Beginning Horse Riding : Collection Horse Training Backing Up

Beginning Horse Riding : Collection Horse Training Backing Up


In our discussion about collection and how
it impacts the horse, we like to think about backing up a horse. Putting him in reverse
is actually a very collected, and often thought of as kind of a forward movement. Odd to think
that backing a horse up would be considered that, but it truly does come off of the idea
that it’s a forward in to the bridle, and then backing up do to the direction and how
the rider communicates that direction is backing up. So, what we like to do is start our horse,
and always finish our horse, in their submissive to the bridle, soft and rounded forward, or
what I call hooked in the bridle, position. We aught to wait until they feel light and
soft in our hands, and then our hands ask for the first steps to give the horse the
sense of direction. If that horse takes a step backward and begins to go in the direction
we’re asking, we then let our leg slowly wrap around, coming down towards and possibly all
the way in to the heel. We always think about the pressure of the leg starts up in your
seat bones and then kind of wraps downward to where the knee, the calf and the heel can
all be part of that continuum of how much pressure do we need to apply. If I’m starting
a young horse, I’m just going to ask him for a few steps, and then I’m going to release
that pressure, giving him an instant reward to kind of solidify, help him understand that
the start is the backing up, and then the leg creates the energy to continue it. But
give him that instant reward so it stands in his mind that he did the right thing. Then
I’ll continue to add more pieces, getting all the way down and through in to my heel,
as my horse becomes better trained, understanding and submissive, so I can get those quick backups
that may be required in some of the work that we do as we compete and go to more advanced
riding skills. So we’re going to begin, the rider in her correct position, always looking
for that light submission, very good. Now we’re going to generate a couple of steps
backward, now add a little bit of the energy that comes from the leg as we wrap around
this horses side. If she goes all the way down to her heels, we’re going to see this
horse quicken his pace because it’s the energy of our heel that asks him to back up more
quickly. And we’ll bring the horse forward. We always want a nice and straight back, he
did a great job of that today. But what if the horse doesn’t back up straight? We have
two ways we can think about it. We can either put his hind quarters back in position. We
know that our leg controls everything behind the girth. So if we bring this leg back a
little bit to counteract which ever way those hind quarters are shifting, we may be able
to bring his hind quarters back in position. But a skillful rider will also understand,
based on the indirect and direct reign, how do we control his shoulders? What if we want
to put the shoulders back in position with the hind quarter. Let’s see if we can get
him to start a crooked backing up, there we go. And then we’ll see, let’s first try to
bring his hind quarter in with our left leg. Good. So in this case he did a very nice job
of putting his hind quarter back in position. And now we’ll bring the horse forward and
we’ll ask for another crooked back, and this time we’ll see if our rider can put together
those pieces of how do I put the shoulders back in order so that our straight back comes
off of that same basic premise. So now she’s going to try to bring the shoulders in order
by shifting her hands, very good, and now we ask him to continue to back straight. This
gives the new rider two pieces of information that they can use to try and create those
straight backs. We know that typically we get our first horse and we start to put this
together, it’s not always as easy as it looks.

15 thoughts on “Beginning Horse Riding : Collection Horse Training Backing Up

  1. Beginning horse riding / collection / what happened to the beginning? The riding pyramind is: impulsion / relaxation / submission / rhythm / THEN collection! DUH! Another, learn how to ride in 30 sec or less!

  2. Wow this is completely stupid. The girl riding the horse isn't even sitting on it right. Her heel is down way too far and she has her stirrups raised way too much. And it sounds like this woman got all of her riding info from a really cheap how to book…

  3. I thought she handled that horse quite well. Can any of you back a horse up like that and then forward again without any help from the reins, and with all the instruction coming from the legs and feet? ……….. Ya! thats what I thought…. so go back to watching hee-haw! and leave your immature comments there.

  4. well i assume you're english.. since your name is DressageJumper101.. but in western, the posture is much more relaxed than english, so it's really not that bad.. haha but i know how you feel. i went from a hunter barn to a barn where they mostly do western. oh boy it was like hard to not sit up straight all the time. hahahaha so yeah. it's just different(:

  5. are you sure you're looking at the girth? cause one some western saddles, there's a piece of leather behind the girth that's supposed to be loose like that.. the bucking strap. idk if that's what you were looking at, but yeah.. hahaha(:

  6. @froggiesheins it is fairly evident that the rider is not a entry level rider.
    The transition from backing to walking forward was smooth and done without rein aids.
    The crooked back ups show a rider that can move either end of her mount laterally.
    Western is just sloppy (also more relaxed and enjoyable) English. I takes an eye to recognize what is good.

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