Since I have had my horse he has been difficult with your leg actions. I am working on lateral work with him and it is making things very difficult. Haven't wanted to use spurs because he is a very sensitive horse, if you hold a whip he understands and you wont need to use it. Any suggestions anyone?
Smallest spurs? They are an aid, sounds like you wouldn't need to use them all the time. sounds like with the whip, if you have it, he knows he has to do it. Maybe eventually he won't need the spurs, just that you are being serious.
Go back to work in hand. Get him to turn on the forehand in hand, and teach him that pressure behind the girth means to step side ways.
Once this is clear, when you use your leg aids in the saddle make sure that they are 100% clear. Your seat, your hands and your legs must move independently and not be giving conflicting unintentional aids.
You say that this horse is sensitive so if he will not move off your leg then either he doesn't understand your aids or you must be giving him contradictory instructions with your aids.
"Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller
Use phases of ask so that he has the chance to become more sensitive and respond to the lighter aid before you give the increasingly heavier aids. Use a whip as the last phase, wiggling louder and louder THEN touch.
Transitions transitions transitions - changes in pace and in gait.
Quit/release to reward the slightest try and stop him BEFORE he thinks of it.
Work outside the box - ie. hacks out on the trail (especially up and down hills), give him a job such as jumping a course or working cattle etc etc etc.
....horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.
My very sensitive TB is the first horse I've ridden who seems to really be confused between pressure slightly behind the girth to canter and asking for lateral movement. My other horses all knew the difference from weight shifts. Thanks to posts on this board I made the connection that his confusion was our problem and now do a "windshield wiper" with my outside leg. Canter transitions are great AND his movement off my leg for lateral work has improved about 500%.
My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.
Originally Posted by katarine
If you have a fat gay horse that likes Parelli, you're really screwed