Planting hind foot in a spin?
Hey all! Ive been working on a spin with my pony on the ground first.
He's got the front legs crossing over part, but he doesn't plant his hind foot very well. He'll be good for about 3 steps but then he'll pick it up. We've been working on this for a long time and we've been taking it one step at a time (3 times a week for 45 minutes all summer!) and I'd expect for it to be better than it is!
We're to the point where I don't really need to tap his shoulder in order to get him to spin/pivot anymore, I can just cluck and walk into him and he knows what he's supposed to do, but our main problem is just the far hind foot -- he doesn't plant it very well!
What am I doing wrong?
Also, is it the same concept under saddle as it is on the ground or is there a different technique?
No matter if it's on the ground or under saddle, make sure you're keeping some forward momentum - if you rock them back on the hocks, especially while learning, they'll almost always move the hind feet. Ask for one good cross over up front then immediately walk forward out of it. Once that one step is mastered, ask for two good front cross over steps and walk out of it. Rinse & repeat.
It is all in getting one to move its shoulder. When the shoulder starts to move freely, the hind end takes care of itself.
Walk forward in a very small circle with the head on a good contact, breaking at the poll, chin dropped and head slightly to the inside. Make the circle smaller and smaller until the horse actually volunteers to start crossing its front feet over. Let it take one or two cross-over steps of a spin and walk it out forward.
Make sure the horse's entire body is bent around your inside leg on the circles. Then, hold that body position and take the inside leg off when you want the horse to start taking the cross-over steps. I find that most of them start volunteering more and more steps. The key is to ride them out forward BEFORE they step out behind, back up or stall out. This is one of those times you always want to 'quit while you're ahead'!
One of the things, on top of what Cherie said, is sidepassing them. Pivot, sidepass, pivot, sidepass. It places their hip back under them and catches up the belly and rib cage.
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