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Success Is Easy

Horse Training Tips and Techniques, Helpful Hints for Health Care;
Plus Business Advice on Making Your Career With Horses a Financial Success

By Don Blazer

          If you want a horse to go forward slowly and softly, be sure the horse can go backward quickly and lightly.

         Backing a horse has nothing to do with pulling on the reins, and everything to do with the horse shifting its weight to the hindquarters, then moving off your leg cues.

         To back a horse, shorten your reins until you feel the horse shift its weight to the hindquarters.  Don't pull on the reins; simply shorten them until the horse shifts its weight in order to be comfortable within the new frame.  (At first you'll have to shorten the reins by moving your hands down the reins, but when the horse learns the communication, you'll simply lift your reins as demonstrated in the video:

        Once the horse has shifted its weight to the hindquarters, (hasn't taken a step backward; just shifted weight to hindquarters) you simply squeeze with both legs and the horse will back…it is as easy as that…the horse will not toss or lift its head and it will not open its mouth to escape bit pressure as there is no bit pressure.   Once in the backing frame, the horse will respond to your leg pressure cues.  Remove your leg pressure and the horse stops backing.

       When your horse begins to increase speed in a forward gait, simply stop and back.  Back 20 or 30 feet before asking for the forward movement again.

       Backing engages the hindquarters, softens the horse by rounding up the spine, and slows the horse's desire to move forward too rapidly.  When you get the horse to back as softly and easily as the one in the video, your forward gaits will be slower and softer.

      You can earn a professional horse trainer certification by taking courses at, including nutrition and conformation, both subjects for consideration when determining why your horse’s gaits are too fast. 

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