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One of the most important exercises you can teach your horse is how to back up. The better you can get a horse to back up, the more respectful and responsive he will be in everything else that you ask him to do. A good backup is the foundation of the stop as well as collection. Clinton teaches his horses four separate methods of backing:
Method 1: Tap the Air
Method 2: Wiggle, Wave, Walk and Whack
Method 3: Marching
Method 4: Steady Pressure
Each of these four methods share a common overall goal: To get the horse to back up and move respectfully out of your space any time you ask. It’s important to teach the horse each method, not just one or two, because each one teaches him to back away from a different type of pressure. The four methods are designed to be taught in the order listed above for your safety and to be best understood by the horse.
Clinton explains how to teach a horse each of the four methods of backing up in the Fundamentals Series. Premium No Worries Club members have access to the training kit’s videos and Arena Mates. Learn more about the Fundamentals Series on our website.