Ever have problems with your spin? I just love a nice turn around on my horses but along the way of getting to the perfect turn around I have at times ran into some problems and thought you all might get some use out of the drills I used to fix the problems that I have ran into.
- 1. If your horse has a very clean turn around (front is correct and he is stepping clean) but has all of his weight on the outside hind leg it is a good indication that the back half of his rib cage through is hip is what is sticking out and will need to be straightened up.
- 2. If your horse is not turning correct and stepping clean with their front end in their turn around it usually indicates lack of control of the shoulders (sticking shoulders out) as well as lack of confidence at times.
- 1. Here are some different things I do. When riding my horse and working on a turn around (lets say to the right) and feel my horse sticking it’s ribs out at me I pick my inside rein straight up (to lift the shoulder) and bring my outside rein back to my hip softening his face and pushing his body over to the right (side passing him) in a square. I have my horse straight and soft between my hands, side stepping him to the right a couple of steps and ask for a quarter of a turn to the right and then side step a couple of steps and turn him a quarter of a turn. I continue to do this in a square till I feel that he is soft and straight underneath me and then ask him to go back into the turn around. As soon as he sticks the ribs back out at me I continue with the same drill. This will teach him to stay straight and keep those ribs in.
- 1. If I am working with a horse that is a bit more seasoned and is sticking his ribs out at me I pick my inside rein straight up again and bring my outside rein straight back to my hip. Softening his face and while I am still turning I take my outside spure and roll it up on that rib and ask him to hustle his rib. After doing that a few times it will encourage him to pick those ribs up and keep them in with just slight pressure from my leg.
- 2. If your horse is having trouble with his front end here are some drills to help with that. You want to always maintain forward motion in your turn around. I start by walking my colt in a small circle maintaining forward motion and tipping his nose slightly to the inside of my circle. My legs are just laying on his sides and if he needs more encouragement to remain moving forward I will ask with both legs. Then I am going to bring my outside rein across his neck slightly, keeping his nose tipped slightly to the inside (not so much as to cause him to stick his shoulder out) as keep in mind that horses are bi lateral (if you pull their head to the left their hip is going to go the right and same wise versa). Open up your inside leg and lay our outside leg on him and ask for him to take a few steps crossing over. After I get a few steps or a quarter of a turn in which I can feel him step across I let him go back to his circle maintaining collection and keeping his nose tipped in slightly. Continue this drill nice and easy and making sure not to hustle him as you want to build his confidence in the turn around and not scare him by causing him to bang his legs together and hurting himself.
- 2. On a more advance horse a good drill is the following to clean up the front end and make him step more correct. When I am are turning my horse to the right and fell him sticking his shoulders out to the left I take my left rein and shove it against his neck tipping his nose to the left but moving his body to the right by pushing him that way with my neck rein. I keep him moving this way a bit till he is soft in his face and moving willingly away from the neck pressure yielding his shoulders. Once he feels good that way, I ask him to stop…keeping his nose tipped slightly to the left… and ask him to turn to the left. Once he sticks that shoulder out to the right this time I do the same drill again by taking my right rein across his neck pushing him to the left with his nose slightly tipped to the right.
So let’s here it…..what are your problems in your spin and what do you do to fix them. My way is MOST CERTAINLY NOT the best or only way to do it so I am looking forward to all the input and thoughts you all have on this topic as we sure all love to see a fancy stepping flying turn around.