That makes way more sense to me. I do compete in cattle sorting and ranch rodeo (though I'm not very competitive), and I'm thinking of doing cowboy mounted shooting next year (all sports where no one gives a s*&^ what kind of bit you have or how you hold your reins)
Okay, I have a snaffle horse training questions. I'm trying to teach my young mare to shift her weight back so she can turn more quickly. I've been doing lots of backing up, which seems to be helping.
So before I get her to turn, I stop her, and ask her to shift her weight back a little, which she does. Then I ask her to move her shoulder with my leg, and direct rein her (so if we're going right, I use my left leg and right rein).
Her sire is a reiner, and so she does turn fast, but I'd like her to shift even more weight back. Any suggestions?
Hope you don't mind if I make some suggestions too...
I like to teach a horse to "back around" and for a couple of reasons, 1) it is great for teaching a horse to set himself up for a roll back, 2) it makes for teaching good lope offs 3) it teaches a horse to get that inside front out of the way for a spin, even though a spin is a forward movement(I can elaborate later) and 4) it can help identify where a horse is "stuck" out at, you can really feel where a horse is stiff at which usually shows up in the face. By softening the parts behind you fix the face.
Basically it is teaching a horse to back counter arced. For example, if you were having heck with roll backs to the left. To teach the back around for that side I would ask for the back up with my seat first and open my left seatbone, use my right leg way back to hold the hindquarter while opening my left leg, set my right right to block forward movement and lift my left rein(like if I was pulling it to my ribcage or arm pit) Your horse should rock his weight back onto the hind, free up the rib on the left, lift his shoulder to be able to step back underneath himself with the front left leg. If done correctly there should not be much resistance in the face and you can let him out/reward by letting him walk out of it on a semi circle or full circle to the left. At first you may only get one step out of him, then you can ask for two and so on. After he understands all you have to do is change your seat and lift your inside rein and he will understand it as "get back", he will automatically shift back, move the rib, and lifting the front end making for snappy roll backs.
When you put him on cattle and he understands this exercise he knows how to use his body to his advantage and he will pay attention to your seat and a slight lift of your inside rein. I have had this work both ways, this exercise help when putting them on cattle and I had putting them on cattle understand the exercise. I completely agree with Wanstrom as far as putting them cattle early, it gives meaning to what they are doing and like she says they don't need to be nit-picked. You can wallow all over them but pretty soon they figure out how to use themselves to get the job done quicker by setting themselves up correctly- but only if we stay out their way and assist when needed and not babysitting otherwise you end up in a big pulling match.
Another thing that helps with working on the fence on a younger horse is using a corner and the walls perpendicular so you are coming at it at a 45* and asking only for a few steps through the rollback as opposed to just using the same wall and asking for a complete 180* roll back. Then as he understands then go turning back and forth on the same wall. The 45* angle also gives enough room for him set himself and tuck/round rather than cheat, throw his head over then fence and flip his hindquarters out making for a U-turn instead of a over the hocks roll back.