shoulder in/out--need extra input

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shoulder in/out--need extra input

This is a discussion on shoulder in/out--need extra input within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category
  • Tips for teaching shoulder in dressage
  • Shoulder out dressage

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    02-19-2010, 09:35 PM
Wink shoulder in/out--need extra input

I am currently working on teaching my rescued tb mare the basics of dressage. I am trying to find some tips of advice for shoulder in and out because she is doing the following:

If I am moving her towards the fence line she doesnt want to keep her hind pointing in towards the arena. I know it shouldnt be directly in.. more of a slant. She gets the basic with her shoulders but I am trying to move her hind in the right place. I have even tried tapping her with the dressage wip.. not working.

How have you tought your horse... i'm used to being on horses that already know how to do things and I can teach some things and others I don't know how to always trouble shoot. Thank you for any advice
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    02-19-2010, 09:43 PM
I do shoulder in with the head pointing towards the inside of the arena.

When the head is pointing out I am doing travers.
    02-19-2010, 09:50 PM
When I do a Shoulder In, I start out on a short side of the arena, come into the corner and just as I start along the long side of the arena, I act like I am going to do a 10 meter circle.

So I bend my horses ribs around my inside leg, and just as my horse starts to move in the "circle" he thinks I am asking him to do - I then ask for the movement down the long side of the arena.

I open up my outside leg, and my outside rein and ask for him to cross over with his front feet.

The hind feet or the rump, shouldn't change.

Here is a great video:

SmartMuscle Mass from SmartPak Equine
    02-19-2010, 09:57 PM
Thanks mi it actually was a good visual for me, im going to try it

Do you have any tips for doing it the opposite way too?
    02-19-2010, 10:06 PM
AH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! I just noticed that for some reason, my laptop didn't copy the Youtube link.......instead I noticed I pasted a link I coppied hours ago......from smartpak. *smacks forhead*

Here is the Youtube Video:

    02-20-2010, 02:25 AM
If you are asking the quarters to move into the arena, you are doing travers.
Shoulder in is nothing to do with the hindquarters as such. They remain travelling straight, it is the shoulders that move across to the inside, not the hind quarters moving to the outside.

Travers is a more advanced movement that should be taught following shoulder in. It sounds like you are confused between the two. Do you have an instructor that can show you the difference?
    02-20-2010, 11:24 AM
It almost sounds as if you're trying to do leg yield on the wall.
    02-21-2010, 09:55 AM
Haha, yeah, don't tackle travers just yet. It's more challenging than shoulder-in, and unless you have mirrors, it's impossible to know whether you're doing it right your first few times.
You can do shoulder-in at the walk and trot (rising or sitting, depending on what's easier for you). At the trot, you should maintain your rhythm and impulsion - don't slow down and try to shorten your horse's stride to make it easier!
When I'm working with young or green horses, I like to make it as easy as possible for them so that it becomes no big deal and can be pulled out of the training toolbox whenever I need to work on straightness, bend, et al.
The way I do it is to ride a ten meter circle in the corner as I come out of the short side. I make sure the horse is correctly balanced and bent, and as I come out of the circle, I maintain the aids as though I were to ride the circle again.
Then I angle my shoulders slightly more perpendicular to the arena wall, let my outside leg offer support behind in the girth in order to keep the haunches straight, and ask for bend with a slightly stronger inside seat bone and an active inside leg. It's very easy to use your inside rein to pull the front end in, but then you'll just be doing a 'neck-in.' Resist the urge. Maintain a half-halting outside rein and a soft inside rein, and push your horse down the long-side. Don't go all the way - 2 or 3 strides of good shoulder-in (or, it's less angular and easier little brother, shoulder-fore) is better than a whole long side of crap that will potentially lead to tension.
Good luck! I know I just did a crap job of explaining haha, but hopefully you can figure that out ;)
    02-21-2010, 10:12 AM
Dante, shoulder in and travers involve the exact same body position from the horse. They are just angled differently from the wall. The horse has the same degree of bend, etc...
First, tech the mare to walk trot and canter on your line, then work on your leg yields. When he mare can make it through a first level test then you should start worrying about lateral work.
    02-22-2010, 11:51 AM
Hahah, yeah, I know, Anebel - I just mentioned it because, at least to me, travers was quite befuddling when I was first learning it. I would invariably end up screwing it up royally. Other people may be less laterally challenged than I am ;)

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