Training Tips by Andrea
1) Learning to tell your leads
Well, you have progressed past getting to know your horse and basic horsemanship, Good Job!! Now it is time to progress into more complicated things like learning to tell what lead your horse is on…
First let me explain what a correct lead is… when cantering/loping your horse is on “a lead” meaning he is leading with one front leg or the other. We have shortened this to the word leads. Now, how can you tell if your horse is on the correct lead? This is simple, you can tell what leg your horse is extending out farthest, by watching his shoulders and he will feel more comfortable and it should be a two beat rhythm. Try studying your horse’s shoulders and watch the way they move, and put your horse into a canter/lope and glance down, you should see his inside shoulder going forward. This takes practice, but if you do soon you will know how to tell if your horse is on the correct lead, and well on your way being a great team with your Equine Partner.
2) Learning your Diagonals for the English Rider
So many times, I will have a rider tell me “ I just can’t seem to get my diagonals”. It is easier than you may think! When riding English, you have an advantage, the front end is easier to see, thus meaning their shoulders.
Now we both know you have already been told NOT to always look down, to keep your head up and watch where you are going, but for this you are going to look down, sit while you trot and study your horses shoulders. Watch for the outside shoulder to extend farther out, when that outside shoulder goes out you go up!!! Then practice timing with the correct diagonal, then I want you to practice picking up the WRONG diagonal and sitting two strides and changing to the correct one. Then I want you to NOT look down, but pick up the correct diagonal, if you should not pick the correct one up switch to the correct one and try again, soon you will feel the correct diagonal and at this point you will rarely pick up the wrong one!
Try to keep in mind it is ALWAYS important to be able to sit to the trot… this will help you feel your horses movement! If you keep at it you will be a diagonal pro…so to speak, and have fun!!!
DID YOU KNOW WHY WE HAVE DIAGONALS? TO KEEP BETTER BALANCE BETWEEN HORSE AND RIDER!
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Last Updatead 3/24/03