Using Cues Effectively – Clinic November 8

My next clinic will be November 8 at Diamond TR Ranch. If you are interested in building unity between you and your horse- this clinic is for you. Appropriate use of cues and timing is what builds confidence in executing maneuvers while building confidence between you and your horse. Clinic will start at 9:00 a.m. and go until about 4:00.

This Class will focus on techniques to accomplish the following horsemanship skills:
– Using your hands to create soft vertical flexion at walk, trot and canter
–  Using your seat to create impulsion
–  Using your seat to create a balanced stop (halt)
–  Using your legs to control hindquarters and shoulders; give direction
– Balance in the saddle at walk, trot and canter



Horsemen need to take advantage of all the aids available to them. Cues are the signals by which the rider tells the horse what to do. They are signals to which the horse must be taught to understand and obey. Note I use the word taught, not forced. The natural aids or cues are the hands, legs, seat, and voice. The body (legs, torso and upper body) are the signals that the horse feels most easily. Therefore, it is important to use the body to create and consistently give the correct cue. Balance in the saddle sets up all the cues and balance allows us to independently use our body, just as we want the horse to independently move his body. Hands and feet give direction and the body creates impulsion and rhythm.
I realize that mechanical aids such as bits, serve a necessary purpose. However, I believe that too many people substitute a more severe bit for proper training. Horse training can be defined as teaching the horse to obey cues rather than forcing the horse to obey through intimidation and fear. When you rely solely on the bit for control it does 2 things – 1) it limits the maneuvers that can be effectively executed and 2) it causes horses to be intimidated. A horse that fears the bit will be stiff and tense. The bridle is a communication device not a control device. The reins should be a set of “phone lines” that carries a message and the bit is the “telephone” which receives the message. We want the horse to recognize the ring of an incoming message, not receive an electrical shock that hurts or intimidates him.
To avoid the electrical shock, use your body to appropriately set the horse up for a maneuver and send the correct message in a concise, consistent manner.

For Registration:  contact the ranch @


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