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My horse backs up with incorrect foot falls

Original Question

Hi Angie,

My horse backs easily but it is a four beat footfall. If I up the energy it can be a two beat footfall be he moves his legs on the same side together.
I camp drafted him until 18 months ago when he lost an eye. He is now competing at Working Equitation but I am marked down for not backing on the diagonals in both the dressage and obstacle phases.




John and Angie’s Answer

Wow, this is a very tricky one! To be honest we have never had experience with a horse that does this in the back up so we only have a few suggestions but not sure they will even work, this may be how he just backs up. 

  1. You could try backing in circles or moving his front feet off, then his back feet off and then going straight back again.


  1. You could also try backing him up and with the end of your stick under the middle of his belly tapping up to round his back. See if this also makes a difference, I wish we could be more help on this topic but haven’t had a horse that has done it to draw from…

Please keep us informed.

Angie and John 



Angie Wicks

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