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Foundational Lesson Part Ii: Same Rein, Same Foot

By Author: Ian Kirkham
Total Articles: 10

Same Rein, Same foot teaches your horse to follow his nose. It’s one of the first exercises you should teach your horse.


The Importance of Connecting the Reins to the Feet. Whenever you pick up on the rein, make sure you ask your horse for a change not related to his headset. For example, you could ask the horse to get his feet moving, elevate his front end or change speed. If you correct only the head, you teach the horse that when you pick up on the reins he can give you his head and keep on doing whatever he was doing with his feet; this means that the reins are disconnected from the feet, and all the bridle work you’ve done from the ground will be undone. Also, this will result in a softer neck, but soon you’ll have to contend with a rubberneck that’s disconnected from the rest of the body.


Exercise 1. One way to teach this exercise is with a reverse-arc lesson (see Foundational Lesson Part III). Do a reverse-arc circle, then switch his head/neck to the inside using the inside rein and foot. The horse’s rib cage and hip should move out. Continue practicing until your connects his front leg with the rein.


Exercise 2. There are three steps in this exercise:

1. Inside rein, nose in and hips over to the outside (outside rein and leg are always off).

2. Same as above, but when the inside cues come off, add the outside leg to begin the turn on the hind foot.


3. As above, but the outside leg is always on.


Exercise 3. A good time to practice same rein, same foot is after coming to a stop at all three gaits.

• Begin by moving the hips over with the rein.

• When the hips move enough such that the inside shoulder stops, the hips will continue to take two more steps.

• Change the position of your hand to push the nose back in front of the point of the shoulder. The horse will take two steps back—the inside shoulder steps back first, followed by the outside shoulder.


• Once you get the hips to move consistently, stop asking for them to move and work just on moving one shoulder, followed by the other.

• At the lope make sure you sit the stop and instantly back up using one rein.


• Alternate sides and continue until the back-up is consistent, quick and light on both sides (20 or more minutes).


Company – LL Inc and the Lyons Legacy School of Horsemanship offer a wide variety of equine educational materials, including a series of horse training, horse riding lessons, courses, manuals, and videos for online and on-the-ground learning.


Contact – Ian Kirkham, LL Inc., ian.kirkham@gmail.com. A biologist with a PhD in animal behaviour, and a writer for much of his career, Ian now focuses on one of his lifelong passions – horses. He’s owned and trained horses in Canada, US, Zimbabwe and Costa Rica. Ian divides his time between training horses and creating educational products for horse lovers.

Author Bio :

A biologist with a PhD in animal behavior, and a writer for much of his career, Ian now focuses on one of his lifelong passions – horses & Horsemanship. He’s owned and trained horses in Canada, US, Zimbabwe and Costa Rica. Ian divides his time between horse training, horse ridding lessons and creating educational products for horse lovers.

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