant
make a horse responsive to light cues by starting with heavy cues. Continue
to hold the light pressure until your horse takes even the slightest,
small step back, then release both reins and pet/praise him to reinforce
that he did what you wanted. If he doesnt move back, continue to
hold the small pressure until he does. Eventually he will try a step back
to move away from the pressure. If your horse is prancing around or throwing
his head around, you are likely using too much pressure, so lighten up.Once
your horse has taken a small step back and you have dropped the reins
and praised him, repeat again with light pressure. Continue the repetitions
with light pressure, step back, release and praise until your horse takes
a step back as soon as you pick up the reins. Once he is consistently
taking one step back to your cue, hold the pressure until he takes two
steps back. Then three steps back and four and so on. Keep working with
your horse until he will continue stepping back for as long as you have
just the slightest backward pressure on the reins.