Seat and Leg Aids - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 4 Old 08-19-2013, 12:13 AM Thread Starter
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Seat and Leg Aids

Hey guys,

I was wondering if someone would be able to fully explain seat and leg aids in terms of steering and controlling speed at different gaits. I'm a beginning rider, still working on posting trot. So nothing in terms of dressage, which to my understanding gets much more in depth.

Basically, the schooling pony I almost always ride never wants to stay to the outside of the ring so I feel like I am constantly jamming the outside rein back.... I would prefer to be more kind to his mouth if I can understand leg aids!

And then sometimes when I am trotting my pony will randomly just pick up their speed and I don't feel like I've changed anything.. So I've decided it must be my seat, which I'm just not very aware of yet? And most times we keep losing the trot so is there a way to use the seat to get them going instead of kicking the heck out of them?

Just looking to be a more effective and communicative rider. Thank you!
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post #2 of 4 Old 08-19-2013, 12:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcfarawayland View Post
Basically, the schooling pony I almost always ride never wants to stay to the outside of the ring so I feel like I am constantly jamming the outside rein back.... I would prefer to be more kind to his mouth if I can understand leg aids!

And then sometimes when I am trotting my pony will randomly just pick up their speed and I don't feel like I've changed anything.. So I've decided it must be my seat, which I'm just not very aware of yet? And most times we keep losing the trot so is there a way to use the seat to get them going instead of kicking the heck out of them?

Just looking to be a more effective and communicative rider. Thank you!
1. To keep a horse on the rail, use your inside leg. Don't yank the outside rein around as that really doesn't do much of anything. So inside leg is gently squeezing or bumping him over. I prefer to keep it on until we get back to the rail, then it goes back to being there but quiet.

2. Sometimes horses just go at whatever pace they want, regardless if you haven't changed anything (typical of green horses since they're unbalanced.. or school horses that slow down)

Now since this one sped up, make sure you aren't tight/tense anywhere, that you keep rhythm (count 1,2,1,2 outloud) since you're new you're likely losing your rhythm and that is causing the horse to speed up.

To make a horse go, don't kick.. squeeze. The horse is a tube of toothpaste. Wrap those calves and squeeze until something changes. It can be a soft squeeze or a gradually firmed squeeze.

And if all else fails.. crop.
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"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #3 of 4 Old 08-19-2013, 10:03 AM
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To really control the "speed" your pony travels, reposition the upper half of your leg, to do this is not simple because it will be new to you, "try" rotating your hip,by bringing your whole leg away from the saddle and turning it back again with your knee pointing downward and the mass of your hamstring muscle not in contact with the saddle, most of the top of your thigh, the knee must point down, do not have the calf muscle jammed on, this will bring the whole top half of your leg right away from the saddle, you will have no deep seat or security, is there no one who can show you this? Trust me it changed a lot for me when I got it, sometimes it can be to effective in that if you ride a horse in this way it sometimes becomes to slow or may not even canter!! Just not used to it! Dressage riders have this tecnique especially, but its difficult to explain without showing in person.
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post #4 of 4 Old 08-19-2013, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your responses!

Skyseternalangel - that makes a lot of sense. Thank you! I'm excited to try that out.

Lostintranslation - ok, thank you! My trainer seems to not really want to show me more than one thing at a time but I will ask him. Maybe he just doesn't think it's a problem yet and is waiting until I begin cantering or something.
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