Sunday, February 22, 2009

Yield Hindquarters While Walking - Part 4

To recap....
From exercises
1 & 2 - a horse is able to yield the hindquarters and start to sidepass from the ground. (Remember the dance steps! ....I feel like dancing......:)
exercise 3 - a horse is able to yield the hindquarters and start to sidepass mounted from a standstill. (It's kinda like doing donuts with your car.... :)Yield Hindqtrs Using Fence While WalkingFurther progress in the yield hindqtrs/sidepass exercises now takes us to my favorite pre-sidepass teaching exercise and that's YIELD HINDQTRS (and start to sidepass) USING FENCE WHILE WALKING.
What Body Control Foundation or Western Performance Horse Development is All AboutI love this exercise! It really teaches the horse the idea to KEEP MOVING while yielding. The fence keeps the horse from blasting out of there (or moving too much the wrong way). The horse needs to understand that sometimes they are required to have their face picked up, collected, move a body part and move forward at the same time. (Not to stop, move body part, and then resume.... no... no... no...:). That's what body control foundation or western dressage is all about!

Impulsion, impulsion, impulsion.

Don't Get Stuck
So much of what we do with horses requires impulsion. So this exercise is great as a review anytime the horse really gets stuck while learning maneuvers such as sidepass or spins; where they can 'stall' or 'freeze up'. If horse gets stuck, I simply do this exercise to get them moving again and return to what I was doing previously.
Any exercises where you have to take a hold of the horse's face will cause them to decrease forward motion (if you don't keep them moving forward) to the point of stalling. Especially collection work.

Remember.... Sidepassing is dancing with all 4 feet (and not just 2 like us humans)... so the horse needs time to get all 4 feet coordinated and become graceful at it! :)

I use this exercise as part of my warm up to also reinforce impulsion. (see my article on impulsion here.)

It's common to ask the horse to move their body around and still go forward. Makes sense right.....
Here are the training steps: (part of lesson 16 from my book)In round pen, mounted& flexed, neck reins in bridge position, one in each hand:
1. After warm up, walk briskly several strides along round pen fence. Tip nose towards fence as you…
2. Yield Hindqtrs While Walking: Press your outside leg into horse’s side to ask horse to yield hindquarters away from fence (as in yield hindqtrs& backup lesson),
crossing over hind legs a couple of steps.
3. Release legs & hands, praise horse, walk along 1/4 of round pen and repeat several times until horse understands to yield hindqtrs while walking. Keep horse moving!

4. Repeat until horse understands to yield hindqtrs while moving smoothly. Rest for reward.
Once familiar in one direction, always go in other direction.

Goal: For horse to yield hindqtrs while walking with cadence.
1. Tipping nose stops horse from scooting forward.
2. Do not let horse stop or get stuck. Use your legs either at hip or ribcage. Alternate your leg.

3. Front & back legs will cross over with practice.
4. Work on weak side more to even out sides.
5. Teaches horse to move off your leg really well for all maneuvers.

Advanced Work:
1. Work to increase length of yielding before walking out.
2. Increase distance away from wall.
3. Use riding crop or spurs to improve responsiveness.
4. Do exercise at walk, jog, trot & lope.
5. Do sidepass while walking. (See next article)

Other Notes:

The horse is ready. We're here! Now we can do a sidepass! Yes!

Sidepass next article..... (meet you there! :)

Questions and comments are always welcome!
If you need any help with this, please contact me.

Putting my spin on leg yielding, body control & western performance horse development!
©Copyright KISS Reiners

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