Help! - Leg Pressure - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 05-25-2012, 12:51 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Help! - Leg Pressure

My horse isn't responding to leg pressure!
I don't have a trainer at the moment, and being a beginner rider, I have absolutely no idea how to work with him on this. Please help if you can! I need some advice from experienced riders!

So when I bought Jake, the guy we bought him from had worked with him so he responded to leg pressure really well. At that time, I was only going out there to ride once a week or so, and once we moved him out to our place, he stopped responding. I've tried putting pressure on one side, and putting my foot well away from the other side so I don't accidentally bump him, but he keeps just wanting to go into a trot. I'll put him in front of a fence, so he can't walk forward, and he'll just shift his back feet (keeping his front in the same place), and start trotting again. I don't know if it's me (please remember I still am learning! No need to be harsh) or if I need to start working with him on certain things? I really do need to find a trainer, but at the moment that's not going to happen, because we are in the middle of a move from one town to the other.

If you guys have any suggestions, it would help me a lot!
Thanks!

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post #2 of 11 Old 05-25-2012, 01:05 AM
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I am not clear on what you are trying to do with this leg pressure; side pass? are you asking for a lateral movement, and the horse is not responding to it?
Does he respond to the leg when you ask for forward movement? are you riding western or english? bit type? direct rein or neck rein.?
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post #3 of 11 Old 05-25-2012, 10:11 AM
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Yes, tiny, sounds like sidepass to me. OP, why do you try to work on sidepass (NOT saying it's useless thing, but it's more advanced movement)? I'd concentrate on walk/trot/lope at the moment trying to get him light and responsive to your leg.

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post #4 of 11 Old 05-31-2012, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you!

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post #5 of 11 Old 06-01-2012, 10:25 AM
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It sounded more like she was tryin to move her horse with her legs, like steering while under saddle, not side passing.
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post #6 of 11 Old 06-02-2012, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bnayc View Post
It sounded more like she was tryin to move her horse with her legs, like steering while under saddle, not side passing.
Well, yeah.
That's what I'm trying to do..

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post #7 of 11 Old 06-02-2012, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
I am not clear on what you are trying to do with this leg pressure; side pass? are you asking for a lateral movement, and the horse is not responding to it?
Does he respond to the leg when you ask for forward movement? are you riding western or english? bit type? direct rein or neck rein.?
I'm riding western, basic snaffle, direct rein.
Yes he responds when I ask him to move forward, it doesn't take much to get him to move. But I'm trying to talk about additional aids for steering, and he keeps just wanting to trot. I wasn't sure if that's what a side pass is, I'm very green :P I'm trying to get him to move away from my leg. I guess the best way to describe it is bareback bridle-less riding? I'm not trying bareback and bridle-less, but that's kind of what I'm trying to get him to do with leg pressure. Not sure if I'm explaining this right....

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post #8 of 11 Old 06-02-2012, 06:49 PM
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There are acouple of things you can do, first of all remember to "open the door" to the new disired direction. Make sure you are not stiffening your body and sending cues unintended, stay soft and your body energy low, be very intentional about your cues, yet soft. ( I know that seems contradictive)

If he picks up his speed, do not take your leg off, bring him back to the desired gait and only release when you get the correct response. Most peoples reactions are to quit cueing to keep the horse from speeding off when actually it is rewarding him for speeding up. Only release when he is bending in the correct direction, soft and in the correct gait.

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post #9 of 11 Old 06-02-2012, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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Ok thanks! I was thinking about the last part, but I was afraid I would confuse him.

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post #10 of 11 Old 06-02-2012, 11:44 PM
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[QUOTE=COWCHICK77;1528967]There are acouple of things you can do, first of all remember to "open the door" to the new disired direction. Make sure you are not stiffening your body and sending cues unintended, stay soft and your body energy low, be very intentional about your cues, yet soft. ( I know that seems contradictive)

If he picks up his speed, do not take your leg off, bring him back to the desired gait and only release when you get the correct response. Most peoples reactions are to quit cueing to keep the horse from speeding off when actually it is rewarding him for speeding up. Only release when he is bending in the correct direction, soft and in the correct gait.[/QUOTE

This is so true. The thing is to remember what you are asking for, and don't reward the horse with a release, don't cease asking for the thing, until you get at least a tiny bit of that.

So, if you are asking the horse to step over sideways, you put , say , the left leg on, take your right leg lightly off to open the door, move your right rein rightward a wee bit and take up a bit of a feel on the left rein to ask the hrose to flex a tad to the left. If he moves forward, bring him in with the inside (left) rein, and KEEP ASKING with the inside leg. When you feel him take ONE lateral step, stop asking, drop the reins and give him a pet and praise. work on one side exclusively until he gets so good that only putting on the inside leg, with hardly any change in reins and a very slight openning of the outside leg will get a step over. Remember that he may need to steop one forward before stepping one sideways, to get his feet lined up in the correct position for lateral stepping. get the left side good before you work on the other side.

and don't wear him out with endless lateral schooling. at times, let him go forward and let him have a nice canter on a loose rein so he can shake off any tension.
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