I've taught many many people to ride. People of all ages. I've run into a problem I haven't run into before, and I'd like some suggestions from some instructors (or anyone, really) on some exercises I can do with a girl to help her get the reining down.
We've done very well with leg cues. I can put her on the horse with no stirrups, eyes closed, arms out to the side and stand in the arena and tell her "left, right, etc, and she controls the horse very nicely with her seat and legs.
Then I give her the reins. If she wants to turn right, she pulls hard to the right with both reins, visa versa for left. Both hands will be way off the side of the horse, which in turn brings her upper body way off the balance-point. The horse puts up with this a couple of times before just planting one leg in each corner and refusing to move.
I've tried to teach her to close one hand and open the other - no effect
I've tried telling her to pull gently on one rein and just release the other - no effect.
I've tried telling her that she's really hurting her horse;s mouth - this just upsets her because she loves her horse
I'm thinking that next lesson I'm going to place cones in a straight line down the arena, and have her weave in and out, while completely dropping one rein while initiating each turn. We can always work on picking up the outside rein and using it to support later. Right now I just need her to stop hard- yanking that outside rein all the way over to the inside.
Any ideas of anything else I can try to break her of this habit. I'd rather just each her the right way rather than try to break her of this, but I'm running out of ideas here. I haven't run into this one before.