I have never ridden english, and don't know the cues for it. Since I ride western, I ride with a constant contact with my feet(calves most of the time) on the horse's ribs. The amount of pressure I use determines speed. Also, your body position will determine how the horse moves too. I prepare my body to trot before cueing with my feet, then I prepare my body for canter before cueing with my feet. I release all leg pressure and push my feet out, sit deep in my seat, and "Whoa" to stop. In the long run, your horse will learn to read your body language and thereby need less cueing. Also, if you associate the stop with a complete release of leg pressure, if anything were to happen and you fall off, your horse will be less likely to run off.
I like to stay out of my horse's mouth, for plenty obvious reason, so I like to keep my horses on more of a leg cue. Later on, I can get the horse to stop with little or no pick up of the reins at all.
I was riding a broke, but pastured for 2 years, customer horse, and within the hour of my first ride with him, he was responding to my body language first, with only a couple "bumps" on the ribs for a reminder when he got bored with circles. (I don't ride with spurs unless I absolutely have to, then only when working cattle in case I need to get out of the way.)
Also, something to keep in mind that my husband has really been on me about, when making a turn, use your outside foot to operate the shoulder, and your inside foot to push the hip away for more of a spin.
Last edited by westonsma; 03-10-2010 at 11:37 PM.