Teaching the pivot
 
 

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Teaching the pivot

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  • Best way to teach a horse to pivit
  • My horse wont pivot

 
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    12-04-2012, 10:19 PM
  #1
Started
Teaching the pivot

I'm thinking about trying some showmanship with my horse. He walks and trots beside me calmly and is learning to stand square, but how do I teach him to pivot?
     
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    12-07-2012, 11:15 AM
  #2
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    12-07-2012, 12:34 PM
  #3
Trained
If you google horse showmanship pivot you will find some articles and videos
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    12-07-2012, 06:09 PM
  #4
Yearling
Teaching showmanship pivots takes time and you need to do it in baby steps. But like Dancing said.....look up some Showmanship vids on youtube, GOOD vids from the world shows and you will see what a pivot looks like. PAY CLOSE ATTENTION to the exhibitor position and their hand position. Pivots need to be done with your body at the horses nose. It's a forward THEN lateral movement...like you are leading the horse around the arc. Many people are too far back...you need to be at the head. If you know someone that does showmanship, have them come and help you as it's a visual thing that is hard to explain on a message board.
     
    12-07-2012, 08:45 PM
  #5
Yearling
For me, I teach my horses this way... and like GotaDun said, it's a lot harder to explain than do, so bear with me.

First, it is a forward motion. Pay attention to his fronts and make sure he steps the left knee over in front of the right, not behind. His back right is the correct pivot.

So, when I start my horses I put myself in the correct position. I stand beside her, my shoulder to her upper neck, facing forward with my body tall and my neck straight and tall, chin up. My elbow at a 90 degree and my hand holding my lead with a slight dip in the chain.

I walk forward, then drop my shoulders back (more obvious at first, then more and more subtle) to stop .. give a low, deep WHOA. (Eventually you wont need to say WHOA, they will go off your body cues).

Turn and face the horses head, and To teach the first crossovers -

Raise your hand up and back slightly, the goal is to rock him back on his hindquarters, so his weight makes it more difficult to get that back right off the ground. Then walk slightly forward and into his nose... this is the tricky to write down part, because you want to go forward enough that the front legs cross correctly, but not too far forward that you walk him out of the setup.

If you get a step or two with him crossing the fronts correctly, walk him out of it and praise him. Do this every day, increasing the number of correct steps. If you get the fronts crossing correctly, you will notice the right hind stays stationary while the hind left crosses in front of it.

After a week or two you should be able to pivot 1/4 turn pretty easily - so walk him forward, turn sharply (but smoothly) into his face, cluck for the pivot, get the 1/4 turn, walk forward about 10 feet and repeat until you formed a square (4 1/4 pivots)

When he gets this down, up it to a 1/2 pivot.

Then when he gets that, up to a full pivot.

If you don't rush and get frustrated, it will go much quicker and he will be a better showmanship horse. Let him get confident.

Hope that helps...
     
    12-08-2012, 05:02 PM
  #6
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ace80908    
For me, I teach my horses this way... and like GotaDun said, it's a lot harder to explain than do, so bear with me.

First, it is a forward motion. Pay attention to his fronts and make sure he steps the left knee over in front of the right, not behind. His back right is the correct pivot.

So, when I start my horses I put myself in the correct position. I stand beside her, my shoulder to her upper neck, facing forward with my body tall and my neck straight and tall, chin up. My elbow at a 90 degree and my hand holding my lead with a slight dip in the chain.

I walk forward, then drop my shoulders back (more obvious at first, then more and more subtle) to stop .. give a low, deep WHOA. (Eventually you wont need to say WHOA, they will go off your body cues).

Turn and face the horses head, and To teach the first crossovers -

Raise your hand up and back slightly, the goal is to rock him back on his hindquarters, so his weight makes it more difficult to get that back right off the ground. Then walk slightly forward and into his nose... this is the tricky to write down part, because you want to go forward enough that the front legs cross correctly, but not too far forward that you walk him out of the setup.

If you get a step or two with him crossing the fronts correctly, walk him out of it and praise him. Do this every day, increasing the number of correct steps. If you get the fronts crossing correctly, you will notice the right hind stays stationary while the hind left crosses in front of it.

After a week or two you should be able to pivot 1/4 turn pretty easily - so walk him forward, turn sharply (but smoothly) into his face, cluck for the pivot, get the 1/4 turn, walk forward about 10 feet and repeat until you formed a square (4 1/4 pivots)

When he gets this down, up it to a 1/2 pivot.

Then when he gets that, up to a full pivot.

If you don't rush and get frustrated, it will go much quicker and he will be a better showmanship horse. Let him get confident.

Hope that helps...
Thank you, I'll try that.
But what should I do if he crosses behind?
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    12-08-2012, 05:13 PM
  #7
Yearling
Crossing behind means you are putting too much pressure on the lead, causing him to back - so you bring him more forward while asking for the crossover. It's a fine balance...
Here's a video I like, I do my hands a little different, but very good at showing feet position. Just remember the first weeks it wont look like a finished showmanship pivot - it is taught in steps...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Av5TTZP4MKQ
     
    12-08-2012, 05:14 PM
  #8
Yearling
^ace gave you some great advice, but do not rock him back on the hind end...that is the only think I don't agree with. The horse needs to be equally weight balanced from head to tail. If they are rocked back...it is no longer a forward movement (which is what a pivot really is) and they get jammed up in the head/poll/neck/shoulders. It's a no-no to have weight on the hind end in a pivot.

Do not worry about the back end yet. Unliked riding where everything starts in the hind end, the emphasis in a SMS pivot starts in the front end. The horse's "impulsion" in a SMS pivot is in the front....the horse remains straight in alignment and the forward/lateral movement of the pivot engages the front legs and a freed up shoulder.
     
    12-08-2012, 05:29 PM
  #9
Yearling
... different ways of teaching it, for sure. I start with my hand up high, and put the weight back, to keep my horses from moving that pivot back hind while I focus on them getting the fronts correct. As they get more proficient and understand the pivot foot is to stay planted... my hand drops to it's 90 degree spot and my movement is all forward and into them.

I find when I don't they take longer to understand the back pivot is to stay stationary...

There are probably twenty different ways to do it- this is the one that works best for me...
     
    12-08-2012, 05:49 PM
  #10
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ace80908    
... different ways of teaching it, for sure. I start with my hand up high, and put the weight back, to keep my horses from moving that pivot back hind while I focus on them getting the fronts correct. As they get more proficient and understand the pivot foot is to stay planted... my hand drops to it's 90 degree spot and my movement is all forward and into them.

I find when I don't they take longer to understand the back pivot is to stay stationary...

There are probably twenty different ways to do it- this is the one that works best for me...
While I agree with there are ways to teach it....what is most important at the get go whe starting is to keep the weight balanced where it WILL be at the end of teaching a pivot. Teaching it with the weight back means you only need to un-teach it at the end. The same with the head up (which pushes the weight back), you need to unteach it. Start right from the start and it falls into place faster. The weight balance is the key at the very beginning, regardless of where the feet are or aren't.
     

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