How To Train A Horse To Stop & Back Up
IMPORTANT NOTE: This video demonstrates an “INTERMEDIATE” level training technique. If your horse isn’t this far along, we have DVDs and online videos that start at the “FOUNDATION” level of training… which may be more appropriate for your horse.
A good horse training question from Karen:
When asking your horse to give to the bit you apply even pressure to the reins and hold until they give and release. But if you want your horse to back you do the same thing but bump with your legs to go backyards, my question is when your wanting your horse to collect and go forward you do the same with with the reins and bump with your legs. So how does your horse know to go back or forward?
My answer to Karen’s question:
Excellent question. Here’s how it works:
To go FORWARD with collection, you FIRST ask the horse to move forward with your legs while the bit remains PASSIVE (giving). You have contact with the horse’s mouth but the bit is yielding and not set solid.
Once the horse starts his forward progression (two or three steps), then the rider can set the bit solid INTERMITTENTLY to encourage the horse to drop off, get behind the bit yet stay in front of the rider’s legs.
NOTE: Set the left side of the bit solid, then the right side… left, right, left, right etc.
The horse will be moving forward, soft and collected.
For the BACK UP, you FIRST set the bit SOLID. Then ask for forward motion with your legs by bumping or squeezing with your legs INTERMITTENTLY.
With the bit set solid (like a brick wall), the horse can’t go forward and has no other choice but to step backwards.
Hope this clarifies.
By the way, this video clip was taken from my horse training DVD, Western Riding Know How.
It’s a very detailed DVD and I highly recommend it.
NOTE: Keep in mind this is an “intermediate” training technique that works well but is not the only way to teach a horse to stop. My training DVDs show a variety of different methods to get the job done. Some more basic, some more advanced.
Larry Trocha Training Stable
This is a great way to train a horse to stop and back up.