Confusion on leg aids
   

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Confusion on leg aids

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  • Leg aids riding english

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  • 1 Post By DancingArabian
  • 2 Post By beau159

 
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    11-20-2013, 04:49 PM
  #1
Weanling
Confusion on leg aids

I am a self taught rider who has only had one formal lesson (see my latest posts for videos). I know just about every detail on how to ride, it's just a matter of practice (which is much more difficult since selling my horse).

I am completely confused on this part of leg ques though. Basically, you push your horse the direction you want to go (or I guess that there are two methods, I'm talking about the one where the horse moves off pressure, rather than into pressure), right?

If you want a right turn on the forehand, you would "push" slightly ahead of the girth on the left side. For a right turn on the haunches, you would push slightly behind the girth on the left side. To side pass, you put pressure directly on the girth (please correct me if I am wrong, I have heard 10 different ways to do this, when everyone seems consistent in ideas for the other ques).

My confusion is when I watch riding videos (pro and amateur), there is no significant leg movement from the rider when asking for turns. Everything seems to come from slightly behind the girth. Even if it is a "fine-tuned" horse, how can a horse know the difference between a few millimeters? The way I see it, there would have to be significant leg movement from the rider for the horse to see a difference, which I only see in bad riding videos.
     
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    11-20-2013, 05:03 PM
  #2
Green Broke
Comparing high level riding to mortal person level riding is like comparing a Monet to a child's finger painting. :)

Look at Dressage for example. High level riders don't have the huge cues because they don't need them. They're using their entire body to cue and the horse is so mindful he's listening intently. A shift of weight in the seat replaces a huge leg shift, for example.

For us more lowly folk, our horses generally aren't that finely trained and we're not that subtle. The key is to use as small a cue as possible.

You don't just cue with your legs. You cue with your body, your weight/seat, your legs, your reins, even your head. The high level guys just have it down.

Also, the cue doesn't matter as much as consistency. If I want my horse to canter when I say "Giddyup!" then that's his cue. Someone else will have trouble until they sort it out and it would cause me to fail a dressage test but there you are. The horse doesn't care about the "correct" cue, it's about consistency.

On a final note, look at your examples and think of what you're asking. A turn on the forehand isn't really a push a little ahead of the girth. That push asks the shoulders to move which makes the forelegs go and combined with the turn cues makes a turn on the forehand. A turn on the haunches is you asking him to scoot his butt over and the you do other things to turn it into a turn on the haunches. Think of leg aids as controlling one piece of a horses body and then combined with other things creates a movement.
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alteredchances likes this.
     
    11-20-2013, 05:07 PM
  #3
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by alteredchances    
If you want a right turn on the forehand, you would "push" slightly ahead of the girth on the left side. For a right turn on the haunches, you would push slightly behind the girth on the left side. To side pass, you put pressure directly on the girth (please correct me if I am wrong, I have heard 10 different ways to do this, when everyone seems consistent in ideas for the other ques).
You've got this backward.

Turn on the forehand, you want the forehand to STAY in one place, and the hips to move around. Therefore put your leg to the body part you want to move.

Think of the horse being in 3 pieces. The front 1/3 of the horse is (1). The middle of the horse is (2). And the hind end is (3).

So if we want the haunches to move the front end, we want to move (3) on the horse. So move your leg back to "push" to body part away from your leg.

Granted, I don't ride dressage but I NEVER want my horse to push into my leg. Sometimes, when you are doing lots of bending, it might seem like you are having the horse do that, but its not really the case. For example: If I want the horse to bend around my inside left leg, I'm going to give them a little bit of direct left rein to bring in the nose, push my left leg in the middle of the ribcage to push it out, and use my right leg back a bit to push the hip inward. It might feel like thehorse is pushing against my inside left leg, but they are not.

Are you still taking lessons? You said you took one. I would highly suggest to continue lessons.

Yes, good riders on good horses will have invisible cues. You barely have to move a millimeter on those horses.

If a horse can feel a fly on its back, they can certainly feel you shift your leg 1 mm.
tinyliny and freia like this.
     
    11-20-2013, 05:14 PM
  #4
Weanling
I do plan on taking lessons, but I live 120 miles from anywhere and it's difficult to get out of town. When I move I plan on at least weekly lessons, but that may be 6 months to a year away. I'm just trying to understand as much as I can in the meantime. When I had my horse, we took unofficial lessons. I'd ride, take a video, review the video, fix my obvious mistakes and repeat. I'd continue that until I thought it looked good, then send it to a few different people for critique. I'd follow their advice and start that process over. Just as effective as lessons, just takes 10x as long to learn anything - then again when you live 120 miles from anywhere it's that or nothing.
     
    11-20-2013, 05:54 PM
  #5
Green Broke
Double post
     
    11-20-2013, 05:54 PM
  #6
Green Broke
Oh oops I totally reversed turn on forehand and haunches too. That's what I get for trying to post before rushing to the barn!
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    11-20-2013, 07:51 PM
  #7
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by DancingArabian    
Oh oops I totally reversed turn on forehand and haunches too. That's what I get for trying to post before rushing to the barn!
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That happens a lot. I think people think "turn OF the forehand" and "turn OF the hind end".

So, substitute "around" for the "on" in "turn on the forehand".

Also, not only are you using leg cues to apply pressure that the horse moves away from, but you are also "opening a door" , into which the horse will step, by taking your leg off the horse. All movements that , once the horse knows and understands, will be so small that they can hardly be seen.
     
    11-20-2013, 08:49 PM
  #8
Trained
You are now realising that riding 'properly' (using that loosely) is much more complex than reading from a book and applying it.
Horses are like humans in that they Needto be taught to respond to an aid - you can't jump on the 10 yr old neighbours bush bashing 30 yr old pony and expect to have it half passing as soon as you get on.
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