How to Ride a Sensitive Horse

Written by: Sarah Lewandowski

We ride many horses- green, spooky, extra fresh, but how do you ride a really sensitive horse? This is my experience riding an extra sensitive fresh horse that I started to lease. The process starts way before you get on, and that is being calm, and relaxed. If you get on that horse and are stressed or worried, or freaking out, the horse feels that and it will be freaked out.

Take a few minutes before you get on to clear your mind, don’t think about anything that’s not related to your ride. You have homework to do? Think about it after your ride. Did you have a bad day at school/work think? Think about it after your ride. Thinking about dinner? Think about it after your ride. Once you can clear your mind of all the thoughts that aren’t necessary to your ride not only will you have a good ride but also you’ll stay calm for your horse.

When you get on your extra sensitive horse, remember no squeezing, try and stay genital, and relaxed. When you do that see how the horse is reacting. Is it a good response? No response? When you’re trotting around make sure you’re not hanging too much on the horse’s mouth, and using too much leg.

Stay relax as possible, what helps my legs become lose is I think of them like wet noodles, when I do this my legs then wrap around the horse with no pressure. When I am go around the ring I am making sure my horse’s trot/ canter is the one that I want, and that they aren’t running away with me. I bend my horse into the corners; they need to always have a shape into/ around the corner in a trot or canter. To relax and feel the canter what I do is I take my inside hand lay it on my

If the horse isn’t listing to you, or going way to fast, or too slow, think about what you are currently doing with your body. Are you using too much leg? Are you pulling on the reins too much? Are you not using enough leg? There always needs to be a balance between hand and leg.

When you’re jumping the same thing comes into play see how they are jumping some ground poles, if they start to speed up before the jump, sit down, NO LEG, and pull on the reins to tell them to slow down. If they still don’t slow down after the jump/pole make them stop so that they know they can’t run off with you.

After sometime you will start getting used to the horse, and how they behave. Remember like George Morris said, your leg can be there and the horse just needs to get used to it being there, but remember don’t use pressure and don’t grip with your leg.

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