Good tip, imo. I had a trainer explain a similar idea to me last year - when my horse balks on the trail, rather than gripping or pushing her with my legs, just to gently flap-flap-flap them against her (not Thelwell style! a small movement!) because it renews the cue, as Jane said, and also because it prevents me from getting tight and locked up in my legs and seat - keeps everything relaxed. It works really well.
Fabulous tip- I think I kind of do this anyway, but what a great visualization! The moving the leg back a bit part is very insightful. (Not surprising that it is, seeing where it comes from!)
Now- I wish I had a lesson from Jane on how to keep a stubborn Belgian from pretending to be afraid of the long side in the arena! I've never had a horse that drifted in so much on the long side, but not the corners! Being green and a Belgian at the same time is a tad confusing, methinks!
I kinda tried it tonight, but it was not a good test. It was pitch black (technically does not affect this) and I was bareback (this is probably what affected it). It seemed to do a bit, but it was hard to tell and I really wasn't doing a long ride.
I'll try it tomorrow, with a saddle and other riding accouterments.
Great advice as usual from Jane. Another great tip for motivating a lazy horse (not technical at all) - take them out of the ring and go on regular field canters and hacks. It's great for the rider too!
I am so glad Jane is willing to share tips. I have audited 2 of her clinics and left with a lot more knowledge then I arrived with. Whenever a rider and trainer of Jane's caliber is willing to share advice, I will gladly take it!
Nice tip-- I hadn't thought of moving my legs backward.
Come to think of it, it would be nice gain permission to spur my Lazy Sack of Sh.. in the gut. But gently, in a PC way, of course.
In any case, I'm glad we can talk to each other. It is what separates us from the impossibly lazy 1,000 animals. I just hope my horse doesn't here about this before I do since the element of surprise is part of what makes the "take your legs off the lazy horse" strategy work.
Last edited by Moderator 1; Oct. 21, 2009 at 12:24 PM.
Reason: response to deleted material
if a horse is lazy or sharp then your aids need to be sharper and quicker
kick and click the horse down the long side of an areana and send it into gallop once it does that praze and pat the horse and repeat once it understands to go of thr tweak of your heal then you can bring it back into walk and work the horse in walk paces trot paces and canter and counter using the half halt stride in each transition using an independant seat secure leg and soft quiet hands
I've read a few articles about getting horses to be more responsive lately - I have been retraining a "desensitized" horse to GO FORWARD, so I'm loving these ideas! Jane's idea is great, as so much of her generous insights are. However, I do think a lot of times, it's not that there are that many lazy horses, but a LOT of overactive legs. If we blame it on our horse, we may never really fix the issue - and may overuse this technique too!
I went to a clinic today, and was amazed at how many horses were behind their riders - and so I started watching their legs. The riders were pulsing their legs - with spurs, mind you - at every stride. The clinician was all over them - having them demand a response, but even with leg, spur and whip, many of the horses just tuned it out until it got pretty aggressive. I don't think all of the horses were lazy, but dead to their riders' aids.
The best rider, on her Intermediare 1 horse, used her legs only as needed, and her horse went along happily in self-carriage otherwise. I understand inviting legs - asking for bend, supporting, etc, but I think it's almost stylized how busy some dressage riders are with their long legs... I think they see riders doing that and without understanding why, just start pulsing their legs at every stride.
Really good point, Lily! If the rider's legs are constantly "chattering" at his horse, the horse ends up tuning him out and becoming dull.
Then when the rider actually wants to "say" something(i.e. Give a leg aid), the horse can't filter through the chaos of the chatter. It's hard for him to distinguish between an actual aid and noisy legs.