Leg cues! I need some help!
So I've been working on getting Lacey changing direction really really well off my leg and she's actually doing excellently. Today I actually rode her down the long side of the arena zigzag-ing the entire time without moving my hands at all. She was totally fine with it, didn't get confused or anything.
In my horsemanship class the teacher was showing us how to...basically cue the horse to walk straight but also sideways at the same time (I don't remember what it was called) and I decided to try it on Lacey because I know she can do that, I've accidentally cued her to do it before. So I tried to do what the instructor had told us to do in class: to cue the horse left I should sit hard on my right butt cheek, take my left leg completely off ("open the door") and move my right leg way back and press hard with it. Well, Miss Lacey decided that I wanted her to turn. When I kept trying she alternated between speeding her walk up, trying to trot and turning. She never moved herself over so I wasn't able to reward her for that.
Basically, the bottom line is: she's obviously confused by the leg cues I'm giving and I'd like to know how you guys differentiate between the things you have your horses do with leg cues and rein cues.
Currently the cues I've been using are: a thigh squeeze for walk, "squeeeeeeeeeeze-squeeeeeeeeeze" double leg bump for trot, quick bump with one leg plus slight rein tightening for canter, constant rein pressure plus constant leg pressure for back up-both cues disappear as soon as she backs up enough, and solid pressure with one leg or the other for a turn-the leg pressure disappears as soon as she's turned enough (so I can totally see how she was confused by the horsemanship thing). Other than that I don't really have her do anything else.
I'd like to work on her sidepassing and all that sorta stuff but I'm not sure how to cue for them... I know, technically, how to teach what I want but I don't know how I'd cue for them in a non-confusing way...
Also, how on earth do I get her to do that thing I was learning in horsemanship? I really would like to practice for class...
Fabio - 13 year old Arab/QH gelding
Hazel - 14 year old Angora goat
Atticus - 4 year old LaMancha/Alpine cross goat
Rest peacefully, Lacey.
Last edited by Wallaby; 01-22-2010 at 10:13 PM.