Asking a horse to move sideways and to move his shoulders and hips independently is a foundational piece to training more advanced movements later. It is also a practical skill on its own for opening gates, placing a jacket on a fence, or moving your horse on the trail to allow another horse to pass, as a few examples.
The “technical term” for moving a horse's shoulders and hips is turn on the forehand and turn on the haunches. Both these movments are easy to teach when they are done slowly and correctly.
In today's video, I work with Laddie, a young Gypsy Vanner, to demonstrate teaching these two movements.
Thanks for this easy to follow video. Just curious how much ground training Laddie has had. And does ground training help to improve the expected response?
Good question, I did teach Laddie to move both his shoulders and hips from the ground. I have noticed that it does really increase the liklihood that the horse will respond correctly, because even though the cue may not transfer directly, the horse still has that behavior in his memory bank. It can be especially helpful to practice on the ground right before climbing in the saddle. If they were just doing something and being reinforced for it they will be likely to try it again. Thanks for bringing this up!
When teaching them to move their shoulder over, what do I do when they move their back legs too? Isn’t the goal to only move the shoulders and the back end stays put?
Yes that is the goal – try moving only a little with your legs and reins, really feeling where the horse’s balance is and when they are about to take that step over with their shoulders so you can release the pressure on that moment. The timing of the release can really be what teaches the horse exactly what is expected.
Nice video! I like the way you show the actual leg movements. Chey knows all of this but I don’t (she thinks I’m such an amateur but she’s so patient with me lol). I’m going to try this out tonight.
Hope it went well!
Great video, thank you! Can’t wait to put info to use. You are a fantastic teacher!!!!!
Great video! Can you show the ground training that you did with Laddie to prepare him for this session? I love that you fully explained and demonstrated several times what you do with your hands and legs. I am a visual learner. If I see it then I can remember it!
What an absolutely stunning horse by the way! He is way out of my price range but I have always dreamed of owning a Gypsy Vanner!
To execute a proper forehand turn, you must have the correct balance between leg aid and pressure on the horse s mouth. Jean Abernethy illustration.
It’s funny how you always know what questions are currently on my mind. Thanks, Callie, I’ll be working on these movements the next time I ride!