Establishing Hip, Shoulder & Ribcage Control - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 07-15-2011, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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Establishing Hip, Shoulder & Ribcage Control

How do you do it? By which I mean, how should you first ask for it, and how should you teach it?

My horse will do it all from the ground-pivot on her back end (move her shoulders over), sidepass, and rotate her hind end. But when I'm on her, it pretty much all goes down the drain. She'll leg yield, but not great, and she'll pivot a bit but it's inconsistent, and when I ask for the sidepass and the turn on the forehand she gets tense, frustrated, and tosses her head, which leads me to believe that I'm asking wrong, and thus teaching her wrong.

So...any help?

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post #2 of 4 Old 07-16-2011, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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*too short*

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post #3 of 4 Old 07-17-2011, 08:54 AM
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It sounds like your horse is already making progress doing this motions in the saddle. It will take time and patience for the horse to learn what you are asking for - the cues will feel a lot different with you on her back, rather than on the ground beside her.
Generally, these cues come from leg and seat pressure. Instead of thinking too technically, try to imagine you are opening and closing doors with your seat, hands and legs to control where the horse can move. Adding leg pressure on one side, for instance, would "close that door" and move her away, while taking off leg pressure on the other side would "open the door" and allow her to move into that space.
When you ask a horse to sidepass, which it sounds like may be the only cue you are unsure about, you want to sit deeply in the saddle, and add pressure with the leg and your seat on the side you want her to move away from. Make sure you are light on the side you are asking her to move towards, meaning your leg is off of her and your seat is not heavy on this side. If she does not get it at first, that is okay!
The cue for turning on the forehand, then, is similar but requires you to slide your leg forward to turn only her front half. The cue for turning on the haunches, then, would require you to slide that leg back to only turn her back half.
You may find that, although you are asking her correctly, she may not immediately figure this all out. The important thing is to cue her until you get what you want, and then the instant she takes a single correct step, you take off the cue and praise her. This is how she will learn what you are asking!
When you apply the cues, apply with a gentle squeeze at first, then bump with your legs. You can use a crop or dressage whip to enforce the cue, just be gentle, always seeing it as a reinforcement instead of a punishment.
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post #4 of 4 Old 07-23-2011, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you! Very helpful.

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