Back Up-In The Saddle

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You should be riding your horse in a halter and lead or a snaffle bit set-up. As you sit on his back quietly, letting him rest a moment in the center of the arena, get a clear picture in your mind of what you want to do. Before you back up your horse

From a standstill, pick up the slack in both reins and produce vertical flexion.
(Remember, apply more pressure to one rein than the other.) Ask for vertical flexion with either a right or left shape. Your horse will tell you how much pressure to use-match his resistance. Keep him soft in the bridle as you move forward in a walk.



Vertical softness and seat position

Ride the vertical softness to a halt with your seat. As your horse is walking forward with vertical softness, change your seat by tipping your pelvis, pushing your seat (or pockets) against your saddle. You do not want to sit down hard, but make your body light as if you had balloons attached to the top of your head. (This is the same position for a stop but your body is light instead of heavy.) Make sure the horse remains vertical. If your horse rocks his weight backward even a little bit, release pressure on the reins immediately. If he does not respond, keep your pressure steady, but do not pull. You should never pull your horse backward. Instead, passively match the pressure he puts on the bit. The change in the seat should be enough to make him feel uncomfortable, and he will naturally try to figure out what kind of movement will make the discomfort go away. The moment he thinks about the backup, release the pressure when your horse gives you the slightest try.


Leg Pressure

To suggest, apply leg pressure to make the horse continue to search for what you want. The backup.
Start with your calves, applying pressure on one side and then the other. Increase this leg pressure until you get a response. The idea is to cause the horse to search for what you are asking. Most horses will at this point choose to move forward. If the horse does match the pressure with the bit, shut the forward motion down. Then continue using your calves until you feel a shift in weight and the backup.

Face the challenge.

You can do this.

The Backup.

PrePare with vertical softness

Check your path

you are his eyes

Check both sidesand keep him vertical

without pulling

loose rein

He's staying vertical(collected)

on his own

Release and reward your horse

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Larry French-3L Horsemanship

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Lateral Flexion



Vertical Softness

Leg Yields

Back Up





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