A beginner rider learns to move a horse forward by kicking him and pulling on the reins to stop the horse. As your progress with your riding skills, your horse will need to learn to stop off your seat and not off your hands.
You will be signaling for a stop using the following technique in order:
While at a relaxed walk,
- Say “whoa” in a calm, deep voice
- Sit down in the saddle, breathe out and rock your hips forward slightly and remove all leg pressure
- Pick up the reins and ask for a stop
Your horse won’t understand at first, but be consistent. Say ‘Whoa’, sit down, pick up the reins. Be sure to give your horse time to react. If you are too quick to go to the reins, he won’t learn to stop off of your seat. Keep with it. When he stops off your seat and voice, eliminate the voice and soon he will begin to stop off just your seat and you will never have to touch your reins again.