Get Your Horse To Listen To Your Leg

How To Stop Your Horse From Being Lazy On The Flat

Submitted by member: Lisa

My 9-year old Gypsy Vanner is behind the leg for everything, except jumping. We are working
alone without a trainer, so the jumps are small, but it is still the only time he gets a “buzz.” I am bumfuzzled as to how to get him less, well, lazy for flatwork.

Answer by Bernie

Lisa, this is a common problem with a lot of horses. Lazy to the leg on the flat and then quite awake or “buzzed” as you say when jumping, even small jumps.

Here’s a couple tips for you. Increase your spur size when riding on the flat and carry a stick. On a daily basis you can work on keeping your horse in front of your leg, “light to your leg aids” with some corrections.  I have a topic on EquestrianCoach.com called “Getting and Keeping the Dull Horse in Front of Your Leg” which will help your issue.

Then downsize or take off your spur and drop your stick perhaps when jumping. Next, during your flat rides, incorporate some rails on the ground and cavaletti’s to blend in with your flatwork. If you don’t have cavaletti’s, replace with some small 1′ or less jumps. There is not much concussion on the horse over this height, but it simulates jumping to some degree and hopefully with daily flatwork over this height he will get less “buzzed.” At this point you can start to blend in the right size spur and perhaps carry a stick.

I also did a post discussing how to help a horse to stay calm when jumping, which might interest you. You can view that by clicking here.

Video Recommendation:

get your horse in front of your leg

Getting And Keeping The Dull Horse In Front Of Your Leg
Bernie Traurig
Is your horse dull to your leg? Are you constantly nagging your horse with your spur? Are there worn patches on your horse’s side from heels that are constantly asking for forward momentum? Bernie has the solution.
Running Time: 15 minutes and 8 seconds

View Video

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Bernie Traurig

As a Horseman, Bernie is renowned for not only his riding talents but for his teaching and coaching gifts. As a competitor, Bernie has represented the United States Equestrian Team both at home and abroad on many occasions and reached the top of the sport in all 3 of the International Equestrian Olympic disciplines: Show Jumping, Dressage, and Eventing.After amassing 55 years worth of training and riding techniques and experiences with thousands of horses, Bernie is driven to give back to the sport that has given him so much fulfillment and success.

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