desensitizing horse to legs - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 08-12-2009, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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desensitizing horse to legs

My mare is being very difficult with me! I have been working with her for two weeks now on trying ot get her desensitized to my legs and I'm not making very much progress

Can anyone tell me some good tips to try to get her desensitized? I cant even barely put any pressure on her without her wanting to go forward.
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post #2 of 11 Old 08-12-2009, 03:03 PM
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Some horses require an ounce of pressure, some 10 pounds of pressure for the same cue. I would not want to deaden her to leg cues. She will make you a better rider as you will need to pay close attention to how you ride.
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post #3 of 11 Old 08-12-2009, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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I definitely dont want her to be dead to my legs thats for sure...but i want her to be able to not launch forward with the touch of my legs! when asking her to do circles and serpentines she will start trotting..I dont think I'm giving her the wrong cues but usually they say its rider error which wouldn't surprise me LOL
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post #4 of 11 Old 08-12-2009, 03:25 PM
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Practice the pressure.

First 'think' forward and proceed from there.

Once you click - you will find other horses frustrating to ride!
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post #5 of 11 Old 08-12-2009, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help! i just think she needs a lot more riding time she has only been riding for about 2 months so I shouldnt expect the world from her of course LOL
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post #6 of 11 Old 08-12-2009, 03:58 PM
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My mare is EXTREMELY leg sensitive. She was very badly abused when she was younger, so ANY pressure from the riders legs sends her through the roof. Well, thats how she WAS. I have been working with her on it for the past 5 months. She can be ridden bareback now, with not much of a problem. Every time I ride, I just make sure I know where my legs are at all times, and keep my leg on her, but not squeezing. If that makes sense? She knows its always going to be there, but it wont hurt her. She has realized that when I gently wrap my legs around her, and gently apply pressure, it doesnt always mean go faster.

Sorry if that sounds like a jummbled mess, I dont know how to explain it, but it is something that CAN be fixed. Or atleast tollerated on the horses part.

When God Made Horses, He Painted The Good Ones.
"All I pay my psychiatrist is the cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day."
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post #7 of 11 Old 08-12-2009, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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thanks JA...Classy has never been abused or anything like that she is jsut overly sensitive! I know it will take time and shouldnt rush her and get upset with would be a lot more comfy for me as well if i didnt have to try holding my legs off of her so much LOL sometimes she does ok then others she is like OH OH LETS GO!! LOL
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post #8 of 11 Old 08-12-2009, 05:07 PM
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The pony I've been working with used to explode to any leg. She used to break to the higher gait whenever you tried to bend her or leg yield. I started out working at the walk but that just made her so frustrated and confused So we moved onto the trot. Correct her when she's wrong and LOTS of praise when she's right! At least with the pony I am working with, she is a nut for the "good girl"s!
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post #9 of 11 Old 08-12-2009, 06:35 PM
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My old horse was like this, and I refuse to have a horse I can't put my leg on. I just stood him still, took my feet out of the stirrups, and swung my leg back and forth until he settled. He jumped around, tried to go forward, but when he realised he couldn't, he settled.

The only way to get a horse used to leg is to use it, lots. Just ignore her if she jumps, bring her back down if she speeds up. Practice on the ground, getting her to move her shoulder or hindquarter from pressure. Do lots of gates, side passing, turns on the forehand and backhand.

DON'T just leave it. If you can't safely and securely put leg on her it makes for a much less useable horse than one that won't accept leg.

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post #10 of 11 Old 08-12-2009, 06:53 PM
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My Appy is very sensitive to leg pressure, as well; it doesn't take much at all to cue him off the leg...doesn't mean he always does the 'right thing' off my leg necessarily, but he is always intune to my legs, which is nice.

If you want to get her used to you 'moving' your legs on and around her, I would simply sit on her, perhaps have someone hold her, and just move your legs back and forth, so she understands that not "all" leg movement is a signal to move. I do understand where you are coming from, and she does need to understand that that not every leg movement means to move forward. I've had to practice this with my App too, because he would just 'shoot' forward as soon as I got on, and was situating my legs on I would halt him and ask him to stand, while I moved my legs around. He eventually caught on, and it hasn't dulled his responsiveness off my legs while riding, but has shown him that he doesn't 'have' to dart forward just because I touch him.

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."
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