Horse Training: Controlling the Horse’s Shoulder

Horse Training: Controlling the Horse’s Shoulder


The next thing we want to talk about
is teaching this horse to guide. Now we’ve already moved his shoulder, which is a big part
of that, but we want to improve on that. Ultimately when we ride this horse, the direct rein controls
the face. The horse doesn’t follow it necessarily, and some trainers will have a horse follow their nose a lot, but
basically we want this horse just to give us his face when we take hold of the reins, but not necessarily the feet. What we want to do, is we want to be
able to control this horse’s shoulder independently, so when we pick up the outside rein, we will bump with
this outside leg, and get this shoulder to move across. Just like we did on the ground. Move the shoulder, we’re going
to move the shoulder while we’re on the horse’s back. Now, we’ll start this like we start all things, we just stand here, hold the horse straight, don’t try to turn him, just hold your horse straight, and when you pick
up that rein, bump bump bump bump bump with that leg until the horse moves. Then, the next day or two, we bump bump bump bump with
that leg until the horse moves a few more steps. until ultimately we can walk the horse all the
way around and move his shoulder. Again, we want both reins to be independent. I want
to be able to pull this horse’s head around, with the inside rein and the shoulder stay up, stay straight, like
if I was going to show a western pleasure horse I would want his nose in but his shoulder to stay up, and when I pick up with the outside rein, then
I want the shoulder to move across, so I’ll be able to walk in a circle, or trot in a
circle, to get this horse to move that shoulder away. Moving the shoulder is basically a function of what we call a “counter arc.” Now, not everybody uses it quite the same, but we want to be able
to bring the horse’s nose outside, or at least keep it straight, we want to keep his body straight so the shoulder
moves and the hip doesn’t go. So we’ll hold his shoulder straight, and his head
straight, and we’ll move his shoulder. We call it a counter arc because the head is to
the outside, and the shoulder is to the inside. So we’re going to walk this horse in a circle, with his
head to the outside and his nose to the inside. And we just keep bumping with this leg to
get that horse to move across. When he’s moving good, you sit still, if
he resists, you just kind of bump and get him to move a little bit more. Now, as he
gets better at that, in everything that we do, when we speed up, the maneuver gets harder, and the horse will be a little more resistant. So if
you’re trotting and trying to do a counter arc, and he starts resisting, go back to the walk. So,
we’re going to ask the horse to trot, And we’ll pick up this outside rein, and move the shoulder, so the shoulder is
going across, and making the hips go in a small circle, the shoulder’s going in a smaller circle, and the shoulder’s moving across. This gives us our guide, so that if we’re loping the horse
down the pen, we just drag our neck rein for the horse to go the direction we want him to
go. Now, as they get better at that, we’ll go to the lope and do the same thing. So we pick up the outside rein, we have the head
to the outside, the shoulder to the inside, so we can move the shoulder in, and
get the horse to be controlled. If the horse starts to resist at some point, then we’ll
just shut him down, go back to the walk, and/or standstill, and get the horse to move it’s shoulder.

2 thoughts on “Horse Training: Controlling the Horse’s Shoulder

  1. JustHorsinAround24: Maybe you're holding too much on the face, try loosing your reins a bit more. If this doesn't work you should really do some more work on the ground so he knows to move off the pressure and not back up or move too forward with it. ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope I helped a little bit.

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