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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I haven't looked through every thread so this has probably been covered somewhere but could we have another more recent one? What do you do to tell your horse how/where to move?
For example:


Ground and saddle
Turning
Backing
gates
side pass
disengaging
halt
and anything else you can think of


I understand its how the horse it trained or how you want to train a horse, but I'm curious on your step by steps cues.
 

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Pretty large subject to tackle. Are you riding with an instructor. They should be able to give you the basics.



Each of those moves can be accomplished with voice, hand, seat and leg aids. Depending on the horse's original training and past use may be one is more effective than another or a combination necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, I have access to my trainer as well as a barn full of knowledgeable people. I know what I was trained and how I apply it. I know how my horse was trained. But I'm curious on what others do and thought this is a great place to find an abundance of people to ask.
 

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Well, I'll share Halt and Backing as those can go hand in hand. To halt I breathe out, sit deep and depending on the horse may give a verbal halt or use my reins and half halt to get the attention of the horse. If necessary (like riding a lesson horse) I may have to go further and hold the contact with the rein before releasing when the horse stops forward motion. Mine are all verbal so if the breathe out and sit deep doesn't work the verbal does. Most of mine drive as well - no sitting deep though breathing out can effect rein pressure and they will be slowing when I give the verbal. Only on the streets with new horses have I had to resort to rein pressure in any significant amount. To Back - from the halt once motion has ceased I will add constant pressure until the horse moves back. Then release is immediate. I again put pressure to continue. With each step back I release. On a horse I have ridden frequently - they know the drill and pressure is very slight and most importantly even in both reins. If they try to turn during the back then the leg they are turning into is moved slightly back toward the hip and pressure applied to encourage them to stay straight.
 

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"How Your Horse Wants You to Ride: Starting Out, Starting Over" by Gincy Self Bucklin. Less than $10 used on Amazon. Pretty standard cues.

Lots of non-standard ones. Whatever you (or someone else) chooses to teach a horse.
 

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I am currently without a horse, but I can respond as to how I would have asked Sonny:
Turning:
Ground-if he was directly in front of me, point and look the direction that I wanted him to go, putting a bit of a feel on the lead rope IF he had a halter on , add stick/string if needed. .. if at Liberty, again look and point, , gently with stick and string if needed. If he was beside me, with me at his ribcage, I turn the direction I want and if to his inside, he followed my body languaage and/or rope (if haltered). If going to his outside, turn myself, and add support with my outside hand with just hand, or stick. eg: I'm on his left and we are turning right--I turn and keep walking as if I will walk into him unless he moves, add left hand with finger wiggles-arm outstretched-if needed
Riding-Look the direction I want to go while also turning my upper body/shoulders, put pressure on with the opposite leg, activate the rein on the same side that I want him to go (was working toward less and less rein)

Backing:
Ground-if he was directly in front of me-bend at my waist toward him, give a mare glare, point a finger at him and wiggle finger/hand, add rope wiggle if needed. If he is beside me, close-lift rope ,think backwards, begin to step backwards, gently lift rope rhymically if needed, gently swing string across and in front of him if needed. If he is beside me, at a distance-wiggle rope and/or toss string across and in front of him.
Saddle-slightly lift reins, sink deep in seat, collect reins and hold (no pulling back), begin to wiggle feet

Gates:
Ground-stop him with enough room for me to safely open gate (whether it opens toward us or away), send him through the opening, then i go thru, get him in a position with enough room to safely close gate
Saddle-stand beside gate in a good position to unfasten the latch, then after unfastening the latch, back him beside the gate till his nose is just a bit 'shorter' than the end of the gate. Open the gate toward us, having him sidestep away as it opens. walk forward and pivot him around the end of the gate thru the opening, never letting go of the gate. Once he is now on the other side of the gate with his rump just short of the end of the gate, pull the gate toward us with him sidestepping away. Back to where the latch is and relatch it. This description is of a actual gate, not a 'rope gate' which to me is more difficult but doable. If the gate will open one direction and that is out away from us (unable to pull the gate toward us), then I tweak the above in whatever way needed to safely get thru the gate. I was taught to 'push the horse with the gate Vs pushing the gate with the horse' as a safety issue to preven the horse from rushing and/or getting a foot thru the bars.Sonny often wanted to push the gate open himself with his nose..LOL.

