Join Date: May 2010
Location: Queensland, Australia
Are you looking forward when you are doing it or looking down /to the side? I find that to keep my horse on the right track, it's best to look up to where I want to go, rather than looking down to check where his shoulder is. I know that makes it harder to make sure you are doing a shoulder-in, but eventually you will get to feel with your seat where his hindquarters are.
Have you tried coming into the shoulder-in from a 5m circle or smaller? I know eventually you should be able to come off a corner and be able to do it, but training wise, I find the smaller circles fantastic. It really gets their inside legs underneath them, as long as the cirlce is balanced.
When you ask with your inside leg, do you tap him with it or just press it against his side? I find that my horses respond better if I'm lightly tapping with my inside foot to remind them "Hey, come on here mate, I'll tap harder if you don't listen to me," but I ride often with spurs so just a light tap is usually enough, which may or may not be a good idea if your horse is that responsive?
I won't give you any hints on hands as mine have just become terrible again and I can't talk haha.
Do you practise it in rising trot or sitting? And what diagonal if you are doing it in rising? I had one instructor teach me that you do it riding on the incorrect diagonal. I can't remember the exact reason, but I do think it's something to do with keeping the correct balance and reminds the horse to stay on that right track.
That's all I can really say without knowing what it looks like when you guys tried it. I hope I've helped and haven't written too much haha. Good luck with it and I may post more later when I've ridden my three in shoulder-in and have remembered everything I know for you.
...Every rider has that one horse that changes everything about them...