Monday, May 14, 2012

Spin Fix #9: Preventing Forward Steps

The problem: Horse creeps forward as he spins.

Why does this problem happen? If my horse is constantly moving forward when he spins, he is too ‘flat’ and not balanced over his pivot foot and is probably 'dropping his shoulders' and becoming too 'flat'. 

How to correct this problem: If my horse creeps forward in a spin, the first thing I do is go back to basics and thoroughly review the basic turn-around, being aware of correctness – body alignment, front leg steps and pivot foot. Unlike the first turn-around lessons where I concentrated more on correct front legs crossing over, I now think more of pivot foot. Is he turning on the correct foot? Is he, in fact, turning on the hind quarters? If he is not using his hind quarters, I will stop him every half-turn but will not allow him to walk forward. Instead, I collect him and ask for another half-turn. Also, if he is not taking that first step with his front foot to the side and back, then I work on that because that’s how he gets too flat and creeps forward. If he continues to flatten out I might, as a last resort, back him up a couple of steps and then ask for a turn-around, at all times being aware of his front legs – is he crossing in front and not hitting himself? When he executes half-turns, then whole turns and stays in one spot - neither backing up nor moving forward - I ask for more. If he flattens out too much in the spin again, I might be able to correct him in the spins by lifting my hands; if not, I stop the spin, collect and try again.

Note: A horse that creeps forward up in a spin does not stay in the geographical area of the spin (thereby incurring a low maneuver score in competition) and can become too “flat” and lose correctness and/or pivot foot.

No comments:

Post a Comment