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When to Tap
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When to Tap

It’s when things go right that you have to push your horse. Are you the type that feels the opposite way? Do you get the impression that when things go right, you want them to stay that way?

Actually, when things are going smoothly with your horse, this is when you can ask for more. It’s listening to you after all, so go for it! Enjoy a bit of a challenge. Your horse may even be happy about it.

The important thing to remember is to use your legs appropriately. First, if you want your horse to move forward, use a gentle tap. It may take a while to get it to understand, but with time, it will. Afterwards, the double-tap of your heels and calves will mean more – it will be the time to move the legs quicker and go faster. You need to teach your horse to understand that movement if you want to eventually do whatever makes you both enjoy the ride.

However, try to do this with as little leg as possible. You shouldn’t have to put that much pressure on it to get it to move at the speed you want. So don’t nag – just tap. When it’s time to go faster, use a double-tap. This is the equivalent to a wake-up call. Then, keep your calves on him until you get what you want. The horse will just keep moving forward until you let go.

Let your horse continue at this speed, then ask for more. Yes, this is a good thing! Even if it gets it wrong in the beginning, it will learn! Put your legs back tight, and let it fly! Say a few words of praise to let it know you’re enjoying yourself.

The only thing you need to learn properly is when to tap with your heels to teach it to move faster. Once the speed you want is reached, that is when you tap for more. Even if you make mistakes at first and don’t tap at the right time, you’ll learn. After all, you aren’t perfect, either.

After a few weeks you will notice a big difference and the both of you will enjoy your riding even more for it.

 

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More about tap, horse, ride, calves, speed, faster, movement

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Leave a Comment

  1. Rene Wright
    Rene Wright
    Voted. I enjoyed your blog & agree with you, timing takes practice. Once you get it.. it's all good!
    Log in to reply.
  2. Tambrico
    Agreed. Effective use of the leg is one of the most important skills to develop.
    Log in to reply.
  3. Chestnut Mare
    Chestnut Mare
    Voted. Some great advice here Annie. I agree, a good rider uses their legs effectively. Please check out my latest blog for this site, The Horror of Horse-Racing (I think you will want to support me on this, since you share my ethos!!)
    Log in to reply.
  4. jst4horses
    Even though it is a tap, I still put it in the realm of hitting and kicking. Horses move each other with eye movements, I have a horse that can tell her friends to bring some of their feed, or the whole tub if I have failed to secure it to the bars, and all with her eyes and ears. They do. Impulsion riding is riding, and stop riding. When I first learned, I could not believe how amazing it is to ride and stop riding. A horse that is impulsion trained will turn with a turn of your head, soon you only have to look where you want to go, and ride at the pace you want to go, and there you are. Amazing. A really good natural horsemanship clinic and practice group is fun, for you and your horse. An obstacle course helps improve life on the trail and in the show ring.
    Log in to reply.
  5. jst4horses
    Even though it is a tap, I still put it in the realm of hitting and kicking. Horses move each other with eye movements, I have a horse that can tell her friends to bring some of their feed, or the whole tub if I have failed to secure it to the bars, and all with her eyes and ears. They do. Impulsion riding is riding, and stop riding. When I first learned, I could not believe how amazing it is to ride and stop riding. A horse that is impulsion trained will turn with a turn of your head, soon you only have to look where you want to go, and ride at the pace you want to go, and there you are. Amazing. A really good natural horsemanship clinic and practice group is fun, for you and your horse. An obstacle course helps improve life on the trail and in the show ring.
    Log in to reply.

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