Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Southwestern Ontario, Canada
• Horses: 0
Wouldn't a western horse lope, not canter?
Just because you can't use crops at a show, does not mean you can't use one at home. A really good excercise to tune your horse up to listening to your leg is to go into a 20 meter circle...or bigger if you wish. Start at the walk. Give a nudge to trot, no reaction, you use the crop behind you leg. Not a love tap either (but obviously don't beat him). Do half a circle and go back to the walk, and ask for the trot again in several steps. Again, nudge, and smack if no response. It shouldn't take more then a few times for the horse to get the point.
Once he understands, go for a long walk around the ring for a break.
When ready, go back to the circle, but do trot to canter transitions with the same excercise. Nudge. He should respond right away since you've shown him he is to respond right away. If no response, again, smack him.
You shouldn't have to nag a horse to respond to leg aids...which is what your horse is getting you to do. When you have to squeeze, nudge, kick just to get your horse to move forward, he has just won.
I often do this with the lesson horse I ride if a bunch of beginners have been on him. It only takes about 2 transitions for him to realize I mean business, and were good for a while. :)
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