Spanish step. Stretching and training in place
We start with a stretch. Just as a person cannot just pick up and do the splits without training, so a horse cannot lift his leg up to the height we need without training. Therefore, we start with the main thing. We stand facing the horse so that our left shoulder was opposite the left shoulder of the horse. Those. not right in front of her, but a little on the side. In the right hand is a short whip. It is very easy to touch the whip to the left side of the chest, while taking the left foot with your left hand, lifting it by the hoof and pulling it forward. No need to do it immediately high, it is better to bend over. The foot must be straight, not bent. Pulling the leg forward, we praise the horse, encourage voice. Then, holding a foot in his hand, from the second we throw the whip to the ground and feed the horse (sugar, apple). If there is an assistant, it will be more convenient together. In no case should a horse be scared, waved with a whip, or punished if it rips a leg out of your hands. Voice does not raise!
On the first day, you don’t need to practice with both left and right legs. In the first week, one left will be enough. Gradually, the leg can be raised higher, always emphasizing the message with the whip on the side of the chest from which side we raise the leg. Neither on the metacarpus, nor on the side, nor in any other places! Only on the chest.
The main thing for us is not the height of the leg, but its directness. We will reach the desired height gradually, we will not rush.
When in a week the horse will approximately understand what is required of her, she can begin to put her foot in your hands, but you do not need to let her wave this foot, hit the ground or bend at the joints. The foot should be straight. Therefore, do not force events, help the horse with his hands. While we are ahead of the horse, we should only do stretching. Do not forget about sending a whip and command voice. (The generally accepted command for raising a leg when performing any item that requires this is “fuss,” that is, “fus.”)
After a week, we add the same exercise to the exercises with the left leg (10-15 minutes with breaks), but with the right leg. We stand so that our right shoulder is opposite the horse’s right shoulder, we focus with the whip on the right half of the chest, raise the right leg with our hands, fix it in an extended state, immediately praise, iron and give a treat. Then with the horse you can walk in a free cause. It is necessary that the praise falls precisely at the moment when the horse’s leg is in the correct position – stretched forward and fixed.
3. Training in hands on the spot.
Next, we add the development of the correct response to the promise to the stretching exercises. We stand to the left of the horse, facing the movement. Our shoulder is about girth level. The motive is collected in the right hand over the withers, in the left – the whip. If at first it’s so uncomfortable, then you can keep the motive in the place where it is better for you. But the horse should keep his head raised, although at first without attempting to gather. The backside of the horse must be picked up, the hind legs – under the body.
Not allowing the horse to lower his head down, we emphasize the message on the left side of the horse’s chest, while reinforcing it with a voice command.
Most horses, in the course of stretching exercises, learn the connection between the chest post and the leg raising from the side of the post. If the horse does not yet respond to the promise and does not raise its leg, then it is advisable to have an assistant who will raise at your command (“fus”) and touch the whip to the horse’s chest with her leg forward. At the slightest obedience to the message, we immediately stop the execution of the command and encourage the horse. Then we step on a free occasion, stroking and encouraging with a voice. It is not necessary that at the first request in the side position, the horse stretches its leg and fixes it in a horizontal position. The main thing is that she respond to the promise by raising her leg.
The horse must not be allowed to hit the ground with his foot. This is a bad habit, which is very difficult to treat.
After several days of exercise on the left side, go to the right. We hold the motive in the left hand over the withers (preferably), the whip in the right hand. We stand at the cinch level. With a voice and a whip, we simultaneously give a promise to raise a leg. At the first reply to the message, we iron the horse, praise with a voice and give a treat *.
Gradually, we do not move from the left to the right in order to force the horse to raise the leg we need. The horse should clearly distinguish the promise with a whip to the right or left side of the chest and lift exactly the leg to which the side of the send corresponds. There are several nuances here:
• I repeat: do not allow the horse to kick on the ground;
• if the horse lifts the right leg on the left send (or vice versa), you need to pick up a little bit the occasion, as in preparation for the upsetting, move the horse’s body to the side of the incorrectly raised leg so that it lowers it; repeat the message until the correct answer is received;
• ensure that the horse responds to the promise by lifting any leg, standing on both the left and right sides of the horse;
• Do not allow the horse to raise legs on its own initiative, without sending.