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Teaching a horse to move with your seat

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  • Teach your horse to stop off your seat

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    08-09-2011, 11:43 PM
So the same as a half halt's purpose, to let the horse know that something different is about to happen.. except my seat is the cue giver.

I don't know, though. My horse DOES begin to notice patterns like that, but how does that turn into just having him listen primarily to my seat instead of waiting for the leg cue?
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    08-10-2011, 12:00 AM
Because horses would rather be "asked" than "told". Inittially we have to "tell" them the answer to our "ask", by enforcing our cue with an aid, but in a short amount of time they'll start responding correctly to our "ask".
    08-10-2011, 12:38 AM
Okay I'll give it a few shots, thanks
    08-10-2011, 12:41 AM
Same as Chris, but I will explain it differently.

When we teach our horse to respond to the rein, we start with the lightest cue, then progressively increase the cue until we get the response we want, then we release.

To teach your horse to stop off your seat is much the same.

Your seat becomes the lightest cue. I like to use a voice aid in conjunction with my seat, just makes it clearer. So - my first aid is 'asa
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    08-10-2011, 12:45 AM
'aaand whoah' and locking my seat. I wait a second, and if no response, I use the rein to get the stop. If they didn't stop off my first cue I also like to back them up.

So the progression is - voice and seat, then rein.

They soon learn that when you ask with your voice and seat, you want whoah. The first few times they do it, I don't back up, and let them stand for a while. (I always teach this when the horse is tired because the stopping is a reward in itself).

Once they know to stop off my seat and voice, I expect more. I expect a stop immediately - again, if it isn't immediate, I follow up with the rein and then back them up. (incidentally this exercise gives you a great back up!)
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    08-10-2011, 12:50 AM
Okay, that makes more sense. Kind of like what equiniphile was saying, except starting off with asking lightly, then getting more direct until you get the answer you were looking for, and the answer depends on how trained your horse is. Like, you wouldn't expect a greenie to stop on a dime when you say woah or halt your seat :)

Alright, thanks wild_Spot and chris. I definitely see how that would work.
    08-10-2011, 12:51 AM
To add on.. my horse has no idea how to back up. He does fine on the ground and on the lead.. but under saddle it's like I'm speaking Chinese and he's a Dutch boy :P Any tips?
    08-10-2011, 02:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel    
To add on.. my horse has no idea how to back up. He does fine on the ground and on the lead.. but under saddle it's like I'm speaking Chinese and he's a Dutch boy :P Any tips?
Learn Dutch! (just kidding here)
    08-10-2011, 02:49 AM
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When you back up your horse on the ground, do you use the rein? I mean , are you using the main aid that you would be using in the saddle? If you back the horse up by pushing on his chest or standing in front of him and wiggling the line, there is not reason that this would carry over to the saddle.

If you back up on the ground by pushing/pulling backward with the leadline or reins (depending if in halter or bridle) then that would in theory carry over to ridden work.
    08-10-2011, 08:25 PM
I do use his reins but the first thing he does is release his jaw and lower his head and then after a little while of opening and closing his jaw he takes a few steps back.. which doubles timewise under saddle.

I just... don't know what to do to help with that, or if I'm doing something wrong :/

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