Transitioning to different gaits ... how?
 
 

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Transitioning to different gaits ... how?

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  • How to cue horse for different gaits
  • Transitioning horse gaits

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    09-23-2013, 05:45 PM
  #1
Foal
Question Transitioning to different gaits ... how?

Ok so i'm a beginnger in terms of riding, I have only trotted (mainly raising but done a bit of sitting; it hurt a but being a guy :p )

I do some questions;

Main one being is I can't quite get teh hang of giving the horse that i'm riding the right signal to progress onto the next gait, I can't seem to quite get it, I don't like kicking the horse because part of me feels like that it's being cruel, i'm not too good with squeeze signals either when I squeeze I tend to squeeze roun my pelvis area (so the bacially from my hips to my knee caps) I find it uncomfortable and hard to actually squeeze below my knee caps without standing up a little - does this just require practise?

Also can a horse (if given the right command obviously) go from a halt to any gait, gallop or whathave you, which leds me onto another question which is kinda linked that is, how does the horse know what gait your asking for if that's the case, eg. How does the horse know that you want to go from a standstill to a canter etc.

Apologies if these seem like stupid or over analyical questions, I have a very analyictal brain, I like to know how things work before I even try to do thigns; i'm also a perfectionist hence why I ALWAYS ask questions like this
     
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    09-23-2013, 06:21 PM
  #2
Yearling
No question is a stupid question!

For your first point about kicking the horse: I completely understand, I was like that for a while to until my trainer (keep in mind she taught me western/english) said, "They're a horse. When they kick each other out in the fields they have more leverage and weight than you do in your little kick. Unless you're purposefully trying to hurt them you won't." That really helped me a lot.

The squeezing with your lower half will come with practice. I like to think (if a lesson goer is having trouble) that you've got milk jugs tied to your ankles that are full. You have to sit and can't move up, just down. When you go to cue, those milk just let you squeeze with your calves.

A horse knows what gait to take by a few things: Your hands, seat, legs and voice. On one of our lesson horses (in english) if I were to cue a trot from a halt I would squeeze my lower leg and maybe cluck. If I were to cue from a canter I would tighten my inside rein, and my outside leg. (I know all the technical terms may sound crazy but just trust me they know! )

I'm an analytical (sp?) thinker as well so I can sympathize. It took me ages to figure out which rein was inside because I over thought things! Haha And don't be afraid to ask questions (no matter how seemingly stupid, even though they're not), this forum's filled with people who have great advice!
     
    09-23-2013, 07:33 PM
  #3
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Incitatus32    
No question is a stupid question!
Yup. But there definitely are such things as stupid answers And this may be one of them: I have the same problem giving leg cues - guess I'm just not coordinated enough - but I've found that my horse seems to understand English, so I just tell her "walk", "trot" or "canter" while making my best attempt at the cue.
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    09-23-2013, 07:49 PM
  #4
Yearling
That's not a stupid answer, that's a brilliant way to teach your horse english! Mine barely have whoa down!
     
    09-23-2013, 11:19 PM
  #5
Weanling
I figured my horse's cues out based on Googling what the typical western cues were. To begin walking after mounting I squeeze my thighs and give him a verbal cue "let's go" or perhaps a cluck. To trot I touch my heels to his sides. For a lope I give a loose rein, move my leg up to the cinch strap and make a kissing noise.

I've never actually tried to lope or trot from a stand still.
     
    09-23-2013, 11:47 PM
  #6
Showing
Squeezing with your calf takes muscles that most people don't have developed yet unless they do calf presses when they first begin to ride.

It'll come in time. Don't use your knees. Take one of those exercise balls and practice squeezing it together with only your calf. It's hard, but it's how you develop riding muscles. Do NOT use your knee
     
    09-24-2013, 01:39 AM
  #7
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Incitatus32    
That's not a stupid answer, that's a brilliant way to teach your horse english! Mine barely have whoa down!
Well, I admit mine has a bit of a problem with that, too. But I don't think it's that she doesn't understand, it's just that she doesn't always want to. It's like "What do you mean, whoa? We just got into this nice canter. And why are you hanging sideways off my saddle like that?"
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    09-24-2013, 05:24 AM
  #8
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel    
Squeezing with your calf takes muscles that most people don't have developed yet unless they do calf presses when they first begin to ride.

It'll come in time. Don't use your knees. Take one of those exercise balls and practice squeezing it together with only your calf. It's hard, but it's how you develop riding muscles. Do NOT use your knee
Thats a good idea unfortunatley I don't have one of those balls, nor do I have the room for one, any other way I can build those calf muscles
     
    09-24-2013, 12:06 PM
  #9
Super Moderator
A trainer once said that squeezing for "go" should be more like "plumping pillows with your lower leg". I will squeeze, but I won't "clamp down". So, if a light squeeze doesn't work, I got to "plumping pillows". If horse ignores that, you use your crop .

Anyway, my point being it's not a death grip, but more of a "livening" of the horse with the lower leg, and the imagery of plumping a pillow between your calves can help.
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    09-24-2013, 06:03 PM
  #10
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomsta    
Thats a good idea unfortunatley I don't have one of those balls, nor do I have the room for one, any other way I can build those calf muscles
Ride
     

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