Leg Pressure
 
 

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Leg Pressure

This is a discussion on Leg Pressure within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Leg pressure horse riding
  • How to explain leg pressure for horses

 
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    11-22-2009, 02:40 PM
  #1
Green Broke
Leg Pressure

Cricket hates leg pressure. End of story.

When we are cantering and she's at the corner where she starts to go back into a trot, I'll kiss and add leg pressure to back myself up with. Almost everytime, she'll either lower her head and shake it, or buck. If I keep (pretty much pull) her head up, I can prevent it, but I don't want to have to do that :P I'm going to (right now after I'm done typing this) go check to see if the saddle really fits her or not. I thought so, but maybe not. O.o

Her walk to trot and trot to canter transitions are actually pretty good which is odd. She stays in her canter but when I give her leg pressure (either in a trot or canter) she'll act aggressive. In a walk she's fine.

I considered not posting this as I figured everyone would just say to get her used to leg pressure, but that's the thing: she IS pretty much used to it.

Help, and thank you :)
     
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    11-22-2009, 02:50 PM
  #2
Weanling
Okay, my horse used to be the same way. Try to ride with you seat more. I don't really know exactly how to describe it, but instead of applying leg, start by tightening the muscles in your hips and bum, and then your thighs, and then, instead of applying calf pressure, go directly to tapping the but with the crop. Not a smack at first, but a warning, and then a hard bump if he needs it. Eventually, he'll get schooled to the point where your cues will be basically invisible because it will come form you seat and not your leg. After I started doing this, I never got bucked off again.
     
    11-22-2009, 03:17 PM
  #3
Green Broke
Ok, thanks I will try that :)

I just went out to check the saddle fitting, and didn't see anything wrong. I was going to ride, but it was pouring down rain along with 45- degree temps. Yuck.

I usually prefer using my mouth, and although she will respond a tiny bit, I like to use leg pressure so she can get used to it, etc. I will definetely try using my seat more.
     
    11-22-2009, 03:25 PM
  #4
Trained
If she doesn't like it, do it more. It's not about her being 'used to' it, it's about her accepting it. If she tries to buck or throws her head, keep that leg on until she gives up and then ride on like nothing happened.
     
    11-22-2009, 03:35 PM
  #5
Started
I'm going to agree with SuperStarsSugar.....except for me personally, I would use the whip to irritate her, more than to smack her with it. For horses that have a tendency to buck, you really don't wanna smack them with a whip, it will just piss them off lol. She CAN feel you when you squeeze your butt and thiegh muscles, it's just a matter of her being sensitized to it.
     
    11-22-2009, 03:40 PM
  #6
Weanling
I forgot to mention that putting on my leg never really bothered my horse after she learned to respond to my cues without bucking. Riding with my seat cured my horse's hypersensitivity because (I believe) she no longer felt like I was getting after her unfairly and applying too much force too soon. But then again, I've never needed to apply leg again, either. It's just nice so that if I let someone else ride her, she won't buck them off.

Wild spot--teaching a horse futility might get it to do it's job for the trainer but in my experience, it's never actually resolved the issue and the horse has gone on to test others and occasionally, the trainer again. Obviously, I agree that it's best not to fall off when a horse bucks, but I also wouldn't consider a persistent seat to be a training tactic--it's just helps you stay on while you train.
     
    11-22-2009, 03:42 PM
  #7
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spirithorse    
I'm going to agree with SuperStarsSugar.....except for me personally, I would use the whip to irritate her, more than to smack her with it. For horses that have a tendency to buck, you really don't wanna smack them with a whip, it will just piss them off lol. She CAN feel you when you squeeze your butt and thiegh muscles, it's just a matter of her being sensitized to it.
That would be the basic intention, yes. I don't do the whole "smack the horse" thing. Most horses don't need you to ask that hard. However, I do believe that a rider should match the horse's level of resistance.
     
    11-22-2009, 04:14 PM
  #8
Weanling
"Be as soft as possible, but as firm as necessary" If she is just going to respond with a touch of the whip, just do that, but if she needs a good tap with it, that is what is necessary to get her attention :)
     
    11-22-2009, 05:22 PM
  #9
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by wild_spot    
If she doesn't like it, do it more. It's not about her being 'used to' it, it's about her accepting it. If she tries to buck or throws her head, keep that leg on until she gives up and then ride on like nothing happened.
Yep, exactly. I've had two horses that would run INTO my leg, not just resist it. One of them would run into my leg so much so that she'd crush it against a fence, or fall over her own feet. My leg did NOT move on that horse, she could buck, take off and carry on like an idiot all she liked, but my leg was not going to budge until she gave up the carry on and accepted my leg, if she went to buck, she got a dressage whip across the backside. Took 2 rides to get it out of her and she never did it again.

If you take your leg off when she gives you that negative behaviour, all you're doing is re enforcing that bucking to the leg is a comfortable thing to do. She doesn't hate leg pressure, she dislikes the work that comes out of it. DO NOT give away your leg until she gives in, make it uncomfortable as hell for her to go stupid to your leg. As soon as she relaxes and gives to it, take the pressure off and just work her with your leg lightly sitting on her sides. Then ask again, if she crakcs up PRESSURE ON, she settles down and moves off the leg, pressure off. Horses are VERY simple creatures!!

I'd recomend working on turn on the forehand and leg yield in walk. Move her off your inside leg anywhere and everywhere. When you go around a corner, ask her to move her hind quarters away from your leg, on a circle, make her do a turn on the forehand. This will get her cued into your leg aids, and you WILL get a response when you start asking her to come under herself or move up a gait in higher paces.
     
    11-22-2009, 06:18 PM
  #10
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayty    
Yep, exactly. I've had two horses that would run INTO my leg, not just resist it. One of them would run into my leg so much so that she'd crush it against a fence, or fall over her own feet. My leg did NOT move on that horse, she could buck, take off and carry on like an idiot all she liked, but my leg was not going to budge until she gave up the carry on and accepted my leg, if she went to buck, she got a dressage whip across the backside. Took 2 rides to get it out of her and she never did it again.

If you take your leg off when she gives you that negative behaviour, all you're doing is re enforcing that bucking to the leg is a comfortable thing to do. She doesn't hate leg pressure, she dislikes the work that comes out of it. DO NOT give away your leg until she gives in, make it uncomfortable as hell for her to go stupid to your leg. As soon as she relaxes and gives to it, take the pressure off and just work her with your leg lightly sitting on her sides. Then ask again, if she crakcs up PRESSURE ON, she settles down and moves off the leg, pressure off. Horses are VERY simple creatures!!

I'd recomend working on turn on the forehand and leg yield in walk. Move her off your inside leg anywhere and everywhere. When you go around a corner, ask her to move her hind quarters away from your leg, on a circle, make her do a turn on the forehand. This will get her cued into your leg aids, and you WILL get a response when you start asking her to come under herself or move up a gait in higher paces.
I don't think anyone is saying to take the leg off when she misbehaves. I, at least, am saying don't put it on to begin with. Find another way to ask. Once the horse accepts the work that comes with following the rider's commands, I seriously doubt the rider will have additional problems with the horse disliking leg. My logic here is that, since the horse is clearly in a pattern of bucking whenever leg is applied, asking in a different way is more likely to avoid fireworks and get results because it's not going to evoke an ingrained negative response. Once you get past the horse's initial rejection of forward motion, it won't matter how you ask the horse to go forward, because, as you said, it was never about the horse not liking the application of leg. Both ways work, but I personally would rather not knowingly provoke a horse into misbehavior when I have another option.
     

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