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Leg Pressure

This is a discussion on Leg Pressure within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Horse bucks from leg pressure
  • Signs of horse not liking the leg

 
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    11-22-2009, 08:11 PM
  #11
Trained
Quote:
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.
Huh? I don't remember saying any of this...

Quote:
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.
I actually don't think the horse has aproblem with forward - She mentioned that walk/trot and trot/canter transitions are fine - It is just maintaining the canter which is a problem. My horse had this exact problem - He was too heavy to canter comfortably - When he lost the weight the mental block remained. By using a system of escalating pressure (which is the same as you described, except I did use my leg) and not taking the leg off is he objected, he is now light as a feather.

I don't agree with taking leg out all together - It is one of our main communication tools. If she won't accept leg contact while cantering, it will be very hard to teach lateral direction, flying changes, etc further down the line. Leg is something that horses NEED to know - Again it is a basis to communication. Once she is accepting the leg, THEN I would work on refining my cue back to seat - But I wouldn't cut out an important step.
     
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    11-22-2009, 08:53 PM
  #12
Weanling
Huh. See, I interpreted your post to mean that you just teach the horse that bucking won't get you to go away, so don't even try, which equals futility. If that's not what you intended then I'm sorry for the miscommunication, but that's what it sounded like to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wild_spot    
Huh? I don't remember saying any of this...


I actually don't think the horse has aproblem with forward - She mentioned that walk/trot and trot/canter transitions are fine - It is just maintaining the canter which is a problem. My horse had this exact problem - He was too heavy to canter comfortably - When he lost the weight the mental block remained. By using a system of escalating pressure (which is the same as you described, except I did use my leg) and not taking the leg off is he objected, he is now light as a feather.

I don't agree with taking leg out all together - It is one of our main communication tools. If she won't accept leg contact while cantering, it will be very hard to teach lateral direction, flying changes, etc further down the line. Leg is something that horses NEED to know - Again it is a basis to communication. Once she is accepting the leg, THEN I would work on refining my cue back to seat - But I wouldn't cut out an important step.
As far as your response to my most recent post, I wasn't saying you thought the horse had a problem with forward--the other poster said that, which is what I was responding to. Also, whether you're asking for a different gait, or more impulsion within the gait, it's the same thing: you're asking for additional energy. In my opinion, the horse doesn't have a problem with leg so much as putting out additional effort, so if you can get past the fact that the horse doesn't want to move, the horse will comply no matter how you ask in the future, be it leg, seat, voice, or crop. If you can get to the highest level of responsiveness without getting in a pissing contest with your horse, why not do that? Why sit through the fireworks? It's already known that the horse doesn't respond well to leg right now, so why ask that way, when it's gauranteed to make the horse buck, and you can just as easily skip that stage of pressure and have the same or better results? Since it's not that the horse is scared or hurt by the application of leg, if you can cure the root cause (in my opinion, a lack of desire to move forward or maintain motion) the horse's issue with the rider's leg will be resolved in tandem. I hope that that adequately explains my position. If it doesn't please feel free to ask me to clarify, as I would hate to have confused anybody.
     
    11-22-2009, 09:06 PM
  #13
Trained
^ Kind of... I find that horses who dislike leg usually think something bad comes from it - Wether it be reprimand, more work, etc. Continuing through the misbehaviour tends to show the horse that the leg went on, they had a fit, they stopped, and nothing bad happened. They are still there, still alive, not in trouble. When I teach a horse with leg problems to move off leg, wether it be forward or lateral, I first teach it that leg is nothing to fear. I want to be able to lay my leg on and not get any reaction. I guess I desnsitize - Then go about sensitizing. So in the case of this horse, I would canter circles with leg on constantly - Just sitting on her side. Once she can do that calmy and without reaction, I would go about sensitizing her to the aid - wether it be forward or lateral - and may start that from the ground.

Quote:
bucking won't get you to go away, so don't even try, which equals futility.
I disagree with this - Any reaction is a reaction to pressure. The horse elarns - Bucking won't get me to go away - So try something else. The horse is seeking releif from pressure - But no the correct way. Horses are smart - They will try many different things - And once they hit upon the desired reaction - In this case forward - The pressure goes away, hence the lesson is learnt. I don't see it as teaching futility - I actually see it as fostering a 'thinking' horse - A horse who will seek out the desired reaction.
     
