Training to spin

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Training to spin

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  • My horse will not spin to the left
  • Training a horse to spin

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    06-11-2012, 09:02 PM
Question Training to spin

So, i'm a working student at a stable (if any of you that don't know what that means, it just means I work for my lessons), and we're having a baby training competition that we call baby wars. Now just so you know we're not just jumping in and trying to train these horses with not experience, we're having a *whole* lot of help from our riding instructor, who is pretty much the best reiner in my area, if they had reining in the Olympics this year he was on the list to go. But anyway, so we're not wrecking these young horses, we're learning how to train them.

Anyway, I was wondering if anybody out there knows out to teach them to spin. Right now how we're doing it is walking in a spiral, kind of, until it can't get any smaller, then we try to get then to cross their fount legs over, just one of twice at first, then gradually more and more until they can to around a couple times.

But does anybody know any other ways to do it? Or can you impruve on what we're doing now?

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    06-11-2012, 09:04 PM
Oh I forgot to say, the horse i'm training is a 2 year old AQH mare, and i'm fifteen, i've been riding where, I am now for a year an a half.
    06-11-2012, 09:18 PM
That is exactly how you do it. The spin is a FORWARD movement. You can practice it at the walk, gradually getting more steps, then graduate to trotting in and out, if need be. THe key is doing it correctly. Let the speed come naturally, and do not try and haul the horse around. Spiral down, lay your rein on, and your leg, then let the horse gain speed. Perhaps use a cluck and spur if needed.

Mine has just come back from training, and is sucking back to the left, so the spin has deteriortated. So-back to spirals we go.
smrobs and palominolover like this.
    06-11-2012, 09:46 PM
Ok thanks, glad i'm doing it right. Once she get more used to it i'll start her with the trotting circles (we call them "small circles" at our barn, and we all hate them haha, but you gotta do what you gotta do). We do it I little differently then we do the walking circles though, instead of doing spirals we do circles of about 6 feet in diameter, but it's pretty much the same thing... is that what you do too, or do you stay on the spiral?
    06-11-2012, 09:52 PM
Well, there is a point when your rein is on their neck, they know what you want, and the spiral stops and the spin starts.......Different than my english horses I used to spiral up and down for control of speed.
    06-12-2012, 12:08 AM
Super Moderator
When I start teaching 'turn-arounds' (what spins are called around here), I exaggerate some of the positioning.

I want more arc or bend in the beginning and I want a horse very 'up in the bridle'. This is to keep a horse from dropping its inside shoulder and 'falling' toward the spin. It makes the 'turn-around' very limiting if a horse starts to lean in the direction it is going.

A turn-around is all about shoulder control. It is about a lot more 'push' and very little 'pull'.

I use a spur, but it is a 'press' of the spur and not a 'stick'. I use a 'smooch' simultaneously with the spur so then I can eventually stop using the spur at all and a smooch will add the 'hustle' I want without the tail swishing or the ears going back. In the beginning, I want exact form and do not care about speed for a long time -- a year or so.

A couple of other things to remember is to take your inside leg off of the horse when you ask it to start moving its shoulders. This is the 'signal' that most of my horses watch and 'feel' for.

The other thing that really helps is to ask a horse to go forward out of a turn-around. Say "Whoa!" and then immediately step forward if a horse even 'thinks' about stepping back. Never let a horse step back after stopping a spin. This stops most of that 'sucking back' thing that horses can get so hung up on.
    06-12-2012, 08:14 PM
Thanks for all the advice!! I tried doing everything you guys said today and she doing really well!! She learns really fast too i'm so excited!!
Cinder likes this.
    06-12-2012, 08:41 PM
And if she crosses behind, bring her out of the spin and start over. If you're spinning to the left, her right leg should cross in front. Crossing behind limits movement, and it's suppose to be a forward movement as others said. Goodluck :)
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    06-12-2012, 09:19 PM
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If a horse EVER crosses behind, you are asking wrong and not 'setting them up' properly. The only time a horse crosses behind, the rider is 'pulling' instead of 'pushing', does not have the horse 'up in the bridle', and is asking for a 'turn-around' when they should still be asking for bend in a small circle.

The 'old cowboy style' spins (Lol) where horses were stepping behind and ended up hopping are reminiscent of a straight, stiff gate swinging on a hinge. No horse can turn more than 1/2 of 1 revolution with that old fashioned 'lack of shape and form'. Exactly like a gate, a straight, stiff horse cannot go around and around and around.

I never ask for speed until a horse can go around with form at least 8 or 10 times without any resistance. I just want a horse to be willing to go around and around at a walk before I even ask for it to start using a 'trot cadence'. I will trot small (tiny) circles but will not let a horse bring them down to a spin. I want them to stay open and round. Trotting them too soon and asking a horse to bring them down to a spin too soon invariably causes a horse to lose form and makes it difficult to get it back without taking the horse waaaay back in training or starting over. I never want the turn-around to cause anxiety or resentment. Horses have to 'like' spinning.
franknbeans and smrobs like this.
    07-21-2012, 12:11 AM
Hi I thought I might throw my question into this, I have been researching everything I can about teaching a horse to spin. I have mine going in small circles, and as they get tighter when I feel she should start to pivot, she swings her back end out and ends up doing this awkward shuffle. Any advice on teaching her to plant the pivot foot? By the way I'm brand new to this forum and its great to be here with all you fine horse people! :)

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