Shoulder in

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Shoulder in

This is a discussion on Shoulder in within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category

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  • 3 Post By Kayty
  • 1 Post By kitten_Val
  • 1 Post By PoohLP

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    03-28-2012, 07:21 PM
Smile Shoulder in

Okay, so my horse wouldn't do the half pass. Then I read that he has to be able to do the shoulder in before he can complete the half pass. So I am going to try that. But before I do, I have 2 questions:
1. Is this true?
2. What exactly is the shoulder in, and how can I teach it to my horse?

I know that the neck is flexed a little, but I am a little confused, and I don't want to mess my horse up! I want to fully understand it before I begin teaching him, so I don't mess him up! Thanks!
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    03-28-2012, 09:00 PM
Yes, it is true. The half pass is a very advanced movement in dressage, it requires a lot of strength and balance on the horse's part, and very tactful, balanced riding on the riders part.
You must work systematically when training dressage, each step and movement, is a stepping stone to the next.
Before half pass, you need to have good control of your horse's shoulders and quarters.
Half pass, is essentially travers on the diagonal line, but without a good understanding of shoulder in, often you will get a crooked half pass, or an incorrect leg yield.

The shoulder in involves having the horse bend around the inside leg, and working on 3 tracks. The outside hind moves on it's own track, the outside fore and inside hind together, and inside fore on its own track. The quarters track straight, while the shoulders move to the inside. You won't get a good shoulder in, until the quality of the pace is very good, with the horse engaged and lowering behind. If the horse is working on it's shoulders, it is physically impossible to perform a lateral movement with any idea of correctness.

It sounds like you're just starting out - find yourself a dressage coach for starters. I'd say, from reading other posts, that what you need to be thinking about right now is improving the quality of paces and reactions of ads, rather than 'tricks'.
equiniphile, uii and Foxhunter like this.
    03-29-2012, 08:39 AM
Uii, look into some lessons with the good dressage instructor. It's very easy to teach horse something incorrectly, and very hard to re-teach it later on, Get to some basics, don't look into fancy "tricks". Internet advices on how to do certain elements that require good knowledge from the rider will not help.
uii likes this.
    03-29-2012, 02:31 PM
Before your horse can learn a shoulder in, he needs to learn a shoulder fore, which - and I'm probably explain this badly, so please people, correct me if I'm wrong, has your horse bending slightly with their shoulders around your inside leg. Among other things, the shoulder-in deepens the bend which results in the multiple tracks. That is a way over simplification and I'm explaining it very badly, so here is an article that is much better. It also explains how to start working to achieve the shoulder fore:

Shoulder In Taining Wheels: The Shoulder-Fore
Shoulder-in Training Wheels: the Shoulder-Fore -

My point is before you can shoulder in, you need to learn shoulder-fore. And before you can really do that, you need to start developing a turn on the forehand and haunches so your horse understands the aids for moving his shoulders and haunches independently.
uii likes this.
    03-29-2012, 06:32 PM
Wait, is it completed at the walk or at the trot?
    03-29-2012, 06:32 PM
(Sorry, I just really don't know.)
    03-29-2012, 07:31 PM
Walk, trot and canter.
But trot is the easiest for the horse.
    03-29-2012, 10:53 PM
All of the above, but you need to start training it at the walk.
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    03-30-2012, 01:06 AM
Originally Posted by PoohLP    
All of the above, but you need to start training it at the walk.
Posted via Mobile Device
I wouldn't train shoulder fore or shoulder in at walk. Much too hard on the horse. I always start shoulder fore work on a 20m circle in a good working trot that is looking towards collection. That way you've already got reasonable control of the shoulders, and just need to ask the horse to come a little more around the inside leg. The trot is the easiest pace for a horse to learn laterals in, though for an inexperienced rider walk is easier due to it's slower speed - though, ideally the horse will be experienced enough in laterals to be able to give the rider a good feel of the movement before said rider begins trying to train an inexperienced horse.

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