Soft Eye, Soft Feel, Soft Feet; Part 2 Balanced Horse Balanced Ride

Posted in: Featured, Horse Training

In part 1 of this series I delved into a soft eyed horse. What I desire with a soft eyed horse, is a light feel in our hands…Let’s take that to their feet!  What?! Take a soft eye, to a soft feel, to my horse’s feet and have his feet, soft feet??? Definitely!

With a soft eye and a light feel and when turning their head side to side, unnamed-1I want that same resistance free movement that my horse gives me in his head and neck to travel right down to his feet. With a light touch and again, a small amount of pressure, (the same amount of pressure that I want to end up with at the end), I expect him to give his head freely to the slightest pressure.








To ask for feet movement, I am now standing about mid barrel or just behind the cinch line.

Preparing to as for movement

I have the free end of my rope in my right hand and the lead attached to the halter in my left. My left hand is rolled thumb up as I swing the free end in my right hand, from the ground up. Just enough to get a response. The response I am targeting is his left hind foot reaching in and deeply crossing over his right hind foot.  Several of these thoughtful, even, deep crossing over steps are desired. Stop after one the first time.


Postion to start a hind cross over Step into their flank for hind step over beginning cross over behind

As I straighten my body and stand tall, I want his hind feet to tuck right in behind his front feet, so that my horse is standing looking evenly and straight into my eyes with his two front feet directly in front of his two hind feet. He squares up like a Champion halter horse.Square feet

I do this until my horse crosses over behind with the slightest pressure, happily, softly and squaring up on his own.

After my horse crosses over behind and squares up, the next move I want  him to perform is to reach out with his left front foot, moving to his left and follow up with his right front foot reaching across and forward until I am at his barrel on his right side. I ask him by switching the horse end of my lead rope to my right hand and the loose end in my left, leading my right hand palm forward and open to show the direction I want movement to my horse.


Notice how he is preparing to reach out with his outside front foot.

Watch this video to see it all come together:

Any pressure I need to add comes from the loose end of my lead rope swinging in an upward movement, only as fast as I need and stopping any swinging when my horse moves his feet. I’m keeping the pressure only as much as I need, to get the response that I am looking for. From here I can move him forward, left, right or backwards…softly, thoughtfully and with very little pressure.  We have soft, thoughtful eyes, a soft light feel with soft easy-to-move feet…let’s get on and have all of this soft, light, thoughtfulness on my horse’s back.

Posted in: Featured, Horse Training

About Lynn Kohr

I am a barrel and pole horse trainer, giving springtime barrel racing and pole bending clinics and workshops, competing in barrel racing and pole bending futurities while marketing our horses for sale. I am a Mom of 3: Sage, Cedar, and Stratton. And wife of...

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