Third Time’s the Charm

Oh, by the way, that last exercise gets done on both sides also.

Not only that but you do it every day for a while.

And, remember, it’s quality, not quantity, that you are looking for.

So if he takes a couple of good lateral steps, stop there. You can go work on the other side, or do something different. Then, come back and get another step or two, of excellent quality. And stop when he’s really trying to please you.

It takes insistence, and persistence.

And it is more important to do a little bit every day than it is to grind it into the ground all in one day.

Okay, now mount up. Position your horse facing the fence or wall. Pick a direction that you want to move the hind-quarters, let’s say we are going to move his hind end from left to right. Or if you are right-left dyslexic, from the pasture side toward the barn side.

Your legs are hanging softly along the horses sides, sort of like wet towels. They are touching but not squeezing.

Move your left (pasture side) leg a little farther back than it’s normal position. This is called a Pre-cue.

Then just lightly squeeze just once with your upper calf.

More than likely absolutely nothing will happen. That’s because horse doesn’ yet grasp the connection or association between the calf squeeze and the “cue” with the finger, nor the “hairbrush”.

Release the leg, the signal should only be brief, maybe only a half second. Now squeeze again, still lightly, but when you do, slap your own lower leg with your stick. Chances are you’ll get a response this time, and it may be more than you wanted, but if he moves over at all, reward with calm low voice, “good” and caress his neck next to the withers.

Wait a second or so to break the connection and do it again.

Let’s say he doesn’t get it the third time, so now instead of your leg or boot, tap him just behind your leg, on his skin,once. Normally this will get a response. If he steps over with his hind leg, reward.

After doing this on one side, go to the other side. Then when you go back to the first side, ask for two steps.

Eventually you will do sort of a swinging door leg yielding of his hind end to the fence one way, then swinging it all the way back over the other way.

Technically this is called a turn on the forehand.

When this is pretty consistent up against the fence, try it out in the open. A helpful hint is that if you ask him with your leg to move his hindquarters over and he gets a little sticky, then bring his head toward your leg with the reins.

Because most horses are somewhat stiff, if you bring his head to the left, his rear will tend to go to the right, and vice versa.

Take heart , because we’re halfway there!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *