Leg Pressure; Is there a wrong way?
I've ridden western pleasure for a number of years but it seems like everyone has a different way of training when it comes to yielding leg pressure. So I'm curious...what's the right way? Or even the best way? I mean, if you press with your left leg do you want your horse to move away from it like side passing or do you want your horse to totally turn the other direction away from it or just to yield their hide quarters to it? Does this make sense?
My pleasure horse is trained according to how much and ow frequent the leg pressure I give him, the more pressure against him for a longer period of time, the tighter the turn. If i just want him to turn a little circle, i tap him a little bit, but if I want him to be sharply turning I press into him and don't release until he's gotten where I wanted him to be. If it's more of a sidepass thing I generally pick up my reins just a bit to show him to collect himself and move over, not out.... if that makes sense....
I also adjust WHERE I put my leg to indicate different cues. For example, if I pull my leg back and squeeze, I want just his haunches to move over. If i bring my leg forward and squeeze, I want just his forehand to move over (or take a sharp turn if we're in motion). Leg right at the girth means I want him to bend around my leg.
This is a great over-simplification, but you get the gist. In general, yes, he's moving away from my leg pressure.
Basically, my horse is three parts - Head, neck and shoulder - Ribcage and back - Hindquarters. Depending on where my leg is, I can move any of these areas independantly.
Horses are meant to move away from the pressure, but I have actually met such horses that move INTO the leg pressure. LOL.
And yes, a rider is actually meant to have control of what they want to move and when. ; )
Horses can adjust to you and your cues...its all in the way YOU want to train him and what works for you. He can adapt to your cues. :wink:
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