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How To Teach Back Up

Stop and back. It’s the final segment in many show patterns, putting the finishing punctuation on the phrases of the manoeuvres you’ve linked together for a winning presentation. Equitation, western horsemanship, western riding and reining are among the classes that include a score for the stop and back. Sounds simple enough…so, why then, do we have negative scores in that box on the judge’s score card? To be honest, often as a competitor I didn’t take that final box seriously. I didn’t really envision the judge assessing the manoeuvre and putting a number to it. Instead, I would just breathe out, and with all the “important” parts of the pattern in the rear view mirror, mentally review the all the components instead of concentrating on the final one. Judging has been an eye-opener for me, however. Every phrase of a performance is considered credit-earning, average or below average. So, why…

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