Horse Running Back Home Part 2


You have probably read the first part of the article before. Now I would like to continue.

2.Once this procedure is completed and your horse is soft and no longer resisting it is time to do it from the saddle in the arena or contained area.  Get on and ride some to warm your horse up. Now ask for a stop and stand. Sit relaxed on your seat and take the pressure out of your stirrups (relax and breath deep and slow). Place the heel of your hand against the front part of your saddle where it rises or your saddle horn and push back – notice your seat will get heavier and feel anchored in the saddle. Now take the direct rein again and as you ask him to bring his face and head to your knee. Keep pushing with your hand and look at the hip of your horse on the same side as the direct rein. Your horse should give you his head and just stand still and wait for release after the count of seven. If your horse moves or goes in a circle keep your hand pushing back and keep looking at his hip until he stops, then release and ask again just as you did on the ground.

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Do both sides the same. Hand pushing (not grabbing or pulling) on the pommel or saddle horn will keep you anchored in the seat and looking at the hip will help keep you balanced. Once your horse is standing and just giving his head relaxed and calm on both sides you are ready to go on a trail ride. Try out your flex stop a few times along the way. Just be gentle and asking and when he will flex and stop reward him with a good boy or a rub on the neck.

3.When you start for home and he starts going faster and faster you can ask him to flex and if he has to move his feet and go in a circle you can stay seated, hold, and wait for him to stop his feet. Then release and on a loose rein ask him to walk. As soon as he goes faster than you want him to, repeat the flex lesson. Always keep calm and relaxed when you are teaching – not forcing. If your horse is just too excited and will not listen this flex position will give you enough time to dismount and ask him to work on the ground (it is always good to have a rope halter and twelve foot lead along for this moment). I leave the rope halters on under my bridle and carry the rope halter on my saddle or in a saddlebag if it has a metal clip on it. The clip can hit your horse in the face if you ride with it attached.

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Cautions…If you get off do not just walk home. Put the lead rope on his halter and ask your horse to work in a circle for a while, then back up and side pass. Look around you for some obstacles to take him through or over until he calms down. Then get on again and ask him to walk home on a loose rein. Some horses will be easier than others. This can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few days but don’t give up or give in. If your horse is getting angry or excited you are probably using too much pressure and you are showing signs of anger yourself. The only way to successfully teach a horse to be soft and responsive is to stay calm and in control of your emotions. You are the teacher and horses do not forget; they are amazing teachers also.