I just can't seem to steer! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 08-30-2013, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
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I just can't seem to steer!

I'm a very new rider. I started taking lessons 5 months ago (twice a month). My instructor is fabulous and very patient, but I'm not progressing! Mainly it's all due to steering. I've tried to do everything they tell me (the looking , the turning your body etc,) but we just keep going forward. These are very well trained horses too, so I KNOW it's me.

I started to get comfortable with the posting trot a couple months ago. I had a couple of lessons that felt/looked great! (steering and al) Then we realized that when I was posting my toes were down. When I correct that everything falls apart. For starters I can't keep the horse moving around turns. I can't figure out how to kick while posting so the trot just stops at every corner >.<

I watch youtube videos constantly to try and see what I'm missing but I'm at a loss.

Any insight?

Last edited by Feenat; 08-30-2013 at 01:25 PM.
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post #2 of 11 Old 08-30-2013, 01:32 PM
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The only way to get better is get into the saddle. Everyone is not the best when they start riding. I was the same way, I still have things I cant get right. Its best to try to get in the saddle a few times a week.
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post #3 of 11 Old 08-30-2013, 01:37 PM
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Totally normal for roughly 10 lessons. Are you pulling hard enough for the horse to respond?

As for keeping your horse going while posting a circle squeeze your legs together every time you sit. If that doesn't work progress to a "bump" with your legs. Really, it just takes a lot of time, patience and practice. Your body parts have to work independently of eachother WHILE working together. It's not easy so don't give up!
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post #4 of 11 Old 08-30-2013, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
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Sadly I can't spend any more time in the saddle. We've actually given up a lot just for me to manage the 2 lessons per month >.< I do know that has to be a huge part of it though.

I may not be pulling hard enough SlideStop. I try really hard to not tug to much on the reigns. When I watch other riders their cues are so subtle. I feel I'm doing something wrong if I pull hard? With my instructors the emphasis is really on the hips while turning.
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post #5 of 11 Old 08-30-2013, 01:51 PM
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Yes, cues should be subtle but first and foremost the horse should be listening. If he doesn't listen to a light cue you need to increase the intensity of which you ask until he listens. We call it ask, tell, demand! School horses frequently develop bad habits and take advantage of their riders, which it sounds like he is doing. Once your develop your skill and finesse you will be able to refine your communicate to be more subtly with your horse! 5 lessons in I think its pretty amazing your even considering that.
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post #6 of 11 Old 08-30-2013, 02:26 PM Thread Starter
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I'm more like 10 lessons in. I believe I started in April. It seems like more when I think about it, but they let me stay and do a lot of other things.

It would be nice if I could blame the horses haha I got switched to a different boy yesterday though, and had the same troubles. Maybe it's a mix. I'll definitely try asking with some more vigor the next time out. Thanks for the input!
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post #7 of 11 Old 08-30-2013, 02:46 PM
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You may benefit from setting up 4 or 5 cones in a straight line a couple of horse lengths apart. Then just head towards them with the intention of weaving in and out of them. Sometimes the cones act as a good visual cue and your hand / body language will change dramatically.
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post #8 of 11 Old 08-30-2013, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Feenat View Post
I'll definitely try asking with some more vigor the next time out. Thanks for the input!
I like your attitude. Usually it is the rider causing the horse to be non-compliant. But the other part is true also, knowing how much to ask. As said, school horses like to ignore commands, especially from novice riders.

I ride with a crop all the time (my own horse). He definitely knows what I want, but sometimes tries to ignore it. Then he gets whacked. (And take that with a grain of salt: all my trainers claim I only give love taps.)

The thing about being a novice rider (and I was really green only a while ago; now I'm only somewhat green) is not realizing when the horse is simply ignoring the rider because he can. That also goes for grabbing the reins and making funny head movements in an effort to evade the rider's commands.

More experienced riders recognize the evasion and give the horse "what for."

Hope that helps.
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post #9 of 11 Old 08-30-2013, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys.

The cones do help...at a walk. Once I'm trotting any turns go the wayside! So frustrating!

I have ridden with a crop twice. I thought it would be more difficult (more to do with your hands) I was surprised when things actually went much smoother. For some reason a crop hasn't been an option for a while now. Maybe because they want me to learn to manipulate naturally.
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post #10 of 11 Old 08-31-2013, 10:40 AM
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This is where I am at right now with my lessons also. 2 lessons ago, I was just doing the sitting trot on a lunge line. This was to get me over the "fear". The last lesson I was trying to trot, steer and keep her going. Not a very pretty sight at all. LOL
But as a positive for me, at least she did not bolt.
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