I'm sorry but could you please describe the whole rollback thing.
Rollbacks are actually a maneuver used in Reining horse patterns but are a wonderful tool for getting the horse to use his hocks. A rollback combines a stop, a reversal of direction, and loping/cantering off on the correct (opposite from the original direction) lead. Under saddle, to teach the rollback, I start with a series of small steps, building up to a true rollback. Here is a synopsis from my book (remember this pertains to training the reiner, but the process under saddle
is essentially the same for any discipline:
>>> "At the outset, once Iím ready to familiarize a horse with the concept of stopping and turning (the precursor to spinning), Iíll practice teaching him to set himself on his haunches and do what we call ďrollbacksĒ against the fence. Initially, he must understand what legs and seat mean, much moreso than hands on the reins. Thatís accomplished by lots of circling and serpentines, instilling in him a good understanding of moving off my legs and turning when I shift my hips and my weight in the saddle. I should also be able to freely move him off the rail and back onto the rail while going straight, just by shifting my weight slightly and using my legs. Only then can he progress another step.
He has to understand what Iím asking him to do, so Iíll start by walking him down the rail first, moving him ever so slightly off the rail (about 5-8 feet out toward the center of the arena) and then, not too abruptly, turning him back into the rail using precious little rein and relying almost entirely on the shifting of my weight on the stirrups and in the saddle. As described above, he should already know what that means and he ought to respond properly.
Once heís comfortable with ďrolling backĒ at the walk, you can start to put him into a gentle jog down the rail and ask for another rollback. I donít like to work too long in each session on rollbacks, but would rather spread it out over a number of days and/or weeks until Iíve got utter confidence from the horse in what heís being asked to do.
The idea is that he will be learning how to rotate his weight back onto his hindquarters and begin to almost ďsitĒ, digging deeper with his haunches with the practice of each turn -- and by listening to your body language alone. Should he begin to lean on your hands and rely too much on the reins to guide him, youíre pulling on his mouth and you have to go back a step or two until you can achieve the desired result without so much contact on the reins.
Pretty soon he should be capable of jogging off down the rail and, with the slight shifting of weight, sit his haunches down and turn, moving off your legs with ease. Then you can begin to ask for rollbacks at the lope and, eventually, the gallop. Remember the old adage, you have to walk before you can run! Itís even more true when training horses than just about anything else. A good, well performed rollback will look effortless and give the appearance of the horse and rider working entirely as one. Once the horse (and his rider) have mastered the rollback, you can begin to work on the other aspects of a beginning reiner or working western horse, but thatís the foundation.
Okay, how do we translate that maneuver to working in longlines? Since we don't have legs on the horse and we're not able to use our seat on him, either, we have to substitute the lines and our longe whip, as well as our body language. As long as the horse is confidently trotting (my preferred gait for beginning longline rollbacks) around the pen, and we want to be sure he knows how to stop and reverse into the rail, too, the idea is to encourage the horse to cease forward
motion and reverse direction. That's accomplished by using the outside line with a slight bump and stepping in front of the horse's shoulder in order to request that change of direction. Only if the horse tries to run through my cues will I show him the whip. With each turn, the horse should be working harder and digging deeper with his haunches, which will translate into a more folded hock and thus more impulsion. I don't work on rollbacks for very long periods at a time, and not every day or in every session. Generally I can see a marked difference in the horse within just a few sessions.
Hopefully this was easily understandable.