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Random question...

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    05-24-2010, 11:46 PM
Super Moderator
Random question...

I don't know if anyone else has ever been in this situation (I would assume SOMEONE has, haha) but I was kinda wondering, for those of you with horses that were trained when you got them but used different cues for certain actions than you were used to (and you had absolutely no way of contacting the previous owners), how did you go about figuring out what cues meant what?

For instance, for the longest time I thought Lacey didn't know her canter leads. Well, it turns out that she does know her leads, very well in fact, I was just cuing her wrong. Evidently whoever trained her, trained her to pick up whichever lead from a cue with the inside leg, instead of cuing with the outside leg like I've always been taught.
That leads me to wonder whether she knows a whole heck of a lot more than I know how to cue her for, and I feel kinda like I'm wasting her by potentially thinking she doesn't know how to do something, when I'm really just cuing her wrong... I just kinda feel like I'm letting her just be a pretty good horse when she could be an excellent horse very easily, yknow? And then, I'd just try to teach her most things myself but I have no clue how to teach them and she gets frustrated easily (which is understandable if she's been drilled to do something one way for the first 23 years of her life, then poof, some crazy is asking her to change).
And since she's spent the last 2 years very dilegently counter cantering whenever I asked her to canter because I was asking her wrong, I can only assume that whatever she knows is probably still very much intact...

It took me almost 2 full years to figure out the cantering thing and I guess I'm just wondering if there are any ways to speed up the process... Probably not, but it doesn't hurt to ask!
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    05-25-2010, 12:16 AM
That is interesting, I have personally never come accross this. Usually though when I get a new horse I will ask for different things many different ways until I hit on the one that works. Be creative, it stands to reason that if she was taught the canter opposite to what you know then other things may be opposite. One reason the person may have cued the canter that way was to help her raise her shoulder, don't know for sure but it could be possible.

Anyway, if what you are doing isn't working in other areas try mixing it up. Ask with very little cue, ask in different ways, just be creative. Hopefully you can figure things out :)
    05-25-2010, 12:21 AM
Green Broke
Congrats on figuring out the canter! I agree with the above post, just try different things :) good luck!
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    05-25-2010, 12:39 AM
I generally only buy young horses as I intend to re-sell at some point in the future. Because of this, I tend to just teach them my way of doing things. Most horses I buy, in fact most horses i've ever ridden, have no concept of moving off leg pressure so they have to learn all of that, which is a lot, so throwing in a few lessons on my own aids isn't too big of a deal.

I can see how it would be much harder and less productive with a much older horse who is very set in their ways. Sorry, not much help here!
    05-25-2010, 12:58 AM
Super Moderator
I think the cantering thing may have had something to do with dressage, but I'm not sure. That's at least where I got the idea to try cuing for the canter differently. I read a thread in the dressage forum where someone mentioned cuing for the canter with the inside leg which I had never even considered! Haha
Lacey also used to do an excellent halfpass at the walk when I asked right but either I've trained it out of her or I've forgotten how to ask because she won't do it anymore. I think I might have trained it out of her since I remember the cue having something to do with continuously pushing her middle over with one leg but since I've taught her to neckrein, a pressing leg on her side means turn.

Another interesting thing I learned by accident is that is if I'm lunging her and I say "jog" (I accidentally said jog while she was trotting one day and out this popped) she'll immediately shorten her stride by a lot and stop tracking up. The most interesting, to me, part of that, is that she wasn't worked at all for at least 5 years before I got her, yet she's remembering things like what a simple word cue means, 6 or 7 years after the last probable time it was used? The girl has a memory like an elephant!

So confusing! She's like a present that I can't open because there are too many knots in the ribbon! Hahaha

I'll keep trying!

Thanks for the support! ^.^
    05-25-2010, 01:03 AM
Green Broke
Thats some good training!!! I've always learned to bring my outside leg behind the girth, and when I put pressure with my inside leg to ask her to canter. :)
    05-25-2010, 01:05 AM
Must be different sides of the world because I was always taught to cue the canter with the inside leg. I've been known to do things backwards but most of the horses I've ridden have responded to that cue better than the outside. Tinker with her a bit...if she jogs, does she lope also? I love older horses...they are such a mystery!
    05-25-2010, 01:13 AM
Super Moderator
Originally Posted by corinowalk    
Must be different sides of the world because I was always taught to cue the canter with the inside leg. I've been known to do things backwards but most of the horses I've ridden have responded to that cue better than the outside. Tinker with her a bit...if she jogs, does she lope also? I love older horses...they are such a mystery!
That's so funny! I had never ever heard of someone cuing with the inside leg until I read that thread. Weird! Haha

I'm not sure if she lopes... That would be an interesting thing to try...I'll give it a try tomorrow! The funniest part about the "jog" cue is if you say it to her while you're riding, she's like "say whut?" and does nothing differently, but on the ground it's "oh man, I betta' slow down!" Silly goose girl!
    05-25-2010, 01:33 AM
That's weird I have never heard of anyone asking for the canter with their inside leg. I only do dressage and I squeeze with my inside leg but I still put my outside leg back....
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