leg cues, constant or rhythmic - Page 2

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leg cues, constant or rhythmic

This is a discussion on leg cues, constant or rhythmic within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    04-11-2013, 06:32 PM
Imho the answer is really neither. The leg 'breathes' with the horse, is softly resting over the belly like a wet towel. When the rider then touches with the calf, the horse should move. IF it does not stronger leg merely teaches the horse to ignore the leg until there is more. IF the horse does not move immediately, then it is a whip/bat which backs it up. With a greener horse it can merely be the noise of a bat, the threat of 'ground support' (raising a whip), to a touch of a whip (behind the calf). But whips have an accelerating effect (touch/vibrate quicker or faster/or a twack). Never get lulled into more or stronger, it teaches the opposite of what the rider wants (which is a horse which keeps going unless acted upon).

Or the rider can lift the reins a little (which will cause the horse to CHOOSE forward), or even start to bend the horse. In either case of rein before hand, the leg follows WHEN/after the horse starts to move.

Rhythmic touches are to encourage action of a given hindleg. (ie the belly swings l/r as the legs on one side come together the legs on the other side are apart. By touching with the legs are together, the hindleg on a given side can be encouraged to move more or to push off the ground in a different way.
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    04-11-2013, 06:39 PM
This is all very interesting as I've never given much thought to it.....with my horse I squeeze with my calves and he moves forward, however if he doesn't move immediately I do a succession of fast squeeze and release.....however today I experimented with my seat and found that if I ever so slightly shifted my hips in the seat he would lope off....normally I would slide my outside leg back...so I found a new button.....this came after reading a hip placement thread on the forum here last night....hmmmm so much to learn and only one lifetime to learn t all in!!!
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    04-11-2013, 06:52 PM
Any touch/release MUST be TIMED to the horse's ability to move because of it. I often see people touch/kick/spur double or triple time, but all that does is tense the belly...the horse cannot react/hop on that spur action.
    04-11-2013, 08:34 PM
Originally Posted by equitate    
Any touch/release MUST be TIMED to the horse's ability to move because of it. I often see people touch/kick/spur double or triple time, but all that does is tense the belly...the horse cannot react/hop on that spur action.

Yes, as per Puck's good explanation, too. I liked what you, equitate, said about raising the rein, too.
When I was taking dressage lessons, I was told the way to freshen and strengthen the walk was by apply ing the correctly timed leg , alternating sides, to get a bigger, more step-under walk. It works, however, one can fall into the trap of doing it endlessly and then the hrose starts to require this just to maintain a good walk. Then, the beginner (as I am) can end up doing way too much contorting of the body to get that side this, side that squeeze and it all goes down hill.

With the mention of raising the rein, you bring to mind more of what I have been taught in recent years, where I pretty much just trail ride, and that is to "bring up the energy" in your body, and that alone will often be enough to increase the energy in the horse.j

I try to do that, then if no response , and I mean the response should be pretty darn immediate, I will tap the horse's sides with the inside of my ankle bone, and if that doesn't get a smart response I snap the whip against my foot. He leaps off!.

But, I would never cue every step in a walk or a forward trot. You might cue every step in a pirhoette, but not just walking down the arean.
    04-11-2013, 09:05 PM
Tiny makes a good point. Once you find those buttons, don't let the horse train you to use them constantly for things that should happen via cruise control.
    04-11-2013, 09:10 PM
I will continue trying to remember all of these wonderful points everytime I ride. I sure wish I would have learned when I was younger. Thanks guys.
    04-11-2013, 09:13 PM
Don't feel bad. I didn't discover this stuff until my late 30s.
    04-11-2013, 09:14 PM
I'm probably older than all of ya....and we NEVER stop learning FROM the horse.
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    04-11-2013, 09:19 PM
Green Broke
I ride the same with a green horse as I do a trained one. Granted, all I do is trail ride. I squeeze my legs for forward movement. If no response, I cluck or kiss and finally whack with the reins. I keep constant pressure only until there is movement. If I don't have long enough reins to use, I would bump my legs instead.

To me it doesn't matter how trained they are. I want to use consistent cues. We have several different people ride our horses. I only want to explain one way to them.
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    04-11-2013, 09:24 PM
Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck    
Don't feel bad. I didn't discover this stuff until my late 30s.

Late 30's!!! OH to be in my late 30's again!

I had my first dressage lesson at 42
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