How to get him to stand square!
How can I get my horse to stand square?
I try to back him up and sometimes even pick his foot up and place it in the spot where it should be (kinda stupid but it sometimes works), but he always just moves his foot to be comfortable again. I think he used to stand square, but he sure doesn't anymore! How can I teach or re-teach him to stand square? I am planning to enter him in his first showmanship class in a long time this month, and standing square is a big part of it!!
Thanks for your help :)
Firstly if your horse used to stand square normally & now he doesn't I'd want to check out any physical causes. It is normal for horses to stand not-square, but if it's a recent thing or a change, or substantial, it could well be a sign of a problem.
I don't think it's stupid to place his feet where you want them actually. Obviously it would be a bit silly doing this in a show:lol: but it can be a step in training... pardon the pun! You've just got to work out how to transfer it to the horse doing it himself when you ask.
The way I taught my horses to stand square was to start with them already knowing how to 'stay' on cue, and to move a certain side back when I put pressure on that side of their chest or nose. More or less pressure means more or less movement. Then I 'refined' this to pointing at a side. When they're perfect, you just ask them to 'stay'(or whatever cue). I'm not in the show scene, so I don't know how most people go about it, but this worked for me fine.
I'll definitely try the verbal cue! :)
Thank you so much!!
When you're asking the horse to square up you'll want to set up the back feet first then the front. Really the best thing for it is repetition. Every time you're handling your horse on the ground ask him to square up, especially before feeding and turning out. Don't worry about getting it fast at first but as soon as you do get it praise the horse. Eventually it'll click with him what you want and things will go easier.
I always back my horse to square him up. Plant the off hind. By bringing his head toward his off side and lightly pulling it forward you will learn how to control the near hind. Don't worry about the fronts. When the halter work is good you can get that near hind to step forward, then back to square, forward then back. When he will repond like this then work on the fronts. I elevate the horse's head at first as much as you need to to move a front, then the other. Allow the horse to relax, rub it's forehead then move on to something else for a few minutes then repeat.
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