All legs no hands.. How do you teach this?
A friend of mine has an AMAZING show horse. The cue she uses to back him up (while riding) is by alternating pressure between heels. She'll put her left heel on his side, then put her right heel on his side, then left, then right and he backs up!
For turning him, she can completely turn him by using the outside leg.
How do you think she taught her horse to do these things?
Personally, I think the way to do this is A: to either start them that way or B: Use the hands to teach them the legs.
What you start doing is...
Say your horse is neck-reined and you want them to learn to work side to side off of your legs... You start neck-reining them and where you normally would maybe only use your hands add in your legs. Start to encourage them to listen to your legs when your legs accompany your hands and reward them. Reward reward reward. Applaud them and give affection. Definitely. But only when you get what you want. Be cautious with your legs and don't make them jumpy with your legs. You need to ease into the legs- match leg cues with hand cues - and then ease out of the hands. And fundamentally you can do that with any cue once you establish that the leg cue is the same as the hand cue. Sorry, that was really brief.
That's how I was taught :p
Leg and seat. . Outside leg to turn. Thought that's how yours supposed to ride.
Mines outside leg and inside seat bone. Sit deep and feet go forward some to stop...and back up
You can teach a horse to do anything with any cue you want by being 100% consistent. My stallion has been shown in reining and does every maneuver on a loose rein and no mouth contact.
By sitting deep in my saddle and pushing my legs forward, he will slide without saying 'Whoa!" When he is stopped, he will back 10 feet or 50 feet (picking his feet up and not dragging them) just by me putting my feet forward. No voice command, no lifted hand, no leg pressure.
He will spin when I take an inside leg off of him and "cluck".
You can end up with whatever aid you want in this way. I call it 'trading aids'. You start out with whatever aids you normally use to teach the maneuver you are training the horse to do. Then, you gradually use less of the perceptible ordinary aids and keep using more of the aid you want to transfer the 'cue' over to.
Like a sliding stop -- you start out doing whatever it takes to teach a sliding stop. You will be using reins, voice, seat and legs. The better the horse gets at stopping, the less rein pressure you use. Gradually you get to the point that you need no rein aid, little or no voice and shifting weight in the saddle and pushing both feet forward and the horse will stop as hard as he will with any other aids applied.
You always keep your other aids close and where you can correct the horse if he does not perform the maneuver at top form. But, the most important thing to remember is that you have to sit there and be 100% consistent from day 1. When a rider's hands and legs are all over the place, they will never have a 'finely tuned' horse that listens to the invisible aids of an expert rider.
for this i like to describe it as "cues" and "aids". the "aid" is what you know already works to achieve a certain movement, and the "cue" is what you want to work to achieve the same movement.
as long as the sequence goes: 'cue followed by aid', then eventually the cue will become the aid, in which case you could settle with that or find a new more subtle "cue", and use your previous cue as the "aid". that sequence of constantly refining your aids can continue untill you have the same sort of "control" over your horse as you would any muscle in your own body.
an example would be if you wanted your horse to turn from neck rein pressure. the neck rein is the "cue" and whatever you already do to turn left is the "aid", if you consistently follow the sequence of cue then aid soon enough the neck rein will function as the "aid"
A little gal couldn't get my arab to respond to neckreining in a snaffle when riding one handed. I got on and steadied his head and moved his hindquarters - that's how you change direction with a snaffle.
I beg to differ. You CAN teach a horse to neck-rein in a snaffle. As a matter of fact, my horses usually 'pick up' neck-reining before I try to teach it because I cross the outside rein across the horse's neck every time I use a direct rein to turn the horse. I leave 'slack' in the outside rein and they learn to turn from just the weight of my heavy harness leather reins. They learn to neck-rein 'nose first' like they are supposed to.
I would NEVER, NEVER let a horse flop his arse around to change directions much less teach him that terribly flawed way on purpose. Everyone comes here (to the Horse Forum) looking for methods to teach a horse to use his hind end, to stop on his hind end and to turn on his hind end. Anything a horse does on his front end is detrimental to his training and to his front legs. It will never be correct or comfortable to either the horse or the rider.
If a person cannot get a horse to neck-rein in a snaffle, I also suspect that they cannot get the horse to turn easily or well with a direct rein, either. Any problems getting a horse to turn or rein over or in a tight circle, is usually because that rider does not know how to teach a horse to move his shoulders.
Any well-trained horse has to keep his weight 'loaded' on his hind end while learning to move fluidly through his shoulders. Horses do not have to follow their noses. Any horse that 'rubber-necks' or runs off with his head pulled around to the rider's leg proves that. A HORSE FOLLOWS HIS SHOULDERS! So the trick is to teach good should control and movement.
Brief, straight to the point and accurate. This works especially for a horse that is already riding but dosn't yet have leg ques down. In the process of teaching two of my own horses this way, it takes time, repetition and consistency.
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