Leg cues, or postural aids, are in fact the language of the horse so it’s important that the right words and phrases are used. Poorly trained horizons can cause all manner of problems including a lack of impulsion, resistance and even hyper-reactivity which makes it difficult to train your horse in a specific manner.
It’s not easy to teach a horse to do anything, but especially new, complicated tricks. Teaching a horse leg cues is no different and poses a unique challenge. Here is how to teach your horse this trick.
Teaching a horse leg cues is one of the most complicated parts of horse training. The following steps can help you teach your horse to respond to leg cues:
Step 1: Stand in front of your horse and talk to him in a calm voice, explaining that you are going to be teaching him something new.
Step 2: Put your left hand on his neck and your right hand on his shoulder blade, just behind the withers.
Step 3: Move your left hand back toward his hindquarters until he begins to raise his hindquarters. At this point, put pressure on the withers with your right hand to encourage him to continue raising his quarters.
Step 4: Repeat step three several times until he gets used to raising his quarters when you place pressure on his withers with your right hand.
Teaching a horse leg cues is not an easy task. But if you’re willing to put in the work, it can be a rewarding experience for both you and your horse.
The first thing to remember is that horses are creatures of habit. If you want them to learn something new, it needs to be consistent and repeated over time.
When teaching a horse leg cues, start with one cue at a time. For example, if you are trying to teach a horse to back up, you would start by saying “back” every time he takes a step backward. After several days of repeating this process, you’ll notice that your horse will begin taking backward steps without being prompted by your voice.
Once this behavior becomes habitual, try introducing another cue or two into the mix. For example, if you have already taught your horse how to back up and turn left or right on cue but still need help getting him into his stall at night, try adding “go inside” after each step he takes toward his stall door during training sessions until it becomes second nature for him to go inside every time he hears those words!
Teaching A Horse Leg Cues
If you’re looking for more precision when you ride, then you’ll need to develop strong leg cues. Your seat and hands can also help guide your horse in the beginning, but ultimately your legs have much more control. You’ll be able to direct your horse’s shoulders, ribcage, and hindquarters with three simple cues.
Leg Cues for A Successful Ride
- Right at the girth area, behind the shoulder, is the first cue that moves the horse’s shoulder.
- Slightly behind that one is your next cue to move the ribcage.
- And the last one is a little further back, right where the rear cinch would go. This aid controls the hindquarters.