Led aids/position - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 10-10-2013, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
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Thumbs down Led aids/position

Hey horse people, so I'm a relative beginner, and well, I was used to a very sensitive zangershiede, a mare I first rode on. Now that I moved, the stables I ride at have very.. Insensitive horses. My instructor tells me I have to kick harder, however I was never taught to kick yet squeeze, but the horses here don't respond to a squeeze and I'm just tired, physically, of kicking all the time.

Also, I seem to keep my lower leg away from the horses body when riding, if that makes any sense, I don't keep them on the horse, especially when posting. Should I? Or doesn't it make a difference?

/(horse)\ <- what my legs look like
|(horse)| <- what other peoples legs look like

If that makes any sense at all hahaha
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post #2 of 25 Old 10-10-2013, 04:02 PM
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Keeping your leg lightly on the horse allows you to feel the horse. I like my leg on the horse.

As to kicking.. if you are advanced enough get a pair of spurs. You should not have to kick a horse into anything.. but if you are riding lesson horses that every other shmo in the world has been riding they can become pretty unresponsive.

I always rode with my lower leg on the horse and a set of spurs.. so leg cues could be light and easy.

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. ~Winston Churchill
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post #3 of 25 Old 10-10-2013, 09:10 PM
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It's more about the timing of when you -stop- kicking than how hard you kick. I feel your pain though - this stuff is tough to get when you're new. Personally, I'd go easy on the spurs at your stage of development for many reasons, but for one in particular. That is, if you learn to depend on spurs now you'll struggle with learning to use your legs the rest of your riding career. There's a saying I heard years ago and it literally did take years for me to begin to understand what it means, but it's worth thinking on it. It goes like this: "By the time you've become a good enough rider to use spurs, you'll no longer need them". Another way of saying it might be that if a rider feels like they -need- spurs to ride, they definitely do not.

I know that probably doesn't make much sense and raises more questions than it provides answers. That's kind of the point, actually.

Last edited by Ian McDonald; 10-10-2013 at 09:13 PM.
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post #4 of 25 Old 10-10-2013, 09:28 PM
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I keep my lower leg on my mare, lightly for support.

When my mare is lazy I only carry a crop, just her knowing its there makes her super hyper.
How would your lesson do with a crop? Start with a squeeze of your leg if no response a tap with your heel and squeeze, again no response give a decent thump, if STILL no response tap with your heels and give him a tap on his shoulder at the same time
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post #5 of 25 Old 10-10-2013, 09:31 PM
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Also, I think if tour lower leg is held away, then your hips are held tight down to your knee.
When you ride, think about loosening them up and using your whole leg, not just the top.
Avoid pinching with your knees
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post #6 of 25 Old 10-10-2013, 10:09 PM
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I don't know how a person can really ride with the lower leg away . the only way i know is if you press your leg into the stirrup and forward, as if it were the brake pedal in a car and you were trying like crazy to stop your car, with two brake pedals and two feet pushing..
If you are just riding with your feet down, then you lower leg will be more or less on the hrose. that does, however, depend on the hrose, too. a very round horse, with a short legged rider , will have that rider's lower leg off the hrose. just that round shape is enough to create that.
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post #7 of 25 Old 10-10-2013, 10:57 PM
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When my horse is lazy I have to be on my leg CONSTANTLY, if I drop my leg for a second he instantly stops. But since we switched his grain, he has SO much energy, now all I have to do is cluck and he switches gaits beautifully. Unfortunately, I have to be more heavy handed on my whoa though.
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post #8 of 25 Old 10-10-2013, 11:41 PM
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With western saddles, it can be easy to ride with your lower leg off the horse. The shape of the saddle can do it. You do not need to brace your legs away.
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"Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing...well, ignore it mostly."
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post #9 of 25 Old 10-11-2013, 12:33 AM
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From a dressage perspective, I've always been told that your legs should hang down and (gently) wrap around the horse's barrel. And the horse should move off a squeeze with your calf.

In reality, I've found that a lot of horses don't move off a gentle squeeze. I think I was riding for at least a couple years before I realized that what I was doing- kicking with my heels- was not the right way, but that the school horses I was riding wouldn't move forward unless I did. With my own horse I've taught and reinforce that he should move out from a squeeze and not a kick. I found this to be especially crucial before I could wear spurs with him, as I can only imagine how it would feel to be kicked by someone wearing spurs

Do you ride with a whip or crop? My horse is lazy by nature, and I don't ride him without one. Even though he knows he should move out with a squeeze, he doesn't always listen the first time, and it does need to be reinforced with the whip at times or I find myself nagging at him to keep going (which just makes him ignore me more!)
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post #10 of 25 Old 10-11-2013, 01:46 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. I ride english, and the horse is a thoroughbred.
I think I'll work on keeping my legs lightly on my horse. Because I think it will make my life easier

He gets used by beginners worse than me, and I guess they're pretty harsh with their kicks. I'll ask my instructor for a crop, however I'm not a big fan of whips.

Also, spurs are a no-no for me, sorry! Haha I just think they're not necessary.
Lexiie I think I might try what you're saying, because In that case the horse will learn to do it the first time, the only problem is every good I do will get undone by others, oh well, until I can get my own little equine buddy, this is my only option. I love the gelding I ride though
Okay so

Thank you to everyone :)
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beginner , english , leg aids , sensitive horse , thoroughbred

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