Horse doesn't accept leg contact
 
 

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Horse doesn't accept leg contact

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  • Horse doesn't like my legs
  • My horse keeps bucking when i put my leg only

 
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    09-14-2009, 02:07 PM
  #1
Showing
Horse doesn't accept leg contact

So I used almost no contact on my paint. Until I started taking lessons with the dressage trainer. She wants me to keep contact constantly. But my horse is VERY pissy about it. She pins ears back and slows down on stronger contact up to the point she tried to rear today. Any suggestions on how to work over it?
     
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    09-14-2009, 03:00 PM
  #2
mls
Trained
Your instructor needs to work with you and your horse as individuals. Some horses require constant contact and some do not. Some need slight pressure to respond to the leg and others need you to really 'push'.

I'm completely serious here. A good instructor realizes horses and riders are not assembly lines. You have to adjust teaching to fit the needs of the pair in front of you.
     
    09-14-2009, 05:11 PM
  #3
Showing
Mls, I completely agree with you. My other mare needs LOTS of legs (she's generally more lazy and unrespectful towards the cues). This one is pretty different, so I wasn't sure about the approach. May be I'll try more voice. My instructor has years of experience and really advanced, but this mare is something rather different from what she dealed with before. And I also have a bad feeling that they don't go alone well. :( Well, we'll see... :)
     
    09-14-2009, 06:40 PM
  #4
Started
I have had two horses that have had that same issue. The more pressure you put on them, the slower they went, the more upset they got, one would buck, the other rears. You do need a certain amount of contact when riding, but a lot of the forward movement should come not from your legs, but from your seat. Contact to me is just having my leg on enough that it gives me good balance, keeps me in the center of my horse, and keeps my leg from swinging as the horse moves. I was incorrectly taught to keep my lower leg on at all times, and therefore was pinching my knees for years until I went to a different trainer who has helped me retrain my body to ride the right way. The horse I have that has stopped having issues with my legs, I spent a lot of time just asking for movement, as long as it wasn't backwards, or up in the air ect., and when he would move forward, and I could put my leg on just a bit, I would praise him a lot, and let him stop, and after a while, he now has no issues with my leg, as long as I'm not trying to squeeze with my lower leg, or kicking him. Lots of baby steps, give and take, and praise to get her to where she's not dangerous when you have your leg on.
     
    09-14-2009, 06:40 PM
  #5
Started
IMO using constant leg contact is a form of micromanagement. You should be able to ask your horse to go (say into a trot) with a light aid and then release it to tell the horse he/she did the right thing......now the horse should maintain his/her responsibility of not changing gait until the rider says so. So it's no wonder your mare is pissy about the constant leg contact, she's telling you to back off and that she doesn't need/like it, so listen to her and just don't do it :)
     
    09-14-2009, 07:32 PM
  #6
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spirithorse    
IMO using constant leg contact is a form of micromanagement. You should be able to ask your horse to go (say into a trot) with a light aid and then release it to tell the horse he/she did the right thing......now the horse should maintain his/her responsibility of not changing gait until the rider says so. So it's no wonder your mare is pissy about the constant leg contact, she's telling you to back off and that she doesn't need/like it, so listen to her and just don't do it :)
I agree..our seasoned lead mare/ex-penner is very light on the leg (and mouth). She doesn't get 'pissy', but will toss her head is you're constantly in her mouth and/or have too much leg like saying 'No need for that...just tell me what you want and I'll do it.'
     
    09-14-2009, 10:04 PM
  #7
Trained
As people have said, I don't totally agree with your instructor for using constant leg pressure. However, do you mean she wants you to 'squeeze' your legs on all the time, or just have them lightly resting on your horses sides? Lots of people coming into dressage complain that their horse doesn't 'accept' their leg... watch them ride andsure enough, every time they put their leg on and the horse has a bad reaction to it, they take their leg straight off!! Who is teaching who here? The horse wants you to take your leg off because leg means work, so scares you a bit and sure enough, off comes the leg. It works so hrose does it again next time!!
If your horse 'decides' that he doesn't 'like' your leg being there, so what?!!! You want the horse to say take a step sideways, maybe you're trying to get some legyield steps and the horse decides to take off on you. Doesn't matter, keep the pressure there until the horse gives into the pressure and takes a step sideways, then take your legs off for a few strides, and ask again.
You absolutely CANNOT take the pressure off for a negative response, it's only teaching the horse to have that response every time your leg goes on, you are training him to react like that. I have ridden horses that have taken off bucking across the arena and into fences because of a leg on their side. There is no way in hell I am going to take that leg off until the horse steps sideways away from the pressure, as soon as he steps away, the pressure comes off and he goes 'oh.... was that all I had to do?'.
     
    09-14-2009, 11:02 PM
  #8
Showing
Kayty, I'm talking about "squeeze" here, not just resting. I try to keep leg (meaning just around the barrel) and she doesn't mind that. But the squeeze too far behinds the girth makes her slow down really bad. Up to the point she tried to rear today. Something is wrong, but I'm not sure what. May be it's just an attitude, but I'm not all that positive abour it.
     
    09-14-2009, 11:09 PM
  #9
Trained
Ah ok, that's different then. I'd be changing trainer sweetie, Absolutely no point in going to someone who the horse is just not responding too. I don't get why people would want a constant 'squeeze' on their horse as it just makes them dead to the leg!!
Definitely would be going elsewhere, you want someone who is going to get you just resting your leg on the horse's sides and only using them to ask for more impusion/lateral work etc.
     
    09-15-2009, 09:54 AM
  #10
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayty    
Ah ok, that's different then. I'd be changing trainer sweetie,
That's what I'm thinking about - to try a different trainer with her. She obviously hates the trainer and I'm not sure why (and no, the trainer is not abusive in any way, I think they just didn't click). I want to take lessons still with the same trainer with my other horse (as she did lots of progress in very short time, but she's just absolutely different type of horse).
     

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