Western Riding, turning into/away from leg pressure.. Your opinion - The Horse Forum

View Poll Results: When turning, do you:
Cue with the inside leg for the turn 7 28.00%
Cue with the outside leg for the turn 18 72.00%
Voters: 25. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 25 Old 05-05-2009, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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Western Riding, turning into/away from leg pressure.. Your opinion

OK, now this is going to be interesting! I wanted to get some feedback just to have an idea when it comes to a variety of riders. I ended up having a long discussion with several others during an event I had out at my place. I had a variety of different events riders (Barrel racers, Western Pleasure, Cutting, and so on), and the topic of turning into/away from leg pressure came up. What made it real interesting was the mix of opinions that came from it:

- Some said that when they make their turns, if turning to the left lets say, they will give the cue from their outside leg (right foot) to make the left turn. Their reasoning is that the horse moves away from the pressure which is why they apply outside pressure.

- Some said that when they make their turns, if turning to the left lets say, they will cue with their inside leg (left foot) to make the turn. Their reasoning is that the horse gives way to the inside pressure.

Now I know we all have different ways of riding, and some will have a stronger opinion of what is "proper" riding style. I found this extremely interesting, and wanted to see what is more common now days. This will throw an interesting twist into my routine of training, because now I really have to think about which style will potential buyers look for. So I wanted to see what many of our posters here had in mind and thought about the matter!

Your style?

Dixon's Red Hot Ember
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post #2 of 25 Old 05-05-2009, 03:04 PM
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If I have a horse who likes to drop his shoulder into a turn, I'll use inside heel to keep his shoulder up, outside calf to push him over, and my hands to follow through with the maneuver.

If I have a horse that is a little more loopy and likes to throw his shoulder out, I'll use out side heel to pick his shoulder up and in, inside leg (at times, not constant pressure) to keep the horse "up" (moving forward into the bridle), and outside rein to encourage getting that shoulder over.

I don't have a particular style of turning. I more so like to keep the horse within the triangle. (in between my hands, seat, and legs) I try not to let them throw their hip, shoulder, or ribcage out and I try not to let them drop into their turns. I want a balanced turn.
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post #3 of 25 Old 05-05-2009, 07:52 PM
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Hurrah! Someone else who has thought about this :]

I constantly debate this with myself.

On a circle, I use inside leg to get him to bend his body through the curve of the circle. But in gameing or rollcks/haunch turns I use my outside leg to get him to cut his shoulder over.

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post #4 of 25 Old 05-06-2009, 12:33 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wild_spot View Post
Hurrah! Someone else who has thought about this :]
LOL, Absolutely! It's always driven me a bit bonkers, but lately after more of a work load coming in for training, I started wondering about how the purchasers of the horses I trained, would be riding. If I work with one under saddle and train to give to pressure one way, will a future new owner ride differently and what issues will arise from that? I know those are small details to many, but it came up in a group discussion and the answers were soooo inconsistant and varied! LOL

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post #5 of 25 Old 05-06-2009, 12:48 AM
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I think this is definitely a point of discussion when selling a riding horse.
Personally, my instinct is to press with my inside calf. I haven't ridden enough for this to even come up, but it is a great point!
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post #6 of 25 Old 05-06-2009, 03:15 AM
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I think in regards to sharper turns, like rollbacks and haunch turns, it is widely accepted common practise to use the outside leg. It's *kind of* like a moving turn on the backhand, hence the outside leg.

It's the more subtle turns and corners that get me. I have to say, i'm guilty of doing one and then another depending on the day... lol. But I also think that each method has it's place with individual horses issues, such as dropping a shoulder or a shoulder blowing out, blowing out the hind, etc...

I'm not sure that it would make too much of an issue if a future rider used the opposite method than the horse was trained in. To me, basically they are supportive sides of the same movement... If you get what I mean, lol!

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post #7 of 25 Old 05-06-2009, 03:27 AM
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My Dad spent most of his life training horses for other people and when the whole "ride using only leg cues" craze popped up, that is how he started training them. That all changed when one customer called him back after picking up his horse nearly in a panic. Even though he had been shown how to properly cue the horse, he couldn't seem to hit the right spot and was not getting the response he wanted. From that point on, Dad kind of adopted the philosophy "Simpler is better". Many people use their seats and legs to cue for a turn but with beginning riders or poor riders, that can cause more problems. Therefore, we use the reins to control the forequarters and the legs to control the hindquarters. The only time that I use leg cues is to ask for forward movement, sidepasses, lead changes, or if I want them to pivot on their front end. I use reins for everything else.

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post #8 of 25 Old 05-06-2009, 07:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smrobs View Post
My Dad spent most of his life training horses for other people and when the whole "ride using only leg cues" craze popped up, that is how he started training them. That all changed when one customer called him back after picking up his horse nearly in a panic. Even though he had been shown how to properly cue the horse, he couldn't seem to hit the right spot and was not getting the response he wanted. From that point on, Dad kind of adopted the philosophy "Simpler is better". Many people use their seats and legs to cue for a turn but with beginning riders or poor riders, that can cause more problems. Therefore, we use the reins to control the forequarters and the legs to control the hindquarters. The only time that I use leg cues is to ask for forward movement, sidepasses, lead changes, or if I want them to pivot on their front end. I use reins for everything else.
The woman that I trained horses for complained like hell when she got on and COULD NOT understand how to make a horse move off the leg. (She was extremely green but thought she was as good a rider as any cowboy)
Anyway, the third horse she asked me to train "without the leg stuff"... "can't you just make him neck trained" (Which by that she wanted him to know how to neck rein)
...she was a quack... I like buttons. I like control.
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post #9 of 25 Old 05-06-2009, 07:55 AM
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This is what I have always done... especially on barrels. Other than that, it's reins for the front, legs for the back.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wild_spot View Post

But in gameing or rollcks/haunch turns I use my outside leg to get him to cut his shoulder over.

Last edited by BackInTheSaddleAgain; 05-06-2009 at 07:59 AM.
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post #10 of 25 Old 05-06-2009, 10:26 AM
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All of stock type horses I've owned/ridden around here have always been trained to move the hind quarters off/away from inside leg for sharper turns.

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