<% appTitle="Ridecamp Archives" %> Ridecamp: [RC] My reply to "Speed Control" What do I do now?

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    [RC] My reply to "Speed Control" What do I do now? - Ridecamp Guest

    Char Antuzzi char_antuzzi@xxxxxx
    I sent the poster a email directly but wanted to share with all of you what I suggested to the rider. Perhaps it can help one of you?
    I want you to think about something. What is it we ask our horses to do after we climb aboard? Move forward.. right? So I want you to practice this exercise EVERYTIME you mount the horse. Get on your horse and ask them to back up 4 strides. Go forward 4 strides, then back one more time 4 strides. When you and your horse are warmed up move up into a walk, stop, back, then back to the walk again. Keep moving up in your transitions as you progress. Within a week you will see your horse become lose in the jaw and face. They will start to break over not just at the poll but the withers as well. When the horse starts to soften in the withers, they are starting to lift the shoulders and move more free. A soft horse is much easier to control and stop then a stiff one that barces against your hands and seat.
    Get your horse in the mood to think... back, thus he will move his weight onto his hindend and off your hands. Now.. when you mount up, take a rein in ea. hand, here's the important part... make sure your hands are as far apart as your shoulders. Do not have your wrists close to each other. Also make sure your hands are not higher nor lower then your hip bones. Open your fingers, spread them out. Now start to close your fingers around the reins starting with your little finger, moving onto the next finger, sort of like milking a cow. As you are closing your fingers, squeeze your legs and ask your horse to back. DO NOT ask the horse to back without using your legs against his sides.. now your asking.. why on earth would I want to use my legs to get him to back up, you use your legs to make him go forward! The answer is, you are asking him to "lift" his back, pick up his shoulders and move into your hands, not brace against your hands.  One more thing to remember. As you are asking him to back, make sure that you are using one hand, then the other, not a direct pull back, also when you do this, don't squeeze with both legs, squeeze with the opposite leg you are using with your hand. Did I lose you? Left hand is closing against the rein, right leg is pressing against the horses side, now right hand is closing against the rein, left leg is squeezing.
    Try this and let me know how it goes.
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