    11-22-2009, 09:33 PM
  #14
Weanling
Okay, see now that you've explained your method a bit more, I actually agree with you for the most part, especially that last part, which, oddly, was what I disagreed with most in your first post. However, I still maintain that if you ask the horse in a different way, it requires the horse to think about what you're asking instead of just responding automatically with its ingrained undesireable behavior. This makes it way more likely that the horse will decide to comply instead of just throwing a hissy fit out of habit. The only thing we really disagree on is what to do first. You say desensitize first and deal with "go" later, and I say deal with "go" now and desensitization will follow naturally. I went through this whole thing with my horse also, doing exactly as I posted here, and it worked wonders, so since you also went through this with your horse, it's clear that both methods work, it just depends on whether you'd rather ride out the buck or have the horse not buck at all.

I mean, maybe I'm just against bucking because the horse I'm talking about bucked like a regular string NRHA horse, but in any event, if I can have the horse not buck, and still get solid, effective results, I totally will.
     
    11-22-2009, 09:44 PM
  #15
Trained
Only my opinion, but by avoiding the problem by not using leg at all, what happens when you come to a situation later down the track when you HAVE to apply that pressure? The horse will go back to cracking up about it.
If you continue to apply the pressure that the horse is resisting, don't remove that pressure until the horse gives to it and understands that the positive reaction it just offered (in the OP's case, picking up canter again) is the comfortable way to do it and is much easier than fighting something that is not going to budge.

Beating around the bush isn't going to resolve the issue. The issue is that the horse associates leg with more work. Going a different path of using no leg, is no fixing the problem, it is avoiding the problem.
It's like someone saying my horse bucks when I ask him to leg yield, so I just don't ask for leg yield. Stupid!

My previous post was not about 'going forward' as such SSS, the horse is CLEARLY not respecting the leg, and thus, needs to be brought back to basics. Which may be in the form of leg yield and turn on the forehand which I suggested, as they help to get a horse accepting of the leg and reacting positively to it.
Sorry, I just think avoiding the problem is stupid and dangerous as if the OP is ever in a situation where they HAVE to use leg, that horse is going to react negatively and this cose put the OP in a difficult and dangerous sitation depending on the circumstances. Every horse that I have sat on and re-educated, or educated, now understands that it is a hell of a lot harder to fight against an aid than to give to it. They are much happier in their work because of this, as there is no confusion. If pressure is applied, horse moves away from pressure to find comfort. Simple.
     
    11-22-2009, 09:48 PM
  #16
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperStarsSugar    
Okay, see now that you've explained your method a bit more, I actually agree with you for the most part, especially that last part, which, oddly, was what I disagreed with most in your first post. However, I still maintain that if you ask the horse in a different way, it requires the horse to think about what you're asking instead of just responding automatically with its ingrained undesireable behavior. This makes it way more likely that the horse will decide to comply instead of just throwing a hissy fit out of habit. The only thing we really disagree on is what to do first. You say desensitize first and deal with "go" later, and I say deal with "go" now and desensitization will follow naturally. I went through this whole thing with my horse also, doing exactly as I posted here, and it worked wonders, so since you also went through this with your horse, it's clear that both methods work, it just depends on whether you'd rather ride out the buck or have the horse not buck at all.

I mean, maybe I'm just against bucking because the horse I'm talking about bucked like a regular string NRHA horse, but in any event, if I can have the horse not buck, and still get solid, effective results, I totally will.
I would actually rather have the horse buck, so that I can make it know that life is **** uncomfortable when it has that reaction. My last greenie I would push on the lunge, give her every oppertunity to present negative reactions to me so that should she have presented this behaviour in another, possibly undersaddle situation, there would be at least a little understanding that this behaviour gets uncomfortable results, and maybe that horse will think twice. Has always worked for me and plenty of others.
     
    11-22-2009, 09:58 PM
  #17
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayty    
Only my opinion, but by avoiding the problem by not using leg at all, what happens when you come to a situation later down the track when you HAVE to apply that pressure? The horse will go back to cracking up about it.
If you continue to apply the pressure that the horse is resisting, don't remove that pressure until the horse gives to it and understands that the positive reaction it just offered (in the OP's case, picking up canter again) is the comfortable way to do it and is much easier than fighting something that is not going to budge.

