Backing up your horse the easy way!

3 yr old Elektra backing up from the rope halter.

Training tip of the week – backing up.

A smooth, easy back-up is one of the simplest things to teach your horse. No matter where the handler might be standing!

Regardless of which horse you have or whichever discipline you enjoy with your horse, he will go better for you if you practise backing up.


Backing up has all kinds of benefits for you and your partner horse and is something that is asked not only of competition or show horses, but is something the hobby rider should practise with his horse too. You never know when you might have to back up and turn tightly on a narrow bridle path!

Backing up develops muscle control and balance (and improves your timing of the cues or signals you give the horse!).

Canter pirouette, turn on the haunches, cutting horses, backing and turning on a tight trail are some examples of movements that require the horse to turn over or on his hind quarters.

Practising backing up from the ground transfers directly to backing up in the saddle – you can practise the same cues or signals to get your horse backing up smoothly.

Work towards backing up your horse in a collected frame, rounded back and flexing at the poll. This will benefit him in forward movement as well.

Watch the video below for tips on how to get started!

Backing up with feel and timing: In this video, Handy Horse & Pony Interdressage judge Kate Farmer gives us some good tips for backing up your horse from the ground.

Use the comment box on the blog itself to send me your questions about horse training. You can also write in about any problems you might be having with your horse.

Either I or one of the resident expert trainers will do our best to answer your questions.

Always wear appropriate safety items of clothing, gloves, shoes and head protection when handling or riding your horse. There is always some risk involved in horse training for both you and the horse. Be sensible and stay within your level of training. This information illustrates the training methods and techniques I and my colleagues use. It is your responsibility to use it wisely. It is not intended to replace personal instruction from a professional instructor. Keep yourself and your horse out of trouble. if you wish to learn more about these methods contact us at:

Members area coming soon!

Thinking Horse DVD

Click here to see sample exercises.

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