front leg crossover help - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 07-28-2009, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Minnesota, USA
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front leg crossover help

Since I have to take time off from riding I have been working on showmanship with April. We do the walk, trot, backing, and setting up pretty decent (trained that for the halter class) but we are having communication problems with the pivot.

To start with she wouldnt move her shoulder when I moved into her- instead she would move her butt to work around me so to speak (planting the front leg). After using some aid on the shoulder she is moving but wont cross her left leg over her right... instead she is crossing the left behind the right.

Im trying what I can to not push her back but instead pull her forward and I know Im doing something wrong she she still continutes to step behind. If I pull her forward and push to turn she just starts to sidepass (but will cross over the front)

How do I go about to get her to start doing a circle instead of just sidepassing?

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post #2 of 3 Old 07-29-2009, 09:35 AM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Stiles Jct, WI
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I think you need to change your body position during your pivot. Don't pull her forward before you push her into a pivot. Instead pull her forward during the pivot.

To start the pivot, you should turn your shoulders to face her head and walk into her space. I use a smooch for my pivot cue, so just as I turn to face my horse I'll smooch & then take that first step. During the pivot, I will increase or decrease the size of my circle to help the horse hold her foot in place. If your horse is in-tune enough, all you should really need to do is move your hand on the lead chain either forward or back.

In your case, you'd want to concentrate on making your circle just a tad bit bigger. Be careful that your hips/shoulders aren't turned towards your horse's body. You want to open up some space so your horse has room to come forward. If your body is turned towards the horse's, you've effectively closed the door & your horse has no where to go. Also, take it slow. If you watch your horse's body position - not just that pivot foot - you'll know when you need to bring her forward. Start by moving your hand forward & if that doesn't work, really open up your circle.

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post #3 of 3 Old 07-30-2009, 08:34 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Minnesota, USA
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Thanks... I havent been watching the pivot foot just the front legs since thats where it all seems to start. I will try to pay more attention to my body position. The problem I really seem to have though is if I try to turn and pull her forward at the same time she just walks totally out of it.

She also gets flustered when Im trying to hold her head stright and ask her to move her shoulder away from me- thats when she really starts to sidepass... When she will turn it is only like a step or two and then I stop and praise.

Thanks again- I just have a lot of work ahead of me!!!

It's not the will to win, but the will to prepare to win that makes the difference.
- Paul "Bear" Bryant (Former college football coach)
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