So today I will be talking about #9 moving the shoulders and #10 moving the hips mostly. Later today my husband will be helping me with the moving forward while mounted more. I like to have a motivator on the ground to help teach the horse the moving forward cues. This makes it easier for the rider to get the idea into the horses head to respond to cues.
I recommend this way because it also allows someone to be around for the first few rides if needed incase something goes wrong. You don't want to do the first ride on a youngster alone in case you end up in the dirt (which you have to prepare for even if you don't plan on it) and hurt and this way someone is there to help you. Unfortunately my husband hasn't been able to be around and help me out with this until this week so we are going to get it done and get him going good under the saddle for good now.
Once the neck bending is down I start on moving the shoulders both ways. I exaggerate my leg pressure by keeping it close to the front cinch and if needed I will push directly on their shoulder. I bend the neck to the side that I want the horse to move to. For example, to move the shoulders to the right I will bend the horses neck to the right until he is supple and relaxed and then ask for the shoulders to move over by using my left leg. At the slightest sign of moving, whether its a step or as little as just shifting their weight at first, I RELEASE immediately.
Same goes for the hips but I exaggerate my leg pressure by moving it to about where the back since sits and if more pressure is needed a light tap of rein or crop can get them moving their feet if they're a little "stuck in the mud". To cue for the hips to move you will first bend the head to the opposite side you want the hips to move. To move the hips to the right you will first bend the horses head around to the left, wait until they are supple and relaxed, and then cue with your left leg to move the hips to the right.
I wanted to throw in their quick that I DON'T recommend SPURS! Not saying they can't be introduced in the next few rides if NEEDED it's best to work on the first few rides without them. This way they can get used to the cue before they are asked with a more direct pressure like a spur.
Also if your horse is moving forward good at first, that's GREAT!, but they can also start to buffalo you and all of sudden get difficult and not respond to your cues. The key here is to not give up or end the session, but to WORK THROUGH it right then and there so your horse understand they need to listen to the cues and just because they don't want to listen anymore doesn't mean they can. It can sound harsh, but it needs done to get the horses respect. It's like a parent and a child... if one gives into a temper tantrum because of something you can't give in and avoid it form them on... the child needs to learn that they can't get out of something because of a temper tantrum and they need to behave. The child will respect the parent so much more and over time... same goes with the rider and the horse.
I wanted to add also that instead of having a person on the ground as a motivator, a second rider on another horse works GREAT, also! It give the horse a buddy to pick up on things from and then when it comes to moving out on their own they wont leave their buddy horse, that second rider can ride behind and that rider can use a rein or small crop to help motivate forward movement, as well. Eventually the horse in training will need to lead and move out on their own away from other horses.
I hope this helps those of you working with your horses and getting them going in these first few early stages.
Until next time,
Hang on to your horn and reins and move on down the trail!
And don't forget that to get somewhere, it takes one step at time and one hoof in front of the other.