The hardest thing to get down is the set-up in my book. If done right with clear, consise cues, your horse will start to do it automatically.
When I start my babies I always do a little walk/trot work, If your horse is just learning it you have to be over exaggerative for them, just like teaching them in the saddle.
At the walk I teach them the correct area to be in, hand by their jaw and my shoulder about their poll I believe it is. At first I make click noises for each step, like a metronome, so they learn to jog with my beat. When I slow for a stop, I let out a big whoooosh, so they know I'm stopping. I stand for a moment, then turn to them.
Always teach the back feet first. YOUR own feet will tell theirs to move. Face them, slightly on the left hand side, and pick up your right foot and take a step into them. They should slide their left hind back. If they don't get it, over exaggerate--large, high, long step. Give them time to think, tap on the lead as you do it so they know you mean move. Eventually it should be you stomping your foot, then just picking it up, then just shuffling your foot.
Your HANDS move the front end. Face them, slightly to their left. Your hand on the left hand side of their face means move the left front foot. When you put your hand under their jaw, that means the right front foot. A slow, even pull on the lead and leaning into them will mean "move back." eventually it becomes just a miniscule lift of the lead and they will set up.
I've had stubborn horses who sometimes you will have to put your toe on their front foot to get them to "un-glue" it. Sometimes I have to point at a foot and yell "MOVE IT" to my filly and then she goes, oh yeah.
Practice makes perfect :) Every movement you make will move another part of the horses body, so even the handler needs practice to be clear and fluid, without hesitating or shuffling. When you do, your horse does, and you lose composure.
I Hope this helps!! If you need advice on more advanced manouvers like the forehand and backhand pivots, let me know (: I'll gladly help.
Last edited by TheChelseyDee; 09-30-2011 at 03:05 AM.