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How Different Rein and Leg Cues Effect Movement

Introduction: Welcome to Tim Anderson Horse Training! In today’s article, we will delve into the various ways you can use reins and leg cues to communicate with your horse and achieve different movements and frames. By understanding these techniques, you can effectively guide your horse and enhance your training sessions. Let’s explore the three different ways you can use your reins and legs to create specific responses from your horse.

Reins: When it comes to using reins, there are three primary directions you can pull to influence your horse’s frame and bend. Each direction affects the body differently, allowing you to achieve specific results.
a) Pulling Out: Called the leading rein, by pulling your rein out, you encourage your horse to bend to the inside. This action also causes the horse’s shoulder to shift inward. Additionally, the horse’s nose goes in, more weight is placed on the inside front foot. This rein cue helps create a bend while influencing weight distribution to the inside.

b) Pulling Toward Your Body: Called the direct rein, when you pull your rein toward your body, you promote the horse to bend to the inside while maintaining an elevated shoulder. This rein cue encourages more collection and frame in your horse’s movement. By utilizing this technique, you can achieve a bend with elevated more balanced shoulders, facilitating advanced maneuvers.

c) Pulling Up: Called a pulley rein, pulling your rein upward brings the horse’s shoulder out in the opposite direction. By applying upward contact, you get the nose to bend to the inside while shifting weight to the outside front foot. This technique can be particularly useful for teaching your horse to neck rein and to soften the shoulders leading to better shoulder control.

Outside Rein: The outside rein plays a crucial role in supporting the horse’s shoulder and serving as a speed control cue. By understanding its functions, you can effectively communicate with your horse and maintain control.
a) Supporting the Shoulder: The outside rein acts as a supporting rein, preventing the horse’s shoulder from falling outward. By maintaining contact with the outside rein, you stabilize the shoulder and promote proper alignment and balance. By adding a little more, or less, outside rein contact you influence the direction of outside leg movement in relation to the direction of the whole body movement. Less outside rein, the outside leg will travel more outside of the body movement, more outside rein, the outside leg will travel more towards the inside leg.

b) Speed Control: In addition to supporting the shoulder, the outside rein is a key tool for speed control. Whether you’re in a trot or a lope, the outside rein aids in slowing down your horse. By making contact with the rein, you can signal your horse to decelerate or adjust the speed.

Leg Cues: Alongside rein cues, leg cues are essential for precise communication and guiding the horse’s movements. Understanding the three main leg cues will allow you to control different body parts effectively and in conjunction with the bend achieved with the reins.
a) Middle Cue: The middle cue involves using your legs where they normally hang. Gently squeezing with both spurs will prompt the horse to lift its back and engage its core muscles. This cue lays the foundation for collection and improves overall balance and performance.

b) Front End Cue: Directly behind the front girth, you can use your spurs to push the horse’s front end over. This cue encourages lateral movement and helps to control the positioning of the horse’s front legs.

c) Hind End Cue: By moving your legs back from the middle cue, you can cue the horse to move its hindquarters over. This cue is instrumental in teaching the horse to yield its hind end and execute maneuvers such as lead changes and haunches in.

Conclusion: You can download and watch the video, Using Reins and Legs, where I am working all of these cues with an advanced horse. You also might want to watch the video, Collection Explained, where I am talking about what collection is, why you should teach a horse to collect, and how to teach a horse to collect. In the blog article, Mastering the Neck Rein, I am focusing specifically teaching the neck rein

Incorporating a combination of rein and leg cues in your horse training sessions allows you to communicate effectively with your equine partner. Understanding the different rein directions and leg cues helps you influence your horse’s frame, bend, and movement patterns. By utilizing these techniques correctly, you can achieve better collection, control speed, and guide your horse through precise maneuvers. Remember, consistent and gentle cues, along with positive reinforcement, are key to successful horse training.

By sharing experiences and knowledge, we can continue to improve our horsemanship skills and help these talented animals reach their full potential. I have many horse training resources that will help you and your horse in your journey to better horsemanship at Help With My, My Youtube Channel, and My Facebook Page.

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