Keep horse focused on you while ridden

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Keep horse focused on you while ridden

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  • How to get a horse to focus on me while riding
  • Keeping horse focus

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    08-07-2010, 02:40 PM
Keep horse focused on you while ridden

Anyone have some tips to share to help keep a horse focused on the rider

Anything from patterns to aids that would be helpful...
My gelding can get very unfocused if there are any distractions happening around the barn or outside the ring.

I use checking him with a rein to bring his ear back on me as well as weaving around poles, barrels etc to keep his feeting moving....and disengaging the hindquarters.
Most times it works , other times he still isnt listening to me. He gets very looky and tense.

I ignore it to a certain degree, he has always been a looky horse but I would really like to get him to focus more on me.

Any helpful suggestions are welcomed . Thanks
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    08-07-2010, 10:14 PM
Just keep him super busy. Horses that get looky like that, need to have their brains engaged all the time. They start getting looky and distracted when they don't have to think about something. Don't be a predictable rider, throw in millions of rein changes out of the blue, transitions, rein back, laterals etc. As soon as something gets his attention outside the ring, change what your'e doing completely so it 'shocks' him into having to listen to you and concentrate on what his feet are doing
    08-08-2010, 12:34 AM
What I have found works is working on getting collection. If I ask my horse to track up from the hind and ask him to frame up a bit more then he will stay focused on me. When I'm asking for this I will do little patterns, circles, figure 8's, leg yeilds, etc. The biggest thing to remember though is to give them a break. Ask them to work for a bit but also let them relax on a long rein and don't fuss with them looking around.

If you do let them have breaks then they are more willing to stay focused when you are asking for them to work.
    08-08-2010, 12:59 AM
I would flex him both ways until he is supple and gives instantly to the pressure. If the horse is tense and is turning in circles, keep the pressure until you feel a slight "dip" (I don't know how else to explain it, and it really isn't a huge movement) when he finally gives his head to you. Don't stop until you get 2 flexes both ways with NO resistance whatsoever.

This I find works extremely well after something has scared/upset the horse. It is a simple thing to do; and because the head is brought around, the horse can't rear or buck.
    08-08-2010, 02:42 PM
This won't help for a momentary correction, but if he starts blowing you off to the point where he's so focused on what's out there instead of you, try the drunken walk. With only one rein at a time, serpentine him left a few steps, then right, repeat. Just enough to make him follow his nose. I use this out on the trails when my horse picks up the scent of wildlife and it works like a charm. I don't know why it works, but it's fantastic.
    08-08-2010, 05:47 PM
I use the six stride rule
Every six strides change something be it pace bend energy direction etc change something this really works
    08-08-2010, 06:53 PM
Originally Posted by MaggiStar    
I use the six stride rule
Every six strides change something be it pace bend energy direction etc change something this really works
Yeah, that one works great...just a little tiring for the rider!
    08-08-2010, 06:54 PM
Puck, that drunken walk is a fantastic idea. I've never heard of it. Will have to pocket that one and pull it out one day when I need it! Thank you ;)
    08-08-2010, 07:00 PM
Originally Posted by Kayty    
Puck, that drunken walk is a fantastic idea. I've never heard of it. Will have to pocket that one and pull it out one day when I need it! Thank you ;)
You'll have to thank either Chris Cox or John Lyons. I got it from watching one of their shows. I can't remember which. They all blend together these days. It is funny watching people do it for the first time. I showed it to a woman who was on a flighty Arabian. The horse spooked at it's own shadow. She started doing it and 10 seconds later was laughing and yelling, "why does this work??" Glad you like it.
    08-08-2010, 10:12 PM
Oh thanks guys..These are all great ideas for me to do with him.
I def. Need more of a plan when I go to ride and use more of a variety.
Today when I rode him he was very good and really listening to my leg.
We did some leg yields and he did very well. I was amazed. He really is a great horse to ride when you have his attention!

He was being so well behaved I even took my daughter for a pony ride on him around the ring a few times. This is something I wouldnt have considered in the past.

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