Monday, March 30, 2015

Backing in an Circle

When some people start backing their horse in a circle I think they assume since they ride in a forwards circle in an arc,...... with the horse's nose slightly tipped in the direction of the circle and using the outside leg to push the horse around the inside leg,.... that they think they can do the same only going backwards to achieve the backing in a circle.  I sure as heck can't get it done that way.

At some point the rider will usually use his outside leg to move the back end into the circle and because the nose is tipped to the inside this slows the momentum, usually to a stop, and then the horse may make a large movement with the back end sort of like a roll back and his head comes up. The end result is that both the horse and the rider are frustrated as the horse can't figure out what you want and the rider....

When I back in a circle, I'll start with my horse straight then ask him for some softness and back him a step, and as he begins to finish that first step, I tip his head very slightly in the opposite direction of my circle or arc.

It's likely a good starting point to do this initial movement a few times giving the horse a short break in between each time so he understands that's what you are asking. And without much outside leg pressure, you also likely see the beginning of an arc.

In the beginning I had to have a light hold on outside rein to keep his head tipped slightly to the outside and with the inside rein I use pressure and release to get him to back, using my outside leg to apply a little bit of pressure on the rear of his barrel to keep the back end moving inside the arc.

You'll have to forgive my drawing above (I'm only slightly more advanced than drawing stick horses) as well as my narrative on how I back a horse in a circle. It's hard to describe accurately what you do in the saddle,.......probably easier to describe how to castrate a house cat, that's why I shot the video below, it should do a better job at explaining.

In the video below, while my horse is not backing in a collected manner (broke at the poll) as I'm not so much in contact with the bosal on his nose,'s at the end of a long day, but he does have a natural head set and that's okay with me as long as he is not being bracey and keeps his momentum. 

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic... I would like to know WHAT saddle you are using in this .. It looks to have a REALLY NICE high Cantle