Moving Forward

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Moving Forward

This is a discussion on Moving Forward within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    08-11-2011, 01:23 PM
Moving Forward

I love the horse I ride (Bee) to death, but she is pretty sensitive and I'm not used to riding sensitive horses. So, when I ride her, I'm used to making a clicking noise with my tong on the roof of my mouth. For some reason, it seems like she goes faster if I make the clicking sound instead of pushing her with my heels. When we go to canter, I do both and she goes at a normal speed for her, but with the walk and trot, she will go speedy fast if I just click. What should I do? Just the clicking noise or should I use just my heels for the walk and trot?? I bet that sounds really confusing, so If you have questions on what I just asked/explained, feel free to ask. =) Thanks!
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    08-11-2011, 07:12 PM
Horses are usually started to respond to verbal cues (like the clicking) when they are started under saddle. The idea is to move them towards responding to the leg (calf squeezes NOT heel) and driving forward using your hips.

So start by doing both at the same time, then change to asking with calf first and if no response follow with calf and cluck.

Once she responds to calf alone you'll have your fix. If she doesn't then change calf squeeze to kick - because you will want to wake her up. Just be prepared for her to leap forward the first time you kick her so do NOT pull back with reins when whe leaps forward, instaed tell her softly "Good girl", pet her on the neck, then slowly bring her down to the gait (gallop down to canter or canter to trot or trot to walk) you wanted to start with.

The result will be that after a while she mapys better attention to you and will respond when you ask lightly with a calf squeeze, instead of waiting for a kick which she won't like.

canter, click, heels, trot, walk

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