Teaching my horse to pivot? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 4 Old 03-27-2011, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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Question Teaching my horse to pivot?

So i've been attempting to teach my mare to pivot because I'm doing 4-H and showmanship is required. She gets it pretty well turning to the left (her better side) considering yesterday was the first time I tried it with her. But going to the right (her bad side) she gets my cues confused with sidepassing. I don't understand why she's confused with the cues on one side and the other side she understands perfectly.

The cues I'm giving her are:
I tell her to "woah" and back up until her legs are further underneath herself.
I then tap her with my hand and/or lead rope (depending on her responsiveness to my hand).
I keep her neck as straight as possible, because I read that if you bend the neck, it encourages to swing her hind end out.
Is there anything I'm doing wrong, or not doing at all, that I need to be doing? If so what? Is there any way I can make cues more clear to her, so that she understands better/ doesn't get confused?
I really need help with this!
Thanks in advance!


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post #2 of 4 Old 03-27-2011, 07:50 PM
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The easiest way I found to teach a horse to pivot or spin is to make them circle and gradually make them smaller and smaller until only the front end is moving around. Where are you cueing her with your leg? I would be doing it in front of the cinch or at least near the cinch. Granted I don't teach them for shows, it is more just for fun and something new to teach them. To side pass I would be cueing more toward the rear cinch almost to where you would to move the hind end over. But that's just me.

Since she is better on one side, work on the other side twice as much. Each side of a horse is considered a different horse. They don't transfer what works on one side to the other usually. You have to teach them on both sides.

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Last edited by usandpets; 03-27-2011 at 07:55 PM.
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post #3 of 4 Old 03-27-2011, 07:54 PM
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You have to consider that you have to think as you have two different horses. A left one and a right one. Just because the horse can do something to the left doesn't mean that they will be able to do it to the right. You have to teach both from the ground up. Plus horses are like people, they like going a certain way. (Which is typically up, forward and left) I've known tons of horses that can do something well on one side and bad on the other.

Just stay persistent, keep asking for the cue until your horse does it correctly then release. If you need to bend the neck just to get the general point across, I would say start with that. Worry about the details later, just get to a point where your horse KNOWS what you want her to do. Then correct it later and make the cue less subtle.
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post #4 of 4 Old 03-27-2011, 08:53 PM
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Instead of tapping, use your inside rein to ask for the turn and use the outside rein to support her head and neck. As you put your outside leg on her to hold her hindquarters, the supporting rein stops forward movement.
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