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Using legs while riding is a method of steering the horse by apply pressure with the thighs and heels. Practice steering with the legs with helpful advice in this video on horseback riding.
Hi, I'm Rick Gore from the Travis Equestrian Center. Today we're going to talk about how to use your legs when you're trying to steer or give an additional cue to your horse. And using your legs is something that's kind of like, it's a technique. Some people use it different. If I was to wear spurs, I would use my legs differently then if I don't use spurs. You won't see me dig my heels in to my horse to make him move. If I had spurs on, it would give me a couple extra inches, and I wouldn't have to dig my heels in, I could just turn my foot and the spur would give that cue. I don't wear spurs, so I use the bottom and the top of my leg. When I want my horse to go forward, it almost like I'm pushing both legs forward, and I'm moving my hips and both legs are coming together, putting this forward pressure to push my horse forward. So if I want him to go forward, I'm going to squeeze just with my legs, and my whole body said move forward. My whole, everything in my body, and he felt those legs constrict a little bit. When I want him to go left, and we're going to turn left here, I'm going to take this right leg and just use like my calf and the bottom part from my knee down, and just put a little pressure right here. And I'm just, he's moving away, and I'm shaking it so you can see it, but you saw him move away from that pressure. And I'm also giving him a little, a little reining cue also when I'm doing that. So now we're going to move to the right. I'm going to take my left leg, put a little pressure on this side, and he's going to move away from that leg pressure. So my calf right now is going to push on his leg, and he's going to say, oh, I need to move away, I need to move away. So he moved away. And then same thing, if I want to move a horse backwards, some people will squeeze forward, and will learn to use their legs with the rein to go ahead and tug and squeeze and push the horse backwards. Now this is different than this, and you may not be able to see it, but it's very minute changes in your legs on whether you're telling the horse- I want both legs to push you forward, I want both legs to push you backwards, or I want one leg to push you to the left, and that's why we're going to the left. Well, that's how basically, how you're going to use your legs, after you refine that, and you're going to be able to use your legs to move the front part of your horse, the rear of your horse, or the whole horse on a side pass. And that's kind of a quick introduction on how to use your legs when you're riding.