• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Training FORWARD

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Training FORWARD

    I was wondering what seems to be the prefered method of training for FORWARD. This young horse would prefer to be a slug and a pasture pet. I don't like nagging with my leg or actual kicking. I've been lucky in that all of my horses before her where very sensitive to the leg. A nudge with the heel was usually the most aggressive I ever needed to be. I've seen some trainers who prefer a spur and some that would rather a pop with a stick to 'wake them up to the leg'. Just wonder what eveyone's experience has been.

  • #2
    Take some dressage lessons The dressage scene is all about the forward.

    IME ride with a whip and any time the horse doesn't go forward from a polite aid.. he gets a good spank and sent very forward. (making sure of course the horse is healthy and capable of forward ie nothing hurts) I personally don't like the slow escalating of aids. I want the horse to move briskly forward the first time I ask from a light aid.

    Spurs, IME are for subtle aids not for remedial training. Pretty much horse, even some full drafts I have ridden can learn to move off the leg from a polite aid.


    • #3
      What was just said above I'm in total agreement with. But he may not really ever have had a true "forward impulse" trained in his muscle memory. How does he go on the longe line? You may have to back up to that, and if he's lazy on the longe he gets a smart pop with the whip right where your leg would go until that gets "hardwired." Then you graduate to the dressage whip u/s, then hopefully he'll obey your leg.

      One thing to also be aware of; you might be unconsciously "opposing" your aids, IOW expecting him to go "on contact" before he is ready. Try "separating" your aids--legs without hands, hands without legs. He may be just shutting down to what he perceives as a "muddy" signal.


      • #4
        Definitely agree with Aven.

        Both of my horses even still (at 12 and 19) sometimes need a reminder of going forward. I can tell when they get a little dull to my spurs or whip. Usually fixed with a couple rounds of "when I kick/hit, you RUN". Not in a mean way of course, but I'll go out on our track and really get them up into a gallop for a few minutes. No different than using a full halt if they're not listening to a half halt.

        Might be harder with a younger horse if they have absolutely no "go" button installed. If it's there though I'd probably use the above method. Remind them you're in charge (assuming you're not liable to get bucked off though).


        • #5
          Agreed with the above. No need to nag or "peck" at them.
          My basic rule of thumb is to ask nicely twice. If I have to ask a third time, I mean business and I MAKE it happen. It might not look pretty, but I'm determined to get what I've asked. They get a firm "WAKE UP" whack with my stick (behind my leg), combined with strong leg and a cluck at the same time. In my eyes its poor training to let them get away with it after 3 attempts; its a MUST to get what I'm asking by the third try. No more horsin' around.

          GM is a fan of teaching the meaning of a cluck this way. Cluck and stick at the same time eventually gets the message across that cluck means forward. (and leg too, for that matter)


          • #6
            When I deal with the slugs, we canter early, often and at the beginning of the training session. Then I ask for a downward transition, and ctach that big trot and hustle it, when they slow, we canter again for 1/2 lap and take a break. Then repeat.

            I also carry a dressahe whip on a some, while trotting, I use the whip like a metranome behind my leg, in time with the inside hind coming forward and it really helps to get them out in front, and stay there.

            Satin Filly, cluck/ crop is a great method too.

            We kiss/ smack... ( I am a failed clucker) the kissmack is a staple in our dictionary, and the pony kids think it's a hoot.


            • #7
              Besides the above GET IT OUT OF THE RING.

              It's kind of hard to teach a horse to want to go forward if all they get is 8 to 10 strides and then they have to go around a corner. Or endless small circles and pick pick pick when they do go forward.

              Go someplace. Get it going then leave it alone and let it go. Make the horse enjoy going forward with no interference.

              IME, unless you mean what you say and never let them say no, however you chose to do that? They will never give it to you. "No" to any of the aids is unacceptable. Afraid I am not very polite when they say No. I like a quick smack behind my leg with a longer then normal stick so I don't have to move my hand.

