Horse Training Basics for Beginners – Part II
We write about horse training basics from time to time. This article is a continuation of our previous article, Horse Training Basics – 5 Tips that Every Beginner Must Know.
We are going to talk about horse training in this article a bit more. If you have read our previous horse training article, you already know the basics of building a relationship and maneuvering your horse. In this article we will be a bit specific, we will focus on training your horse to back up better.
Natural Movements of Horses
Horses can move in many different ways in nature, however, backing up is not among the common movements of a horse. Horses like to move forward naturally and instinctively. None the less, teaching a horse to back up naturally can be a very important part of training a horse.
5 Tips on Training your Horse to Back Up on Cue
You can teach your horse to back up willingly on cue. It demonstrates a certain amount of submission and obedience to the rider. However, if you are a new rider, you may find it difficult to make your horse back up on command. Below we have 5 tips to help you train your horse to back up naturally on cue.
1. Have a clear understanding of your goal
Your horse should be able to understand when you want it to move forward. It should move forward when you apply pressure on it with your legs. He must also learn to yield to pressure from the bit. He must learn to flex on the poll when you pick up contact with both reins and bend his head laterally when you pick up contact using one rein at a time.
2. Teach the horse with pressure of your rein
When you apply pressure on both the reins and apply pressure on the horse with your legs, you create energy into the horse. It realizes that it needs to act in a way to release the pressure and the energy needs to go somewhere. You then create a barrier for the horse from moving forward by pulling the reins backward with both your hands; when the horse steps back in response, release the pressure.
Video – Teaching your horse to Back Up
3. Use the rails
When you first start out, your horse may move backwards in a crooked line. To avoid this, use the rails of the long side of an arena by placing the horse parallel to it. Try one side and then reverse sides. Make sure you don’t rub against the rails.
4. Keep your eyes straight
Keep your eyes straight ahead and don’t look down at your horse. This will ensure that you have balance and control at all times.
5. Stopping your horse:
Once your horse starts moving backwards, increase the length of reins on both sides and release pressure of your legs. Your horse will stop once the pressure is released. He will understand what you want him to do in response to the rein pressure.
Maintain a steady contact with both reins, he should flex at the polls. Apply pressure with your legs, and your horse will analyze this pressure and understand that you want him to move backwards in response. Once he takes a step backwards, release the pressure of your legs and his contact. Reward him for his positive movements just like we talked about in the previous issue.
So, this is all we have for this issue; hope you’ll enjoy training your horse. You need to practice these tips and learn them gradually, so don’t try to rush into things. Communicate clearly with your horse, avoid pulling harshly at the reins and avoid forcing him.
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