Following through? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 03-22-2012, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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Following through?

My horse is still green and when I turn him, he doesn't follow with his feet. He will turn his head but it's seems as if the rest of his body is in a totally different world. He is a very stubborn and sensitive horse. I am a barrel racer so when I get him started on barrels, it will be very important for him to follow his nose.

So how do I get him to follow through? Any excersises that will help?
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post #2 of 6 Old 03-22-2012, 10:18 PM
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Are you doing this from the ground or saddle? By green, do you mean green just under saddle I am assuming?

I would teach flexion from the ground. I usually use a rope halter. Basically, you stand next to the horse and ask for their head. A relaxed and trained horse will drop their head and turn to look at you without moving their feet. Once they have that down, hold that pressure and keep their head there while asking for them to move their hind by rubbing your hand on the area of their side where your calf would rub under saddle. When the horse moves their hind, release all pressure. This teaches them not only to flex, but to respond to leg pressure.

Also, do a lot of bending and leading exercises.

Another thing, since the horse is green I would recommend when under saddle that you not release that pressure until they move. So when you ask for that turn and the horse bends their neck, put your foot on them and rub with your calf. If you get no response, keep the pressure on both the bit and their side. Eventually, their neck will get tired and they will move, even if slightly. As soon as they move or try, release all pressure. It is vital with a green horse to release even if they don't move as much as you want them to. If you reward even the smallest try, it will make a very light and responsive horse with time. That is absolutely key, especially for a barrel horse.
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post #3 of 6 Old 03-22-2012, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you! Well, I would still consider him green but he has had just over a year under saddle. I have been do a lot of bending lately, but I guess I will have to do some more! Haha thanks for the tips :)
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post #4 of 6 Old 03-23-2012, 08:55 AM
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Ugh I have the opposite problem with my mare. She walks like a drunk because she ALWAYS follows her head. The only way I can get her straight is if I make her look completely forward at all times. If she looks a little to the left, she goes left.

If you are going to teach a horse something and have a good relationship, you don't make him learn it - you let him learn it.
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post #5 of 6 Old 03-23-2012, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyeDawn View Post
Ugh I have the opposite problem with my mare. She walks like a drunk because she ALWAYS follows her head. The only way I can get her straight is if I make her look completely forward at all times. If she looks a little to the left, she goes left.

How old is your horse?

Surprisingly enough, young horses need to be taught to go straight. It is in their natural balance that when they turn their heads, they follow to keep their balance. Young horses tend to be a little skitter brained, much as a young human is. Teaching a horse to continue forward and not weave is a process. It helps to teach leg pressure. When the horse veers one way or the other and it wasn't asked for, use your calf and apply pressure on her side. If she doesn't understand that, correct with the reins. Soon she will connect that pressure with your cue to move back over to where she was originally and you will not have to hold her head steady anymore.
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** Don't be the rider who gallops all night and never sees the horse that is beneath him **
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post #6 of 6 Old 03-23-2012, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lakotababii View Post
How old is your horse?

Surprisingly enough, young horses need to be taught to go straight. It is in their natural balance that when they turn their heads, they follow to keep their balance. Young horses tend to be a little skitter brained, much as a young human is. Teaching a horse to continue forward and not weave is a process. It helps to teach leg pressure. When the horse veers one way or the other and it wasn't asked for, use your calf and apply pressure on her side. If she doesn't understand that, correct with the reins. Soon she will connect that pressure with your cue to move back over to where she was originally and you will not have to hold her head steady anymore.
She's 8 but she is pretty much green broke. After training and being broken she was sold and then she was left to sit except for the occasional trail rides where he obviously didn't teach her anything, or keep up with any kind of training.

Thank you so much for the advice :) We are currently working on leg yields and seat aids, then correction with the reins if needed, and unfortunately since the guy that owned her before thought the only leg aids ever needed were spurred heels into her sides, it's a learning process. She's smart and super willing, so training is going well.

She isn't wobbling so much as ADD, if something catches her attention and she looks at it, she tends to veer in that direction. Right now my biggest problem is keeping her attention. I can't do one thing or another for too long because then she does it without thinking about it and her mind wanders, if that makes sense.

For the OP, I agree with Lakotababii. Work a lot on flexing and gaining control of those shoulders, too.

If you are going to teach a horse something and have a good relationship, you don't make him learn it - you let him learn it.
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