              Just make sure they have a place to go and you are not in their face taking it right back away if they do try to give it to you.
              When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

              The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


              • Original Poster

                Thanks for all the input everyone! She is good on the line now but that took a bit. Under saddle she's gotten much better but there are still days where she's just a slug. I don't have a riding ring so all of her work is done in a field. I think half of her issues are that she's just unsure of herself on the rougher ground. We have a lot of hills and such that she appears to really have to think about when navigating it. The vet loved her and said she's just a low key girl but I have an appointment to have her saddle check in June also.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by mrsbradbury View Post
                  When I deal with the slugs, we canter early, often and at the beginning of the training session. Then I ask for a downward transition, and ctach that big trot and hustle it, when they slow, we canter again for 1/2 lap and take a break. Then repeat.
                  This is exactly what I did when I had one that was very behind the leg. Ask for canter, demand it, and go from there. Also, whenever he gets slow or lazy, you have to have the same reaction each and every time. If they are allowed to get lazy without reprimand even once, they will do it again and again. Good luck!! It really does get you in good shape though


                  • #10
                    Adding to what above posters have said, also reinforce it on the ground. The horse has to walk forward next to you at all times - no poking along. You can set up little "obstacle courses" and get them sharper to listening to you on the ground and that can really transfer to when you're riding. Trot to X, walk forward, turn, trot through some poles, whatever, just make sure they go when you go and they stop when you stop.

                    How green is this horse? I was also lucky enough to have sensitive horses until my latest one, and he honestly just didn't "get" the forward thing. I worked a lot with him on the ground and some lunge work and that helped immensely even though it did take time, he is now much more forward and enjoyable to ride. Sometimes it just helps to get off their backs and go back to basics.

                    Someone also suggested to me sometime last year to send them forward, and then stop and give them a break. So trot or canter forward across the ring and then stop for 30 seconds or a minute. I wasn't sure about it but I tried and it did help my horse to get that "break" and removal of pressure. I found he was more eager to go forward once he realized that he would be able to have a brief break.
                    Last edited by AdrenalineJunky; May. 25, 2012, 03:08 AM. Reason: Forgot the last paragraph


                    • #11
                      The saddle check is a good idea, but you might want to look a little further in the "pain issues" reasons for not wanting to move. So often, what we THINK is a "training" problem is a "physical pain" problem. Foot issues are something to explore. Including footing. Conditioning and physical ability is ALSO to be considered, especially since so many horses today are stalled, and don't spend their days in a herd running around a big pasture. Artificial environments create physical problems.


                      • Original Poster

                        She has shown improvement lately with a quick pop behind the leg with the crop. Just a reminder once at the beginning and again when we first work on the other direction. She is also out of shape right now because I recent broke my finger in a couple places, so she might just be missing being a pasture puff. Since just getting back in the saddle again I also did a complete tack check. I moved her up to a 5.5 inch bit and also going to find her a larger browband. She just keeps growing! At 4 she's outgrowing everything I own.
                        Last edited by Rebels_Princess; May. 26, 2012, 10:37 AM.


                        • #13
                          Just a quick thought, a fast growing four year old? She could be sluggish because of her stifles, IMO stifles do weird things in weedy young horses.


                          • Original Poster

                            Originally posted by mrsbradbury View Post
                            Just a quick thought, a fast growing four year old? She could be sluggish because of her stifles, IMO stifles do weird things in weedy young horses.
                            I thought the same thing so I haven't really been pushing her much. My retired mare had weak stifles which after a ton of vets was determined to be coming from a VERY old hip fracture that they think she had got at a very young age and arthritis was going nuts in there and causing a ton of other issues.

                            I had the vet check this one out because she does do the classic trip/hindend sinking away on the average of once at the very beginning of trot work. He doesn't think it's anything more then a fitness level problem at the moment. So I've started hill work on trails and in the field. Mostly walking and trotting still but yesterday I did have her canter up once on each lead.


                            • #15
                              Quick question, should the whip be carried on the inside or outside?


                              • #16
                                I always carry my whip on the inside since I like to use it in conjunction with the inside hind leg (particularly on circles and corners where it has to reach further). Plus, if you're riding in an enclosed arena, it won't continually knock the arena fence/wall!

                                This thread is really timely for me too since my new guy is a little... slow off the aids. Just so that it's clear - you would use the whip for forward and spur for lateral, correct?
                                All that is gold does not glitter;
                                Not all those who wander are lost.
                                ~J.R.R. Tolkien


                                • #17
                                  NSRider, yes, I use whip for forward, spur for lateral.