Teaching Your Horse to Back Up (Stopping From a Canter Part 2)

(country western guitar music) – Gidday, I’m Warwick Schiller and welcome back to another installment of “Only Asking ‘Yes’
Questions From Your Horse.” If you’ve watched “The
Principles of Training,” my TV show “The Principles of Training,” one of the principles is
the need to know the answer before you ask the question and so, this thing’s exactly the same thing and the question I’ve been asked is, “How do you get a horse to stop from a canter off both reins?”, you know like, horses
don’t just know that. So I’m going through the
process of showing you how to do this, so the last video I had was about the bend to a stop
and the lateral flexion. And what those two turn into, if you have good lateral flexion,
when you pick up here your horse reaches around here for you. It’s not like argh, I
drag his head around, but I pick up here and he reaches for me. Basically the answer is
soften and give, give to me. It’s not like take it, I just
set it up to where he gives. And so the next thing we’re gonna do, the lateral flexion
and then I talked about the bend to a stop and
when they bend to a stop I wanna talk my hand to the
side, his nose comes around, he bends his ribcage and
steps his inside hind foot up underneath there, so I’m getting a rein to ribcage to hind foot connection. And what we do with that
connection is then I start to teach them to back up
and when they’re standing and I teach ’em to back up
when they’re standing still and they’re relaxed, okay,
there’s no use trying to teach it when they’re
uptight or anything. When I do that I just
basically close my fingers about that much, and that’s
how I teach them to back up. Now Bundy’s just gonna
back up quite nicely, just off me closing my fingers. Now that doesn’t happen the first time, but for the most part
it’s usually pretty good, but the thing is, is if I pick up here, let’s say I pick up here and
he doesn’t soften and give, ’cause that’s what he did
right then, didn’t he? When I did that, he softened and he gave. But if I pick up there and
he doesn’t soften and give, let’s say he does that, I
would just change the question, I’d go back to, instead of
having pressure on both reins, I drop one of the reins
and I just go back to the lateral flexion, which he
knows how to soften and give. So that’s the back up
part of the whole thing. You gotta be able to
just close your fingers and I don’t pull anymore to
teach a horse to back up, for me, if I’ve gotta
pull any harder than that, he doesn’t wanna back
up and so I’m not trying to make him back up, I’m just basically
teaching him to back up. And when you do it that way,
there’s no bracing there, there’s no pushing against
you and for the most part, people have trouble with
their horses backing up, is because when they pick up here, the horse braces against them. Well, all that bending to
a stop taking your hand out to the side and having
them bending their body takes all that brace out
of there and like I said, I like to be able to get to where I just close my fingers like that
and they should back up. Now, initially I don’t back up ten steps. Initially I’m gonna close my
fingers and if they soften the slightest bit, I’ll let go. If they shift their weight
back the slightest bit, I’ll let go and if they
take a step back I’ll let go and eventually you get to where
when you close your fingers, if you watch Bundy’s hind legs right here, three things will happen,
I’m gonna close my fingers and Bundy should soften, he
should rock his weight back and then start backing his feet up and it should happen one after another. So, I close my fingers,
he softens, rocks back and then his feet start to
move, one after another. So this is basically a stop off
two reins from a standstill. I’m going from zero miles an hour to minus one mile an hour, to
slowing down from a standstill and so what that does is it takes away all the problems of trying
to counteract forward motion, I’m teaching him how to stop
when he’s already stopped, which kind of helps explain the whole only asking ‘yes’ questions. And like I said, if I picked
up and there was no response, it’s not like I’m stuck
with a ‘no’ answer, I will just go back to
my previous foundation to get a ‘yes’ answer. So in our net video,
I’ll show you how I start to transfer that, that
back up right there, into a stop from a walk,
then a trot, then a canter. (country western guitar music)


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