Basic turning right and left - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 07-08-2013, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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Basic turning right and left

I've got an 8 year old mare that I've had since she was born. I've never taken a lesson or taken her to a trainer. She's been going fine until the last 6 months or so and she started doing a little buck when asked for a canter. It's been constant enough that I started to lose some confidence since I'm old and she's had me off a couple of times. Mostly she was getting very buddied up with the other horses. When I rode away from her herd mate, she would pitch a hissy fit. I wanted to get her away from home for a week or so. I thought it would be a good time for me to improve my riding as well.
She goes well at the trot, does transitions very well and before I took her to the trainer she turned right and left off my leg. The way I do it is if I want her to go left I put pressure on her right side with my calf, only correcting with the bit which was rarely necessary
I've gone back to riding my older mare at an almost constant canter and I have gotten more confident. I realize now that I had been shortening the reins every time I got nervous.
Over that, now on to the question. The gal that I took her to want me to continue to come over to ride but she insists that I neck rein her and to do this I kick her at the girth line with my left leg to make her go left. Not using my right leg at all. Is this correct? It just feels so foreign to me! I always thought that the horse should move away from pressure so to go one way or the other you need to "push" them with the opposite leg. I've never had to kick this horse for her to do anything. Haven't had a problem with her going the direction I wanted since she was a 3 year old. Now it's a battle and I feel like we are both very confused. I understand the concept of having a horse bend around your inside leg in a tight turn but should I not be pushing her with the outside leg? This lady is a barrel racer type rider so I know where she's coming from but still...I ain't going around no barrels EVER! I am wore out from kicking poor Saro in the ribs and upset at the trainer yelling to KICK HER KICK HER !!!


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post #2 of 6 Old 07-08-2013, 04:59 PM
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That seems weird to me too!
The way I've always done it was "push the horse around the corner with your outside leg, keep the inside leg steady and 'solid' for them to bend around."

Will this lady explain, in detail, exactly why her way is "better"? I would think that the way Saro's been trained should be the go-to since it sounds like she knows that way quite well... It'd be another thing if Saro had never learned it either way, but to out of the blue change it?

Huh. I'm confused now too!!

[I tighten up the reins when I get nervous too, thank goodness Lacey is a saint! haha]
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post #3 of 6 Old 07-08-2013, 05:11 PM
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That sounds very strange to me too. It's the opposite of everything I've ever learned. I would rethink the trainer if you and the horse and becoming more confused with her instruction.
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post #4 of 6 Old 07-08-2013, 05:16 PM
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I agree with Wallaby, that sounds very counterproductive to me. Of course, I'll use different cues depending on what kind of turn I need, but I would think that the trainer would work with you on refining the cues that Saro already knows instead of trying to undo the ones she's got and add a whole new set.

Just as a "for example" on 3 different kinds of left turn.

1: For a rollback type turn where their hind end stays completely stationary and their front end sort of "sweeps" around; I sit deep as if asking for a stop, I apply right leg and right neck rein. I keep my left leg completely off of them in this situation

2: For a turn around an object like a barrel or a tree or a gully to keep from banging my knee; I use outside leg a little farther back toward their flank, inside leg up by the girth to support the middle of their barrel and create some "bend" in their body, and outside rein to point their nose around what they are turning around.

3: A forehand turn, but the only time I purposefully use this turn is when I'm roping and need to turn to face the other way without putting any slack in the rope; this is the one and only time I'll use right neck rein and left leg. I use the rein on the right side of their neck to keep them from moving their shoulders (and to keep them pointing their head in the way I want it), and I use my left leg to move their hindquarters around. In this instance I leave my right leg completely off of them.

Oh, and I don't ever kick a horse unless I've had to work my way up to it because they ignored a squeeze and a bump with my leg. To immediately start off at a kick will deaden a horse's sides.

I don't know, I think I'd be looking around at other trainers. The way it sounds to me, Saro isn't being resistant, she's just confused because the cues that she's known for the last 5 years suddenly mean something totally different. That the trainer is ordering you to really get after her because she's hesitant and confused and frustrated bothers me.
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post #5 of 6 Old 07-08-2013, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vidaloco View Post
I've got an 8 year old mare that I've had since she was born. I've never taken a lesson or taken her to a trainer. She's been going fine until the last 6 months or so and she started doing a little buck when asked for a canter. It's been constant enough that I started to lose some confidence since I'm old and she's had me off a couple of times. Mostly she was getting very buddied up with the other horses. When I rode away from her herd mate, she would pitch a hissy fit. I wanted to get her away from home for a week or so. I thought it would be a good time for me to improve my riding as well.
She goes well at the trot, does transitions very well and before I took her to the trainer she turned right and left off my leg. The way I do it is if I want her to go left I put pressure on her right side with my calf, only correcting with the bit which was rarely necessary
I've gone back to riding my older mare at an almost constant canter and I have gotten more confident. I realize now that I had been shortening the reins every time I got nervous.
Over that, now on to the question. The gal that I took her to want me to continue to come over to ride but she insists that I neck rein her and to do this I kick her at the girth line with my left leg to make her go left. Not using my right leg at all. Is this correct? It just feels so foreign to me! I always thought that the horse should move away from pressure so to go one way or the other you need to "push" them with the opposite leg. I've never had to kick this horse for her to do anything. Haven't had a problem with her going the direction I wanted since she was a 3 year old. Now it's a battle and I feel like we are both very confused. I understand the concept of having a horse bend around your inside leg in a tight turn but should I not be pushing her with the outside leg? This lady is a barrel racer type rider so I know where she's coming from but still...I ain't going around no barrels EVER! I am wore out from kicking poor Saro in the ribs and upset at the trainer yelling to KICK HER KICK HER !!!
Maureen that makes no sense to me at all. When turning a horse left, you do want to keep that left leg at the girth to prevent them to lean on that shoulder, and it allows you to bend as well. That outside leg, in this case the right leg is there to ask for that change of direction, and keep those haunches centred. It's the exact same principle for lead changes at the canter or any other type of transition. If that were wrong, we need to let the olympic committee know there needs to be some changes to riding, because thats the training and aids that have been used for centuries.
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post #6 of 6 Old 07-08-2013, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much ladies. I've been near tears all afternoon thinking I had dumbed up my Saro. I kept telling her how hard it was for me to switch and she told me I would just have to learn to do it her way. Needless to say, I brought Saro home this morning. I'm thinking I may go back just to ride with her since she is a friend but as far as any further training goes, I'm going to back out. Now I just need to come up with a good excuse to not go back I knew I would get calmed back down if I came here for answers <3
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Last edited by Vidaloco; 07-08-2013 at 06:32 PM.
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