Will try to come back and address the rest later.you asked for a broad range of tasks and I tried to condense my steps, leaving out all the teaching steps to get to where we were.

Fay
 
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To be honest, a lot of what it seems like I do is more like thinking than actual cueing. When I want to slow up or stop I think "I am slowing down" or "let's stop here". Turning is mostly shifting my weight to the hip toward the turn, and maybe pressing with my opposite calf. When I want to move up to a trot I think "trotting... now!" Bigger trot -- post bigger.

Backing up is asking for energy plus not-forward.

Like that. But my horse and I have been riding together several years now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, I'll share Halt and Backing as those can go hand in hand. To halt I breathe out, sit deep and depending on the horse may give a verbal halt or use my reins and half halt to get the attention of the horse. If necessary (like riding a lesson horse) I may have to go further and hold the contact with the rein before releasing when the horse stops forward motion. Mine are all verbal so if the breathe out and sit deep doesn't work the verbal does. Most of mine drive as well - no sitting deep though breathing out can effect rein pressure and they will be slowing when I give the verbal. Only on the streets with new horses have I had to resort to rein pressure in any significant amount. To Back - from the halt once motion has ceased I will add constant pressure until the horse moves back. Then release is immediate. I again put pressure to continue. With each step back I release. On a horse I have ridden frequently - they know the drill and pressure is very slight and most importantly even in both reins. If they try to turn during the back then the leg they are turning into is moved slightly back toward the hip and pressure applied to encourage them to stay straight.

I recently learned how letting off the pressure as soon as he steps back works wonders! Get so much more out of him when I release the pressure as soon as he moves back. And now I barely have to use any, just changing my seat does most of it. I could probably almost do it with voice and seat now if I wasn't using it mostly when he doesn't want to listen in the first place!
 

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I recently learned how letting off the pressure as soon as he steps back works wonders! Get so much more out of him when I release the pressure as soon as he moves back. And now I barely have to use any, just changing my seat does most of it. I could probably almost do it with voice and seat now if I wasn't using it mostly when he doesn't want to listen in the first place!
The single most important thing to know in horse training: horses don't learn from pressure. They learn from the release of pressure. So whatever they're doing when the pressure comes off, their brain records that as the answer!

Which is great when you're intentionally teaching something (like "I should move off this leg aid") and can be awful when you're not trying to teach it (like "flipping my head in the air means the bit doesn't have to go in my mouth"). ;)
 

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I find myself looking at your request for a list of instructions on how we get a horse to do each thing as a bit odd. It's not like there's a control panel, and all you have to do is learn the correct sequence .


The real answer is that you do whateve makes you horse THINK about doing what you ask. It can be a whole variety of things, put into a variety of orders. Basically, though , one can say that they use the softest cue first, and if that doesn't get the horse to think the way you want, you use a stronger one.


Thus, a well trained horse needs only a shift of weight, while a hrose that is less trained, or, is more determined to follow through with HIS ideas, rather than listen to yours, will need a stronger cue, and that can mean the application of physical pressure and even pain.




And, you do get more out of the horse if you can get them to think about backing up, for example, and as soon as you know they are thinking about that, you let up the pressure and let the horse, himself, carry that thought out into action. This is always a much better experience for the hrose, and builds a lighter response, and a greater sensitivity in the rider, too.
 

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The actual techniques I use will depend on the horse and the specific circumstances.

If I get on a horse that is tense, I first try to help the horse understand that it need not worry about how I will treat it. While I expect obedience, I try to listen to the horse in an attempt to determine how much the horse knows and what it is capable of doing.

If the horse does not know a particular task, I will try to explain what I expect in a way the horse can best understand rather than simply force it to do the task whether it understands or not. I “listen” to the feedback of the horse and adjust my “words” accordingly.

If the horse is not capable of a particular task, I will try to develop it physically before asking it to perform the task.

Horses that trust a rider are more eager to learn and to do what is asked of them. Gentle indications of what is desired are usually received and responded to without resistence. It may reach to point where it seems they respond to the thought rather than specific cues. Rather than reading my mind, however, they are probably responding to certain cues before I realize I have made them.
 
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