Beating around the bush isn't going to resolve the issue. The issue is that the horse associates leg with more work. Going a different path of using no leg, is no fixing the problem, it is avoiding the problem.
It's like someone saying my horse bucks when I ask him to leg yield, so I just don't ask for leg yield. Stupid!

My previous post was not about 'going forward' as such SSS, the horse is CLEARLY not respecting the leg, and thus, needs to be brought back to basics. Which may be in the form of leg yield and turn on the forehand which I suggested, as they help to get a horse accepting of the leg and reacting positively to it.
Sorry, I just think avoiding the problem is stupid and dangerous as if the OP is ever in a situation where they HAVE to use leg, that horse is going to react negatively and this cose put the OP in a difficult and dangerous sitation depending on the circumstances. Every horse that I have sat on and re-educated, or educated, now understands that it is a hell of a lot harder to fight against an aid than to give to it. They are much happier in their work because of this, as there is no confusion. If pressure is applied, horse moves away from pressure to find comfort. Simple.
I agree. Avoiding the problem IS stupid and dangerous, which is why that's not what I did with my horse, or would do with any horse. The thing no one seems to be understanding is that you don't have to confront an issue directly in order to resolve it. Obviously, you'll need to scope it out later on to ensure that it IS resolved, but in every case that I've worked with this (and there have been numerous) the issue with leg pressure has been taken care of by solving the root issue, which in most cases, is a horse that doesn't want to go forward. Obviously, never assume that the leg pressure issue is resolved until you've checked it out, but what I do is increase the likelihood (almost to a certainty) that it will be resolved before I ever have to confront it head on. If called upon to confront it, I can, I'm a good enough rider, but the bottom line of what I've been saying this whole time is that there is no need to. Is that clear enough or do I have to stand naked on Broadway with a sandwich sign?
     
    11-23-2009, 12:49 AM
  #18
Trained
Quote:
Okay, see now that you've explained your method a bit more, I actually agree with you for the most part, especially that last part, which, oddly, was what I disagreed with most in your first post. However, I still maintain that if you ask the horse in a different way, it requires the horse to think about what you're asking instead of just responding automatically with its ingrained undesireable behavior. This makes it way more likely that the horse will decide to comply instead of just throwing a hissy fit out of habit. The only thing we really disagree on is what to do first. You say desensitize first and deal with "go" later, and I say deal with "go" now and desensitization will follow naturally. I went through this whole thing with my horse also, doing exactly as I posted here, and it worked wonders, so since you also went through this with your horse, it's clear that both methods work, it just depends on whether you'd rather ride out the buck or have the horse not buck at all.

I mean, maybe I'm just against bucking because the horse I'm talking about bucked like a regular string NRHA horse, but in any event, if I can have the horse not buck, and still get solid, effective results, I totally will.
Yup, not that different approaches - I jst prefer to deal with the possible bucking at the same time in case it presents again, in a different situation.
     
    11-23-2009, 12:14 PM
  #19
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by wild_spot    
Yup, not that different approaches - I jst prefer to deal with the possible bucking at the same time in case it presents again, in a different situation.
Yeah, I can see why you'd want to. Reversing the process just works better for me, I guess. I'm sure they both work equally well (in 13yrs of riding and training, I've never had mine fail). I think it's more a style difference than anything else. For the record, I would, contrary to what Kayty seems to think, never leave an issue like bucking unexamined. I just want to wait to deal with it until it's fairly likely that's it's no longer an issue. Anyway, it's always good to hear how other people train their horses, because where I live, pretty much everyone just wants to abuse their horse until it's a mindless drone. It's nice when I hear from people who want a thinking horse. Even if our methods were completely different, that would still be something we both value.
     
    11-23-2009, 04:40 PM
  #20
Green Broke
Quote:
In my opinion, the horse doesn't have a problem with leg so much as putting out additional effort
With Cricket, yes and no. She responds to my mouth (kissing noise), but like I've said she dosen't like that leg. So.. Not really. :P

I'll go back and read everybody's posts lol
     

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