In addition to being annoying, a horse that won’t move forward may frequently become unsafe as they become irritated by being urged to drag its feet. They do everything they can to avoid having to move their feet at that point, including kicking out and running backward. Here are some tips on how to get a horse to move forward under saddle.
The slightest prod causes a well-trained horse to advance, and he keeps moving forward until you command him to change his pace or gait. The key to getting your horse to respond well to the leg cue is to keep things easy for him. As such, your training efforts will be focused on getting your horse to react positively to the leg cue.
Ask The Horse To Trot
Squeezing your legs, your seat, and your increased vigor will signal the horse to trot. To encourage even more, you can cluck once. If he doesn’t go forward right away in response, continue to squeeze with your legs and cluck “Cluck, cluck” twice with your tongue. Clucking serves as a warning that he will soon become uncomfortable if he chooses to remain still.
If he still doesn’t move, keep squeezing him with your legs and smacking him with the end of your reins, or tap him behind your leg with a dressage whip, until he moves. The horse feels uneasy after being spanked for disobeying your commands. Release all pressure as soon as the horse moves forward; stop gripping his sides, clucking, and spanking.
Let Your Horse Learn
The secret is to not babysit your horse by taking over his responsibilities in order to educate him to advance off a slight leg cue and maintain the gait you set him in. Make him responsible for his feet. He should follow your instructions to trot until you instruct him otherwise. The horse won’t be able to learn to do things on his own if you constantly watch over him and don’t make him take responsibility.
Don’t Kick Mindlessly
Never kick a horse to make it move forward. Squeeze him again if he doesn’t respond after a few seconds, then cluck. Spank him if he doesn’t answer after that. If he still doesn’t react, spank him more harder and keep going until he responds. The horse will eventually come to realize that squeezing makes moving forward much simpler than having to endure the cluck, swat, and discomfort.
Don’t Confuse Your Horse
Don’t tell your horse to move ahead while also dragging his lips to his chest with a death grip on the reins. The horse is completely unaware of his role in the situation. He is being told to move forward on the one hand, and stop or back up on the other.
Final Thoughts About How To Get A Horse To Move Forward Under Saddle
The horses who leave right away when their owners signal them by pointing their fingers in the air do so while still in the saddle. Even if you believe your horse has a nice gas pedal on the ground and moves forward when you cue him, you should test him occasionally to make sure his feet aren’t sticky.