ANSC311-Backing

ANSC311-Backing - you reward him and then you have not...

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Maddi Williams A Feel For Backing Teaching a young horse to back is beneficial for many reasons. Backing strengthens almost all the muscles in the hindquarters, as well as the back and loin. It is useful when guiding through obstacles and is an important precursor for many other advanced maneuvers. Towards the end of a training session is a good time to ask a young horse to back. When backing a colt it is important not to pull, the horse should back because he is being asked to, not because he is being forced. The best way to begin asking the horse is to take the slack out of the reins, put a little pressure on his mouth, and wait for the colt to back away from it. Having feel in your hands and body is an important quality, because the instant he makes any backwards movement, you need to give him back his slack. Just making a movement back is fine in the beginning, he is moving away from pressure and that is the response you as a rider are looking for. If you hold on and wait for him to take a couple of steps back, he could quit trying before
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Unformatted text preview: you reward him and then you have not taught him anything. A young colt is still learning to move away from pressure. When pressure is applied to his mouth, he might move forward, sideways, or sling his head. If he moves around, maintain the same light pressure on his mouth until he, on purpose or accidentally, leans or takes a step backwards. If he slings his head the pressure on his mouth is probably too strong. It is important to pull just enough that is uncomfortable for him and he tries to move. The pressure should be slight, and come from the fingertips, not the entire upper body. The colt will find out through process of elimination that the fastest way to get relief from the pressure is to back up. In the beginning, backing the slightest amount should be praised. Just as all training the beginning steps are a building block. With each training session the young horse is learning new maneuvers, and consistently progressing....
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