Reverse Shoulder in? - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By Tigo
  • 2 Post By equitate
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post #1 of 7 Old 11-17-2013, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Question Reverse Shoulder in?

So my instructor occasionally introduces new concepts/movements which always catches me by surprise. Today we were focusing on not over-bending to the inside, so she really wanted me to make sure that he was 100% straight at the trot down the longside. Then, out of the blue, she said on the next long side I want you to do a reverse shoulder-inI was like, say what?? Of course I did it all wrong. Poor horse had to stick his head over the arena wall because I didn't allow enough room for his head/didn't set it up right. On the next long side, I knew better and allowed him more room for his head. But it still looked/felt awkward and messy.

So my question is, what is the purpose of a reverse shoulder in? How did that exercise relate to achieving straightness/not over-bending to the inside? What can I do make this exercise go more smoothly/correctly?
Is the reverse shoulder in the same as travers?
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post #2 of 7 Old 11-17-2013, 10:29 PM
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Shoulder in/renvers and counter shoulder all mobilize the shoulders. Counter shoulder fore/shoulder in makes the horse more upright (if done correctly). Just think you are doing shoulder left if you are riding to the right (inside leg pulsing closer to the girth...inside being relevant to bend/positioning, and outside leg stretched down and back...YOU always look where the horse looks so towards the wall). ANY exercises which relates to mobilizing the shoulders helps to achieve straightness. And when you are initially do them, do them only for a few strides.

I teach my student shoulder fore then shoulder in. And the movements can also be done si/counter shoulder in on a figure 8. Then you are simply maintaining the same positioning but going the other direction (no change of positioning). Also one can do travers (haunches in) on a figure 8 to renvers (haunches out) as well. Again, no change of positioning.

Write the exercises down (going straight ahead to learn them). Shoulder fore=first step onto a 20m circle, 3 track shoulder in=first step onto a 10m circle, 4 track shoulder in=first step onto a volte 6-8m curve; counter shoulder in=think you are going to start a circle toward the wall; travers=last step of a circle ridden straight ahead; renvers moving the shoulders to the inside track/quarters on the track/horse looking straight ahead. In all the movements inside leg is closed/pulsing near the girth and outside is back/stretched down. If you think of them as parts of a circle, it is helpful.
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post #3 of 7 Old 11-17-2013, 10:32 PM
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Would that be haunches in? It's also works really well for setting a horse up for a lead! Especially if they are green or have lead issues.
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post #4 of 7 Old 11-17-2013, 10:37 PM
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In all the years of riding dressage I've never heard the term "reverse shoulder-in". In my mind, I would equate that to renvers but by how you've described it that doesn't sound like what you were doing! Shoulder-in, "reverse" or otherwise, is a completely different movement than travers.

In basic terms, shoulder-in you are bringing the horse's forehand off the track while keeping the bend around the inside leg. Travers is bringing the haunches in, shoulders travelling straight on the rail, while maintaining the bend around the inside leg. Two different parts of the horse are being manipulated, so I don't think that the reverse shoulder-in you were doing and travers are the same thing. It could be thought of as the reverse of shoulder-in as you are manipulating the haunches rather than the forehand, but I wouldn't equate it to reverse shoulder-in.

When I'm riding renvers, I start in shoulder-in and then gradually change the bend from around the inside leg to around the outside leg. I keep the position of the horse's shoulders while I change the bend to the other direction. Since the shoulders are in same postion in shoulder-in and renvers, but the bend is opposite, this is why I would think renvers = reverse shoulder in.

Does that make sense at all?

Unless she was simply asking you do do a shoulder-in in the opposite direction of travel - shoulder-in right while travelling on the left rein for example? In this case I could see how this would help with a horse overbending to the inside/falling over the outside aids; it would change the horse's bend to the outside and correct falling over the outside aids by making him more upright. I often use counter-bending/counter-flexion to help correct a horse falling over my outside aids.

Sorry I can't really answer your questions as I'm not entirely sure what exercise it was that you were riding! I'm kind of thinking out loud here and am interested in understanding what exercise you were riding .
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Last edited by Tigo; 11-17-2013 at 10:40 PM.
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post #5 of 7 Old 11-17-2013, 10:48 PM
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Counter shoulder is a very traditional schooling exercise, and is si/t/r entwicheln.
si/csi/r are to mobilize the shoulders. It is not to prevent over bending, it is to get the greatest straightness/uprightness because it enforces that the inside hind leg (vis a vie the positioning of the horse) goes into the outside rein. It is different than counter positioning/bending because of the degree of strepping through with the inside hind leg and the shoulder freedom which is enforced (same thing for shoulder in entwicheln.... for pix look at Zettl's book).

Another exercise which can serve somewhat the same purpose is a reverse pirouette (in walk), which is like a turn on the forehand but the horse looks in the direction it is moving rather than away (but it is the quarters which are moving further than the forehand).
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Last edited by equitate; 11-17-2013 at 10:51 PM.
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post #6 of 7 Old 11-17-2013, 11:33 PM
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Equitate, thanks for the explanation! That certainly makes sense. I definitely have used counter shoulder-in, I guess I've just never heard the terminology reverse shoulder-in. I'm easily confused! I re-read what I typed and I definitely didn't mean to make shoulder in and counter-bend/flexion out to be the same thing - they certainly are not and my coach would smack me if she heard me say that!!
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post #7 of 7 Old 11-18-2013, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Thanks for the info. I think the reason she had me do this excercise is because he was too much in front of my leg (running away with me) which I tried to curb by overbending him to the inside which she then tried to correct by doing this akward reverse shoulder excercise. We usually have the opposite problem (can't get him in front of my leg).
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