05-07-2009, 12:45 AM
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It depends on what I'm doing. Since I ride both game and pleasure horses it's very important for me to have a horse that moves off my legs and seat and doesn't require much rein aids.
If I want just a simple turn, I cue with the outside leg at or slightly behind the girth- depends on the horse.
If I'm pivoting, I cue with the outside leg at the girth and shift my weight back.
If I want a circle, I cue for bend with the inside leg at the girth, and control the hip with my outside leg behind or at the girth depending on what's going on with the horses body.
For side passes, legs yields, lead changes, ect I cue with the outside leg (at the girth for side passing and leg yielding...behind for leads).
For barrels, I hold the arc of the turn (and hold up the shoulder) with my inside leg at the girth, and my outside leg behind the girth to keep the hindquarter from swinging out.
The horse needs to move AWAY from my leg, not into it. When you apply an inside leg at the girth on a circle lets say, you are asking the rib cage to move away from your leg and create bend while using the outside leg to keep the hind tipped in forming the arc of the circle. In both instances the horse is moving certain body parts AWAY from the leg. This distinction is why it's so important for a horse to move its hips, shoulder, and rib cage independently when you apply a leg in certain places- behind the cinch, at the cinch, and slightly behind respectively.