Monday, March 26, 2012

Spin Fix #2: See The Inside Eye

Problem: Horse looks away from the turn

Why does this problem happen? If my horse turns his head or nose to the outside when he spins, I may have too much contact with the outside rein (very tempting to do with one hand on the reins!), which creates a counter-bend or his body is out of alignment (inside shoulder pushing into the turn) and he is turning his head to balance his body.

An example of horse turning head away from spin

How to correct this problem: Again, no use practicing spin incorrectly because the horse will just get better at spinning incorrectly and he’s not going to correct the problem without a little help. I review basic exercises (give to the rein, give to the leg) so I am confident I have control of his body. Then, with two hands on the reins, I ask him to spin with a light outside rein on his neck. When he takes his head to the outside, I pull-release the inside rein to ask him to look into the turn. A horse can be over-bent (another problem) so I want to remind him where his nose should be but not hold it there. It’s very important not to lose sight of his inside eye but at the same time not to maintain steady contact with the inside rein! Pull-release. Pull-release.

Example of horse spinning correctly - head low and turned a bit into spin.

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