Responding to pressure and reins - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 2 Old 08-15-2011, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
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Responding to pressure and reins

I'm working on saddle breaking my 3 year old standie. He's doing great with voice commands (walk, trot, halt) and is working on backing.
As he was trained to sulky, I'm having some difficulty getting him to understand leg pressure. What I have just started doing is putting the bridal on him and walking alongside him. I'll put pressure with my hand on his side, and tell him to walk on. I have been doing this on both sides to try and make him understand that pressure on his sides means to move forward. He is doing alright, but I would like to know if there is anything else I can be doing to help him along (without actually riding him). Same thing goes for responding to the rein. He's starting to learn turning, but is having trouble understanding that pressure on both reins means stop.
Does anyone have any advice?
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post #2 of 2 Old 08-16-2011, 02:14 PM
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Since this horse was driven and understands that I would work him in long lineand use the long lines to teach him to bend... something foreign to a former standardbred race horse.

Train him to move forward using a voice cue (and a lunge whip). Once you are actually riding him, you can train him to respond to leg pressure just like any other horse.

The hardest job you will have ahead of you is getting him to stretch his top line and to lower his head.. right now he probably has an upside down neck (way more muscling along the underneath and little along the crest).

Retraining a former Standardbred Race horse can take a bit of time but these horses typically have wonderful legs and good dispositions and are often worth the effort. Take a look at the Conformation books by dr. Deb Bennett.. she has lots of information about improving horses with the same back ground as your horse has.

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. ~Winston Churchill
(or woman!!!! ) Dinosaur Horse Trainer
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