Yohanson asked in PetsHorses · 1 decade ago

How can I get my horse to move off my leg quicker?

Okay, I have a 5 year old QH gelding, and he is great, but he doesn't move off my leg as much as I would like.

What are some exercises I can do to improve the way he reacts to pressure from my legs?

Any good sites or videos to help?


Maybe I should've worded that better.

I do usually wear spurs on him (I'm a very good rider and I do not stick them in his sides or keep them on him or anything, they just help you not move your leg as much to contact).

Also, I do a lot of spirals too, as it is very necessary for barrel racing, and he does well with that.

I SHOULD HAVE ASKED: My horse moves off my leg side to side, but I'm trying to teach him to do rollbacks, and the only way he does it is if I make him face fence so he forced to. Any other time, he throws a fit. I know I'm probably doing something wrong but I'm not sure what. I taught my other horse to do rollbacks easily, but this horse is being much more difficult.

Also, I do not do a lot of groundwork as in lunging because he is terrified of all whips (previous owner's fault). I know I should try using voice commands and such, I just haven't gotten around to it because I've been doing a lot of barrel training.

8 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    EDIT: "Only poor riders wear spurs" (someone else said this, not you, Katie)....go say that to Bob Avila, Todd Bergen, John Slack, Teddy Robinson, Todd Crawford, Al Dunning or Shawn Flarida; be sure to wear a parachute as you're laughed out of the arena. You'll need something to break your fall.

    All of these gentlemen are at the top of their game in either the reining horse division or the working cow horse division. They ALL wear spurs. They're the best in the nation.


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    I'd sure be ruling out any shoulder soreness and stiffness. Also I'd want to know if anything is going on in your horse's hock area...inflammation, or in his neck or down his back. There's a reason this horse doesn't want to turn around or roll back. Until you rule out inflammation in these areas I'd put the roll backs on the back burner. It takes a LOT of strength for a horse to do one. You really need to find out why he has such a huge attitude about it.

    Once you get that figured out then keep focus on a LOT of lateral work, counter canters, lope departures, etc., and get control of all four corners on this horse. This includes head and neck area, his barrel and his hips and hocks. Lots of turns, forehand and backhand; improve your basic handling skills with this horse. It sounds as though he also has issues and his former owner did him NO favors. As you sharpen up his basics, he should begin to get better....if you need a trainer, then seek one out who possesses solid reining skills and one who knows how to put a mouth on a horse.You'll need to enhance your horses' bit knowledge.

    As far as whips go, put yours on the ground and let him work around it. Desensitization.

    Source(s): AQHA: Involved with horses(a lifetime), and AQHA for over 60 years... SPECIALTIES....... ....Halter, Trail, Working Cow Horse, Western Pleasure, AQHA and Pinto/Paint World Qualifiers and state and regional high point all around horses. Member: AQHA, (American Quarter Horse Association) OQHA, (Oregon Quarter Horse Association) PCQHA, (Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Association) NSBA, (National Snaffle Bit Association) NRCHA (National Reined Cow Horse Association. Doc's Hickory, Two Eyed Jack, Smart Chic O'Lena offspring.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Some absolute great things to do are transitional work. Upwards and downwards transitions are different points in the ring will get your horse listening to you and responding to you quicker. You can als incorporate some lateral work such as leg yeilding off of the quarter line, leg yeiding on a 20 m. circle down to a 10 m. circle and then back up into a 20 m. circle is also great. Changes in bend and direction can also help. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you change it up and it will help your horse start responding quicker. Also, if your horse is "dead to the leg" try the ask, tell, demand theory - carry a crop (I personally love a dressage whip) so that when your horse decides to not listen, you can give him a quick tap with the crop behind your leg and the next time, he'll be listening.

  • 1 decade ago

    GOSH people they don't need a whip! Do spirals, start going in a circle, then ask your horse to move in with a bit of pressure from your leg. If he doesn't respond, increase the pressure. As soon as he moves in slightly release ALL pressure and do it all over again. If you cant get him doing that you could try using spurs. In terms of ground work, move your horse to the side by putting pressure with your hand and release.

  • 1 decade ago

    Only poor riders need spurs. What you do is go out and practice until he gets it. When you know that he knows what you want and is still slow then you need to get after him so he'll know that you want a faster response. Here is what you can do. Give him the leg and if you don't get the response you want slap him with the rains on the same side you gave him the leg. Continue until you get the response you want then stop with the rains. He will learn when he responds faster then there is not slap with the rains. Slapping with the rains is not punishment. It is just to let your horse know more action is required. Only slap hard enough with the rains to get a reaction.

    Source(s): horse breeder and trainer
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  • Azeri
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    If he's not responding immediately to your leg, you should either carry a dressage whip or, if you're an experienced rider with good balance and control, wear short spurs. You need to ask for response from your leg, and if he doesn't immediately give you the response you wanted, reinforce the leg aid with a TAP from the whip just in back of your leg, or a rotation inward of your ankle to engage the spur. The key is to use light leg, and to immediately reinforce with one of the artificial aids, if the response isn't immediate. How much of a tap or how much of a spur you use will depend on the sensitivity of your horse, but if it's done correctly, usually by the third repetition, he's got it and will respond to the lightest leg aid. You keep repeating this in whatever exercise you're working on (from halt to walk, walk to trot, walk to canter, trot to canter, leg yield, haunches over etc, etc.) until he's responding, then leave him alone and work on something else, or let him walk out on a long rein. Don't drill the stuffing out of him.

  • I have the same problem, I have a 5yr old QH mare that is the same way. How much groundwork does he have? Do you do groundwork before everyride, or do u do it at all. Just some of the basic groundwork, and practicing engading the hindquarters (clinton anderson teqniques) will make a difference!

    Good luck and I hope I helped

    Source(s): personal experience
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago


    Read my answer.

    I also agree with the poster above me. Transitions always perk my mare up!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    for dead sided horses, spurs can help if used correctly. whips too.

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