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diddlez66
Oct. 5, 2010, 08:21 PM
I have a question about "using leg". I guess no one really ever "taught" me exactly how to do it. I just read about it in books and magazines and from what I picked up from watching people ride and what trainers said.

I have been under the impression you use your leg to get your horse to move in the opposite direction. So, I would use my right leg to send my horses body to the left.

But I was riding the other day with a new trainer. The pony I was riding was very ornery about staying on the rail. She would run into the middle of the arena all the time. And the trainer told me to use my outside leg when she did this. I was very bewildered to why I would do this since that (in my understanding) would just send her more into the middle. And now I am afraid I have been using the wrong leg to signal horses!

CHT
Oct. 5, 2010, 09:07 PM
If the pony was running into the middle because she was dropping her shoulder, then you would want to use the outside leg back and on to push her hips in/under so that she balances off her hind end rather than falling in on her shoulder.

Using your inside leg to push her out would be futile/less effective as she is leaning on her shoulder...much better to push her bum up and under to rebalance and correct the underlying issue.

This can also discourage a naughty horse from cutting in, as with the hip in and engaged, in order to cut in they have to sit on their inside hind which takes more work, so they are less likely to cut in.

LoveJubal
Oct. 5, 2010, 10:41 PM
Actually, you would probably be using both legs to drive her forward - the inside one to keep her on the rail, sort of blocking her from drifting, and the outside one, like the previous poster said, to engage her rear and keep her from leaning on that inside shoulder.

I think your "using leg" terminology is correct, but you just may not have understood the point of what the trainer was saying on this particular occasion.

Next time, ask! You are paying for these lessons and you need to understand what the trainer is asking you to do and why she is asking you to do it. She shouldn't be offended that you ask for clarification :) You will be a better rider for it!

diddlez66
Oct. 6, 2010, 10:24 PM
Thanks so much for your replies! Question though, so I am using both legs with equal amounts of pressure and about at the same spot on the horse to achieve the sort of guiding action on either side?

And yes. Now that I look back on the situation I kick myself for not asking, but it was an EARLY morning lesson and I often like to listen more than talk in lessons. That is my downfall haha! :D

CHT
Oct. 6, 2010, 11:50 PM
Leg has two basic positions; At the girth and back (aka behind the girth). Leg behind the girth controls the haunches, leg at the girth gives the horse something to bend around.

The end result of leg also depends on what your hands are doing; for example you use outside leg back to get a proper turn on the haunches (vs a pivot), but you use that same leg back to do a turn on the forehand...the difference is your seat and leg.

Leg can be blocking or active.

One way to think of it is to get a bendy ruler. The ruler is your horse's back/spine. Have someone hold one end of the ruler. Now poke the middle with your finger (leg at the girth)...the ruler should swing away. Next use one hand to hold the other end of the ruler (blocking leg behind the girth) and poke the middle with your finger (active leg at the girth), the ruler should bend in the middle to create a shallow C.

Alternatively, with your helper still holding the one end, put a finger in the middle of the ruler to hold it in place (blocking inside leg at girth) and press the ruler with your finger on the opposite side (active outside leg back). The ruler will bend, but more in a hockey stick shape.

Of course if your helper lets go of the front end, the results will differ dramatically, which is why it is important to think of leg in conjunction with hand, and not all on its own.

I hope this helped somewhat.

LoveJubal
Oct. 7, 2010, 12:41 AM
^^^^

This is excellent! Good Job with the technical explanation :)

doublesstable
Oct. 7, 2010, 02:00 AM
We ride bendy rulers. Keep that as a visual next time you mount up. lol

goeslikestink
Oct. 7, 2010, 02:53 AM
Leg has two basic positions; At the girth and back (aka behind the girth). Leg behind the girth controls the haunches, leg at the girth gives the horse something to bend around.

The end result of leg also depends on what your hands are doing; for example you use outside leg back to get a proper turn on the haunches (vs a pivot), but you use that same leg back to do a turn on the forehand...the difference is your seat and leg.

Leg can be blocking or active.

One way to think of it is to get a bendy ruler. The ruler is your horse's back/spine. Have someone hold one end of the ruler. Now poke the middle with your finger (leg at the girth)...the ruler should swing away. Next use one hand to hold the other end of the ruler (blocking leg behind the girth) and poke the middle with your finger (active leg at the girth), the ruler should bend in the middle to create a shallow C.

Alternatively, with your helper still holding the one end, put a finger in the middle of the ruler to hold it in place (blocking inside leg at girth) and press the ruler with your finger on the opposite side (active outside leg back). The ruler will bend, but more in a hockey stick shape.

Of course if your helper lets go of the front end, the results will differ dramatically, which is why it is important to think of leg in conjunction with hand, and not all on its own.

I hope this helped somewhat.

execellent post just going to nick it to add to helpful lnks pages as a reference for others ok dokey

meantime op read this link

hands also play apart in why a horse wont change or move over

http://www.meredithmanor.com/features/articles/faith/fixing_bit_evasions.asp

CHT
Oct. 7, 2010, 12:21 PM
Glad my analogy helped!