Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Central Hill Country Texas
1. Depends on the type of turn you are doing and to an extent the amount of training the horse has had such as being taught shoulder control.
Think of the side of the horse being broken down into three zones: In front of the girth, at the girth and behind the girth.
In front of the girth will control the shoulder, at the girth the barrel and behind the girth, the hip.
Right turn might = Left leg on in front of girth and right leg on behind the girth for a sharper turn or left leg on in front of the girth and right leg on or only present at the barrel for a less sharp turn acting as a support point for the horse to pivot around.
Left turn = the opposite of above.
2. Same thing goes for bumping or pressing. If the horse is trained to lightness, you may get a response simply touching a leg, others may need a press, some may need a bump, bump, bump.
What is important is that the horse knows when to stop turning by providing release from the cues. So one bump without follow up will tell the horse okay, done, but if you don’t also release the rein cue because you aren't finished turning, then the horse is getting conflicting cues and gets confused.
However the horse best responds, a touch, a press or a bump, make sure your rein cues and your leg cues are communicating the same thing at the same time through release.
3. Your seat should follow the direction of the turn. By turning your upper body at the waist along with your head, looking into the turn, that will aid the horse in the turn. When stopping a press deeper in the seat and the head slightly up will communicate stop.
4. Rating speed. I can only comment from the perspective of a non-gaited horse, so perhaps someone else who rides gaited can give better advice if it is different.
Rating can be tricky because the rider really has to tune into the horse. Usually it has to do with timing in the seat. Take a canter for instance, by slowing the rhythmic movement of your body moving with the horse so that instead it is slightly slower than the movement of the horse, the horse will slow to match your movement and not work against it. Some horses will also respond to a rider pressing harder into the back of seat or even the word “easy”. Some horses will slow slightly if you ask them to lower their heads a bit. It depends how the horse was previously ridden and trained and might be different for a gaited horse.
“You spend your whole life with horses and just about the time you think you have them figured out, a horse comes along that tells you otherwise.” –quote from my very wizened trainer
Last edited by Reiningcatsanddogs; 05-21-2016 at 10:28 AM.