Teaching a horse to pivot... - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 14 Old 01-19-2013, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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Teaching a horse to pivot...

So I am trying to teach my yearling to pivot in-hand. It took me quite a while to teach my mare how to and she still isn't perfect (but I don't really care if she is or not). I tried to teach my yearling the same way but he just doesn't get it. I taught my mare by saying "shoulder" and tapping her on the shoulder with a whip. Every time she moved her shoulder away from me, I praised her. Now she pivots pretty good and I taught her to spin under saddle. I've only taught her to pivot so I'm not exactly an expert on teaching it to a horse. Have me do anything else and I can teach the horse great lol. Just not pivoting in-hand.

Any help and advice is helpful!!! Thank you in advance.

It's All A MysTori
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post #2 of 14 Old 01-19-2013, 07:22 PM
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I'm subbing, because I'm not sure either.

The way I was taught - and this was a while ago when I had NO idea what I was doing, so don't quote me - is to use a fence line. It was something like walk down a fence line, and at some point, turn towards it a bit and pull back like you want the horse to stop. When they shift their weight to their hind end, use the reins to turn in towards the fence and start walking the other way. If done correctly, they will have shifted their weight to their hind end and pivoted to the other side when you ask for the turnaround. The reason for the fenceline is so when you do ask for the horse to turn the other way, they are forced to pivot instead of just walking in a circle.

I have never been able to manage this. Maybe once or twice, but it just doesn't work well for me. Maybe because I was a seriously green rider when I began trying it. It was at a four hour clinic hosted by my BO where Me and Clementine were the most novice - but we did well and actually Clem picked up on everything very fast. But the hind end pivoting... We just couldn't manage it. So, I'm going to see if anyone else has a better method for us to try :)
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post #3 of 14 Old 01-19-2013, 10:05 PM
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IME,
I always taught my horses to pivot with forward movement. Therefore, you always walk them into an increasingly tight circle until they 'cross over' then praise.

life has no remote control hitch them up and drive them your self
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post #4 of 14 Old 01-20-2013, 12:33 AM
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I taught it to my mare quite easily but she is the only one I've ever trained from the ground up. I just held the lead rope and started walking directly towards her butt. If she doesn't yield her hind quarters I start by touching her hip with my finger tip and increase the pressure til she yields. I keep tightening the circle til she crosses over then stop and praise. I get a few successful pivots and switch sides then repeat. I find the finger tip works better because it creates more of a discomfort and is easy to do especially in close range. Also we do this in short lessons multiple times a day. She is a never been properly trained 9yr old and picked it up very quick but it was important that she already knew how to yield her hindquarters and flex. Good luck! Hope this helps a bit :)
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Last edited by countrylove; 01-20-2013 at 12:36 AM.
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post #5 of 14 Old 01-20-2013, 01:20 AM
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Train horse to pivot - YouTube
Here's a vid I found. Not exactly like I would do it but gets the point across. I focus putting pressure at their nose but if they just turn the head, then I put pressure at the shoulder.

Shoebox and Ashley - My understanding of "in hand" means on the ground. Ashley, you are correct for teaching under-saddle.

Countrylove - You are right except you are pivoting on the forehand. I think horsietori is asking about pivoting on the haunches.
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post #6 of 14 Old 01-20-2013, 01:34 AM
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I understand she said from the ground... -shrugs- I do the same procedure on the ground, at their side... tomato/tom-ah-to I guess

life has no remote control hitch them up and drive them your self
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post #7 of 14 Old 01-20-2013, 01:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashleysmardigrasgirl View Post
I understand she said from the ground... -shrugs- I do the same procedure on the ground, at their side... tomato/tom-ah-to I guess
I'm sorry. I didn't mean to offend you if I did. I guess I never thought of doing it that way because it would be so much extra walking.

You are right, it is a forward movement. I'll keep your way of doing it in mind in case I come across one having a difficult time understanding the way I normally do it. Thanks for sharing it.
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post #8 of 14 Old 01-20-2013, 01:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by countrylove View Post
I taught it to my mare quite easily but she is the only one I've ever trained from the ground up. I just held the lead rope and started walking directly towards her butt. If she doesn't yield her hind quarters I start by touching her hip with my finger tip and increase the pressure til she yields. I keep tightening the circle til she crosses over then stop and praise. I get a few successful pivots and switch sides then repeat. I find the finger tip works better because it creates more of a discomfort and is easy to do especially in close range. Also we do this in short lessons multiple times a day. She is a never been properly trained 9yr old and picked it up very quick but it was important that she already knew how to yield her hindquarters and flex. Good luck! Hope this helps a bit :)
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I got thrown off reading the responses, don't know what I was thinking LoL long day... but the concept still works just apply to the pressure to the shoulder and no need to flex towards you. I do this at a walk and randomly turn cutting her off. So if I'm on the left side of her I turn right into her making her have to turn sharply away from me. Hope that's better advice LoL
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post #9 of 14 Old 01-20-2013, 02:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usandpets View Post

Shoebox and Ashley - My understanding of "in hand" means on the ground.
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Whoops, I missed the in hand bit. :p sorry, my bad
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post #10 of 14 Old 01-20-2013, 02:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoebox View Post
Whoops, I missed the in hand bit. :p sorry, my bad
Not a big deal. We all can miss something once in a while. We're only human.

Everyone should be allowed at least one bad habit, and that's NOT owning a horse!

Mares RULE! Geldings drool!
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