Leg Cues not working
I've been learning to ride through informal lessons with friend, I unfortunately don't have the money for lessons.
The horse hadn't been ridden in over a year prior to these lessons and has been out at pasture being lazy. So basically the only people that have ridden her are me and 2 coworkers that are very good with horses, yet they don't really have an answer for me on this one.
Everytime I try to get the horse to turn with my legs she 1) doesn't turn, and 2) immediately goes into a trot...without fail everytime. I've made sure that I'm not squeezing her forward and I started with very light pressure. No matter how light the pressure I use she still goes straight to a trot.
Anyway, it's been very frustrating because I know that by her not responding to my leg cues that I am relying heavily on the reins and you can see the annoyance in her body language.
The last two times I've ridden her she's also been constantly wanting to turn right, which makes my overuse of the reins even worse because I am constantly tugging her back to the left, and sometimes she just gets more frustrated and continues to pull against the rein cues.
I would like to know what you think the issue is both with her not understanding my leg cues and what's with her determination to always turn to the right?
Also, is there a specific place you are supposed to put pressure with your legs. Everything I have read is always very vague and just says "pressure with outside leg". So is that pressure just directly into their side, in front of the cinch, behind the cinch, etc?
My biggest fear is to be handheavy and make her have a hardmouth. I don't want to be causing pain to get her to go the way I want. I wish I could just figure out the leg thing and then I would be fine riding with just my legs if that's possible.
I'm trying to find some cheap lessons around here, but it has been difficult. I appreciate any suggestions or explanations.
My first bet would be to say that she hasn't been taught to turn with leg pressure.
I'm an English rider and I couldn't ride properly without reins. My previous horses have leg yielded and such and I could get them to do big arcs with legs but not turning. Even then I had to teach them how to move from a leg. A lot of horses I have ridden, if you put leg pressure on they would trot. That generally pretty standard training here. Leg pressure = faster. Reins = turn and stop.
If you are worried about the mouth then ensure that you are using a soft bit - at least until you figure out the leg thing. If she is western trained I am guessing she can neck rein - which is another option. Don't just presume a horse knows how to ride like you do, you have to teach the horse as well.
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