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Question From A Lesson..?

1412 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Bovidae
Hi, all! I have a question that's left me perplexed these last couple days and decided to finally reach out to the forum. :)

For some context, I had my most recent lesson on Wednesday. The horse I was riding is trained for trail if it matters; riding in a saddle an inch or two inches too big and uncomfortable didn't help much either.

During the lesson, I asked if I could ever ride Rita(Lesson horse) as if she was for Ranch Riding, as it is my dream to compete in that discipline. My coach(Who enthusiastically accepted) then prompted me to jog and do a downwards transition to a walk, and to cue for that transition by using my seat and lowering my reins to her withers and releasing all contact, if I had any at all.
When releasing my contact, Rita then sped up around to an extended jog for a couple strides before I picked up my contact and sat farther into my saddle, while saying,"Hoh." and putting more weight in my stirrups to cue for a halt.

Since I'm still learning how to use my seat aids correctly, was it my mistake that I couldn't cue correctly- I assume- for a downwards transition the next couple tries either?(Barely got it the 2nd time) If so, what was I doing wrong and how can I better that?

Thank you!
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When riding a horse, the rider tries to communicate with the horse. Communication isn't automatic, it is developed. If a trotting horse is accustomed to being told "walk" you may try to say "walk". However, you may have a bit of an accent so that what the horse hears is "wack".

While this example speaks to verbal cues, the same idea applies to physical cues. Physical cues may have "accents" as well. When you give a cues, notice how the horse responds. If the horse does not respond as expected, try modifying your cue. Generally, using the same cue "louder" is not the answer. Don't simply change "wack" to "WACK". Try saying "waak", "wak", "walk". Since you are trying to get the horse to move slower and more quietly, say the cue more slowly and quietly.
 

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When working on getting a horse to do transitions primarily on seat, particularly from a trot to a walk, I essentially "stop" riding the trot. Exhale and bring your own energy down, while sinking more weight into your seat bones (sit deeper).

My horses usually understand "easy" as a vocal cue for a downward transition or just to slow down.
 

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putting more weight into your stirrups can easily become 'brace' into the stirrups, and you might have put more leg on inadvertently by doing that. Also, by putting more weight into the stirrup, you might be actually raising your seat OFF the horse, especially if you are locking the knee and bracing.
Also, don't you release the rein onto the wither AFTER the horse is stopping? I mean, after the horse has heard your request to stop and is complying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
putting more weight into your stirrups can easily become 'brace' into the stirrups, and you might have put more leg on inadvertently by doing that. Also, by putting more weight into the stirrup, you might be actually raising your seat OFF the horse, especially if you are locking the knee and bracing.
Also, don't you release the rein onto the wither AFTER the horse is stopping? I mean, after the horse has heard your request to stop and is complying.
I could have been locking my knee when I first attempted at cueing, I believe so. I did not receive correction from my coach, and as my memory is already a bit foggy, I can't be sure of that fact.
Sorry, I should have been more clear, but I did release contact after the horse slowed a couple strides. The later sentences were my reaction to my assumed mis-cueing. : )
 
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