Secrets to Correct a Sticky Backup
Horse and Rider|Spring 2021
If your horse isn’t responsive in his feet when you ask him to back up, Bud Lyon’s insights can help.
BUD LYON, WITH NICHOLE CHIRICO
Having a horse that backs freely is a must-have for competition, where you’re judged on how responsive your horse is to your cue. But it’s also important for riders who spend their time on the ranch or trails, because a horse that willingly responds to your cues is going to maneuver more easily than one that locks his feet in the ground and pushes against the bit.

If your horse is dull to your cue and refusing to back, I’ll show you a few things you can do in your arena to eliminate a sticky backup and get some life into your horse’s feet.

On the Ground

Instead of getting into a tug-of-war battle when you’re in the saddle, take your training to the ground to help your horse be more responsive to your hand cues when you’re asking him to back. Start by placing your horse against your arena’s fence; this will work as a natural barrier to keep him straight and avoid any wiggling around.

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