Horses on TV vs. Reality

a) Is there a way to hold the reigns on a horse to make the horse walk backwards? I’m not talking about anything fancy -like dressage. Just like, well, putting a team of horses in reverse?

b) Can one person ride off on someone else’s horse, and the horse won’t buck at the feel of a strange rider? Or, I WAG, it depending on the temperment of each individual horse, right?

Hollywood makes it look so easy and natural…

  • Jinx

Sure. Teams of horses pulling wagons, hayrack and the like back up all the time. There is a part of the harness, the breeching Just pull back on the reins when the horses are standing and they will back up. It isn’t easy for them but the do it. As to why Hollywood makes it look easy. They are all well trained riders and horses, or the scene is done by a double.

Maybe I ought to finish that sentence.

There is a part of the harness, the breeching made just special so that the horse can back into it and push the wagon backwards.

In fact, if I remember rightly, the people who supply horses to movies even have, or had when more westerns were made, horses who were trained to fall in various ways so as to allow the cowboy to shoot the bad guy whose horse then does a somersault.

Most riding horses can back up. It is part of saddle training them. They wouldn’t be much good if they got stuck forward somewhere. You have to be careful though. Most don’t like to be put in reverse and pulling harder than necessary on the reins can make them do something you don’t want like rare up.

Some horses are used to lots of people riding them, others aren’t. It usually isn’t a problem but I got thrown badly a few years ago by my SIL horse when he turned into a runaway with and the saddle flipped with my foot caught in the stirrup. Some horses will let anybody rife them. Very skilled riders can ride most horses. A not so skilled rider on a temperamental horse can get hurt. Horses often have a preference for their owner however.