Helping Others With Equines

Dee Howe

Riding Tips

Things to remember:

  • Learn to ride loose, with balance, so you can apply your hand and legs effectively.
  • Once you become aware of your body and how to apply it while training your horse, then you can form to horsemanship events, requiring special equitation skills. 
  • Follow through and be consistent with your cues and be patient so your horse can learn what you want.
  • Relax so your body sends clear messages to your horse.


Spurs: Spurs are an extension of your leg, to apply:

  1. Tighten your calf first
  2. Lay the spur lightly on the pressure point for your cue.  If there is no response then push in harder. 
  3. As a last resort, push in and roll up. You may have to repeat until the horse moves.
  4. When they move take the spur out immediately! Praise and then you can repeat the steps.
  5. When riding be sure to keep you heel down or level so you don?t accidentally spur your horse.


Balance Exercise:

  • In an enclosed arena, tie reins to the saddle and walk you horse in a circle.  With your free hand push back on the front of the saddle with 2 or 3 fingers. Think about sitting on your tail bone. 
  •  Take your feet out of the stirrups and lift one leg at a time, then both at the same time.
  •  Think about your hips going sideways as well as back and forth with the rhythm of your horse?s gait.  This should help you feel your horse?s movement and help your balance.
  • Relax your legs and raise your arms straight up.  Try to reach as far back on your horses rump as you can.  Down the horse?s shoulders up the neck.  Loosen up and stretch out.
  • Twist in the saddle looking behind you and disconnecting the upper torso from your hips.
  • Once you have the mastered at a walk then try a trot, then at a lope.  Go at your own speed!





Stops: When stopping your horse, you must

  1. Breathe out
  2. Sit down
  3. Tighten your calves
  4. Pull back on the reins all at the same time
  5. DO NOT release the reins or your legs until the horse has stopped with it?s head down. 
  6. Repeat these steps until the horse stops with little pressure.


  1. Set your hands with the reins short enough so you can pull back & up gently and there is pressure if the horse goes forward during this exercise.
  2.  Sit Up.
  3. Now tighten the right calf and apply spur on that side only till the horse takes a step back with his right front foot.
  4. Release the right side as soon as the horse takes a step back.
  5. Do the same with the opposite side.  Keep the horse straight by shortening the opposite rein that is turning from.
  6. Repeat each side 'till all you have to do is tighten your calf and pull back lightly.
  7. One step is like a mile.  Be sure to praise your horse and soon you will be back in figure 8?s!



  • Just remember that your right hand and leg are connected and should be congruent when giving cues.
  • Even when starting a colt keep your hands 10-12 inches apart and start neck reining immediately by pulling on the inside rein and pushing with the outside rein at the same time.