How to direct your horse by leg cues

There are many confusing schools of thought regarding the position of leg cues. For me the proof is in the doing. When you don’t use your rein, does your horse respond appropriately to you leg? If so, great.

Even if you don’t use the leg aids we do, but your horse has been conditioned to respond there is no reason to change. Unless of course your horse responds, but falls on the forehand. Then you may consider adjusting your leg positions.

This video deals with the isolations for foundation riding. Isolating the cues makes it simple for the horse to understand, and riding with one cue at a time builds lightness to the aids. Obviously, a 10-minute video isn’t going to show how to get these cues perfect.

This video assumes you know the basics of a decent program well. It doesn’t have to be the Heartfelt program.. most in-depth Natural Horsemanship programs will cover the basics needed to get the most out of this video. Even a true CLASSICAL dressage education would give you a foundation to get more from this video.

It is important to differentiate between using legs to direct a horse, and asking for a certain bend. When we are being particular about a certain bend we need a combination of cues. What seems to have happened is that many conventional teachers have chosen to isolate the turn using inside leg. In my opinion, this directs the hind end. It will turn the horse, but it means the hind legs move around the front end. In other words: the horse falls on the forehand.

Then the rider is told to use more leg, use more rein, or try some medieval gadget or another to get the horse off the forehand. Once again, this is my opinion, and in my experience fixing the confusion linked to leg and rein cues is a great start to fixing things like napping, falling on the forehand, and lead departs.

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