Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Higgins, TX. YeeHaw!!
It depends completely on how the horse was trained. Some horses only know walk and gallop.
For me, the way I train my horses:
walk = slight squeeze with both legs equally
trot = slight bump with both legs equally
lope (canter) = slight squeeze with both legs, inside leg being more forward closer to the cinch, outside leg giving a little more pressure farther back to cue for correct lead
gallop = forward seat or modified '2-point' position, moderate bumping with both legs and, if they need more encouragement, I'll also smooch to them.
stop = sit deep and pick up the reins just enough to remove some of the slack, though sitting is enough on most my horses.
At no point do I ever "kick" and a horse that's trained properly should pick up the gait you ask for without you having to slow them down via the reins.
Unfortunately, there are way too many horses that are trained like this
Kick = go forward
Kick more = go faster
Head yank = slow down and maybe eventually stop.
Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/