nagging rider cowgirl magazine

It’s easy to be a nagging rider and not even realize it. Unfortunately, your horse is likely to act out in response. They may become more dull or even annoyed and irritated. If you want to be the best rider you can be, then you’ll need to eliminate this rider fault.

Why Riders Nag

  1. A rider wants to be gentle and kind to their horse, so they apply light aids over and over again.
  2. As previously suggested, many times the rider doesn’t even realize they’re doing it. Their horse has actually grown accustomed to the constant pressure and has already tuned it out.

How to Fix the Issue

One of the most obvious signs of a nagging rider is a dull, unresponsive horse. They’ve actually developed the ability to ‘tune out’ the rider. It’s almost like a protective mechanism. You may notice this frequently with lesson horses who are ridden by beginners.

If you want to fix a nagging issue, then try this! Apply pressure in four stages- low, medium, high and extra high. Once the horse responses to the pressure, then immediately release or stop applying it. This is their reward! You must be quick with the release.

Another aspect to consider is allowing you horse to commit to the mistake. Let’s say you you ask for the lope from the jog. You increased the pressure until your horse loped. Now, you must leave them alone. Don’t constantly apply light pressure to keep them going, instead wait for them to drop to the jog and then apply your pressure in the stages. Your horse needs to realize they must keep going until you ask them to stop.

Depending on how dull your horse has become, it can take time and patience to get them more responsive. You may also need to enlist the help of an instructor who can call you out if you start to nag.