Leg Cues: Open the Door

Posted in: Featured, Horse Training, Ranch Life

This is important enough when you’re working on using those leg cues/buttons that I last talked about that I’m going to take a whole post to say this: open the door. Get your spur out of your horse’s way. Don’t accidentally ask for two cues at once, especially if your horse is just learning these.

As your horse gets more proficient at picking up what you’re laying down, make it even easier on them: don’t block them with a foot in the way. The photo above is pretty exaggerated, but that’s actually how far my foot was out of the way. I have stubby little legs, so I can’t have my spur anywhere near my horse’s side like you long-legged folks. (Seeing this photo is a little enlightening for me as well. Note to self: Maybe I don’t have to get my spur so far out of the way.) It’s easy for me to accidentally leave a spur on their side or even the side of my stirrup bumping, so I make a very conscious decision to get my spur the heck out of the way. Be a pendulum, when one foot comes in to ask for, say, your horse’s shoulder to move over, get your inside leg out of the way so your horse has somewhere to go.

There are instances in which you’ll use both legs on specific buttons to ask something of your horse, but for now, establish those cues by only asking one part to move. While doing that, I beg of you, make it as simple for your horse to understand as possible. One leg goes on, the other leg comes off. You can even be a bit dramatic about it if you want, that ensures you’re absolutely getting out of your horse’s way.

Keep working on getting those buttons sharp and smooth. You’ve got some more advanced maneuvers coming your way!

Posted in: Featured, Horse Training, Ranch Life

About Savanna Simmons

I'm Savanna Simmons and I live north of Lusk, Wyoming, on the Four Three Ranch with my husband Boe and our sons, Brindle and Roan. I grew up evolving my horsemanship with clinicians like Ray Hunt, Joe Wolter, and Jack Brainard, but not within a...

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