Training tips: How to teach your horse backwards.

With moving your horse backwards it is very important that you stay in contact with your rein. And going strait backwards!

The goal of going backwards:

  1. Obedience
  2. Bending joints of the back legs
  3. Bending of back and loins
  4. Loosening stiff horses
  5. Promote closeness
  6. Promote yield to the bit


backwards horses

The aids of going backwards:

The horse needs to be active, with impulse and on the leg. With on the leg I mean: if you give leg he or she needs to responds. Also the weight needs to be equal on every leg.

To go backwards the rider need to give resistance to the leg. So you give leg and the same time you hold it with your hand. The hand of the rider is not giving so the horse can only go backwards. Very important is when the horse is going backwards you/the rider relaxes in the hand. And if you do it properly the horse is going backwards on your leg, not on the hand. With young horses the rider can be a little bit in half seat. After backwards directly riding forwards.

With your horse backwards:

With going backwards, the horse need to change his weight to the back-legs. Also the horse needs to have enough forward impulse. To achieve this you can ride a lot of transitions. The criterion with going backwards is not necessary Standing Square but more that the horse is willing to put his weight on the back-legs.

Problems and solutions:

–       Going not strait. The forehand needs to be corrected and again set on one line with the backhand. On the side where the horse is going with his backhand, places the rider his or her hand a little bit of the neck. The horse needs to be better on two rains.

–       Horse comes to the hand and pushes back away. Important is that the horse yield enough to the bit and legs when standing still before backwards. If so the horse will put more weight on the back and yield more to the bit.

–       To deep and to fast going backwards. The rider needs to put his or her hand higher and the horse more to the leg. Why? This is because the horse has so less opportunity to put his head down. When his head is more upwards the horse need to use more his back-legs and is going slower backwards.

–       The horse blocks. (Is putting all joint on lock). The rider needs to let the horse do side passes. Every side some side passes alternately.