HomeUncategorizedPony evasion: backing


Pony evasion: backing — 9 Comments

  1. I have a friend who's horse didn't want to cross bridges or go in water. My friend turned her horse around and backed her through it. Once the horse realized she was on the bridge or in the water, she was fine and they were able to turn forward and finish the obstacle.

  2. I don't have anything new to suggest, but in the spirit of commiseration: when I took Dixie to Mt. Diablo this summer, we went up a big hill on a big road, then I turned off the big road onto a singletrack carved into a very steep hill. We went maybe a quarter mile and she just refused to go any further. Something spooked her (maybe she smelled a lion?). She would not go forward, we could not go sideways, and every time I asked her to go forward she backed up on a twisty singletrack. I had to slither off on the off-side and back her about ten feet til the trail got a couple inches wider and I could let her turn around. I led her back to the crossroads and took the wide road that paralleled the singletrack, and somehow that wasn't scary.
    It wasn't as much of a clear evasion as "but the food and the other horses are all behind us so I won't go forward," but even the most well-broke and levelheaded horses will STILL do that shit sometimes. :-/

  3. My baby does this for anything he does not want to do, usually coming near a ditch, water or jump that's scary. Since he is a baby and just starting his eventing career, I let it slide a little. but just a little.

    First, I let him look. Like REALLY look. usually he doesn't want to, so as long as I keep his nose pointed at object, he will stop shuffling around and being a dick. Once he stops, I let him sit a few seconds then apply leg. This usually starts the shuffling, backing, bucking fit again so wash rinse repeat. After 2-3 times he usually gives up and will go over it after a little bit of HARD leg applied. Sometimes they just need a good look, or know you wont give up. But don't let them turn away! Nose. to. object.

  4. I had a mare who sounds like she was very similar to yours and had figured out the whole backing as an evasion thing. I had a bit of success with just having her work extra hard on a circle any time she thought about starting, even if it meant getting off and lunging her on the spot, or giving up some distance. Not ideal for some places on the trail, but since she was more of the lazy/'I don't want to" persuasion, the idea of working extra hard rather than me just getting off and leading her or just turning and backing her seemed to make a difference. Such a tricky thing to deal with and I never did cure her 100% of trying.

  5. One of my horses does this sometimes too, we've been working on it and other issues for quite a while now. What I do is keep her facing the direction I want her to go and w a i t.

    Sometimes it takes a couple times but she typically does go forward after we have waited til she's ready and calm again. I usually get a little signal from her that she's ready which is her ear back to me listening for direction on what to do next.

    I've found that using the crop or spurs or the poppers at the ends of the reins to MAKE her go forward have a temporary effect which was not really solving the real issue– which for me and my horse has been her lack of confidence in me as the rider. I've been doing LOTS of arena work (15-25 min sessions) and testing it out on the trails with steady but slow success.

  6. I got rid of this behavior by doing a lot of groundwork. I did Clinton Anderson style point and go stuff a lot and once she got it every time she thought of backing or rearing under saddle I'd get off and work her through it on the ground. The more I had to do it the more exuberantly I'd expect her to go forward. After an amazingly short amount of time she realized that it really was just WAY easier to just go forward calmly at a walk with me on board. Anymore she looks for opportunities to keep me up there and is actually happier when I'm riding haha

  7. This is exactly how I've been dealing with scary objects! Preferably with the end result of 'nose onto formerly terrifying object', since that seems to get her over it for the future (hello, abandoned shopping cart earlier this week, I am thinking of you). If I can get her curiosity to kick in, we're good to go.

    What would you suggest when she's dutifully facing the object but continuing to back 100+ feet down the trail?

  8. I've actually seen this work with a friend's horse! Unfortunately it's one of the few things that 100% fails with Fetti. I do think there's an inherent resistance to the aids (more on that in my next post!) that I'm working to address, but she goes from Scared to Stubborn and it feels like even if she's not scared anymore, she's still unwilling to give in and do whatever I'm asking.

  9. I like that. I can't ask for the canter on a circle (unrelated training hole that I've accepted as permanent), but I could totally ask for a nice brisk trot in circles the next time she pulls that on the wider roads.