how can i get my mare to come off the leg more? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 11 Old 10-28-2011, 08:21 AM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
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how can i get my mare to come off the leg more?

My mare has been driven more than ridden so is used to being steered from the bit. She has been ridden but I don't know the extent of her education on the ridden side. When I ride her I do ride from the leg but my leg aid isn't strong enough and I have to help her out with my rein. I want her to be able to move off the lightest pressure from my leg. I am doing flexion exercises with her on the ground and trying to also move her barrel over by putting pressure on the area where my feet would be. Someone said to me that she is just being rude and I agree that maybe this has something to do with it. We haven't done much riding together so far and i'll give you an example of what happened last night. We approached a puddle and the first she walked through fine she did lower her head to see what it was which was totally fine and the next puddle we came to she took me around it. I tried to apply my leg aid and she just ignored it. I'm not a strong or confident rider so I would be grateful for some tips on making my leg more efefctive and also how to up the ante when she does ingore me as this is something that I am not the greatest at. I have a trainer who I work with but I would really like to try and tackle this myself before I take this to her. I know the concept of pressure release so i'm hoping that the exercises i'm already doing should start to see results. If you know of any exercises I could do for strengthening my leg that would be great.
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should i or should i not.........
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post #2 of 11 Old 10-28-2011, 08:56 AM
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I ask 2 times with my leg, the third time my horse gets a pop from the dressage whip.
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post #3 of 11 Old 10-28-2011, 09:03 AM Thread Starter
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I don't use a whip but thanks. So is this consistantly you do this everytime? Twice with leg and next with whip? I think as I am a nervous rider I get worried about the reaction of my horse if I get tough. Maybe I should book an arena and try this where I am relatively safe as most of my riding is out on the roads in traffic. She is totally safe in traffic so it's not as if i'm in any danger and if I really force my leg hard she does move over but I would like this to work better for me so that she is putting some effort in rather than me getting mighty tired and doing all the hard work.

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post #4 of 11 Old 10-28-2011, 09:40 AM
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Pretty much. And I don't mean hit as in beat your horse! I give a very firm tap right along side where my heel would be. It's mainly to let 'em know that I mean business and to gain respect for the leg.
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post #5 of 11 Old 10-28-2011, 09:52 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gigem88 View Post
Pretty much. And I don't mean hit as in beat your horse! I give a very firm tap right along side where my heel would be. It's mainly to let 'em know that I mean business and to gain respect for the leg.
I'll try this. So do you get firmer with the second attempt with the leg?

Someone said to try putting spurs on to reinforce my leg but i'd rather get strong with my leg. I don't have a problem using my leg on well schooled horses just my mare.

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post #6 of 11 Old 11-02-2011, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
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post #7 of 11 Old 11-02-2011, 11:59 AM
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I use the three step rule.
1, I ask with my calves, my seat, preparing the horse beforehand with a half halt.
2. If that is ignored, they get a dig.
3. If that is ignored, bring out the cavalry with either whip or spurs.

Neither have to be used hard, but it will get her to realise the first time you ask is better than having to repeat, and then tell her! I would prefer to use a whip over spurs any day. Sometimes even holding a whip can make a huge difference.

Or lunge her, lunge girth and bridle, lunge whip. If she doesn't go forwards into trot, hold the whip to her hind quarters until she moves at a pace you're happy with, reward, and keep going. She'll learn from that when you ask for trot, its immediate and at a working pace.

Hope this helps!
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post #8 of 11 Old 11-02-2011, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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That's great thanks so I could use the whip as a temporary measure to reinforce my leg aid? She doesn't lunge very well she has always been a driver and is now riding so gets very panicky when lunging so i'd much prefer to school while i'm riding and she is nice and calm rather than trying to slow her down enough lunging to work on her aids.

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post #9 of 11 Old 11-02-2011, 04:31 PM
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Personally I would still lunge. You don't have to get whip happy and make her nervous or scared, but you have to make it an enjoyable experience. Put her on the lunge, and if she wants to run herself ragged a bit, let her, don't try and slow her down. If you boot her up, make sure she has her boots on. If she tries to stop until she's settled, send her forward vocally or with a lunge whip, you don't need to crack it, just point it at her hind quaters.

When she's slowed down, and her ears are on you, ask for walk. If she won't walk, and jogs or trots, you need to be in a position where you can move to be in front of her, make sure she can see the lunge whip, and get her to stop. When she has, move back to the middle of the circle and ask again.

Then, when she listens, ask her to trot for a couple of rounds. Call it a day, and keep working till she relaxes over a week or so. If she's listening to your voice, you can use that as an aid instead of a whip or spurs, espcially if she's been driven!

If you need anything else explaining, or further advice just let me know :)
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-06-2012, 04:16 PM
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I have the EXACT same problem, there for a minute I thought you were talking about my Snowbird! Was curious how this was going, as I am just starting this with her. She will respond to spurs but, like you mentioned, I want her to move off of legs/no spurs. Unfortunatly I didnt buy her from her original owner so I am not sure what "verbal" cues he used, but she was driven daily so I know she knows them, I just need to figger them out.

Keep me posted, I am curious.

~bernie
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