A Simple Turn to get A Maneuverable Pony

So there you are, riding your horse at the walk and you simply want to turn right. What do you do first? You look where you want to go, you turn your head and your “self” to the right. This automatically ( or aromatically as they say it in South Texas) increases the weight in your right seat bone. If your mount is a “schooled” horse, he may already be turning right. He will do that by slowing down, and taking shorter steps with his back legs, while reaching to the right with his right fore-leg, and crossing over it with his left foreleg. But if he doesn’t already know how to do that we need to help him. So, after we turn ourselves right, we reach down with the right rein, and squeeze it a couple of times to get him to turn his head slightly to the right. Then we move our right leg away from his cinch leaving a small amount of air between our right leg and his right side, putting a little more weight in the right stirrup. Finally, we bump him softly with the left leg at the girth, to ask him to “move shoulders over”. If he takes a step to the right we immediately go back to “neutral”with our body, our reins and our legs. That takes the strain out of his body; it is his reward. The release is the reward. He now knows that taking a step right is the proper response to your body position. This must be repeated hundreds of times on both sides, in order to become a new habit for him. Now, coupled with the “hip move over spot” and the “shoulder move over” spot, you will have a pretty maneuverable old pony. Don’t you wish your pick up had this capability when it comes time to parallel park!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *