• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Shoulder/Straightness/Outside Rein Connection--Specific arena excercises?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Shoulder/Straightness/Outside Rein Connection--Specific arena excercises?

    My young horse is coming along nicely. We've chipped away on our training objectives, and the next few weeks I'd like to focus on his issues with the outside rein connection/straightness issue tracking left. To the right, he is solid in the bridle. To the left, he is heavy on the inside rein and too light on the outside. I tend to lose his shoulder--often to the outside (which is to be expected), but sometimes to the inside. I realize I need to move him into the outside rein off my leg and keep a steady connection there while also avoiding any kind of "pulling match" with the inside rein.

    But what I'd like is some really specific techniques and arena figures I could try as I work on this. I'm already doing tons of serpentines and shallow loops, as well as counter-bending (although I wouldn't mind hearing about an exercise that uses counterbending in a really specific pattern). What other exercises might I try? The horse likes pole/cavaletti work so he'd like exercises that used those (maybe a certain set up where he has to steer/yield from set to set?)

    I look forward to hearing any ideas!
    2007 Welsh Cob C X TB GG Eragon
    Our training journal.
    1989-2008 French TB Shamus Fancy
    I owned him for fifteen years, but he was his own horse.

  • #2

    I'm wondering, how old is your young horse? His age would make a large difference regarding what would be expected from him. How long has this horse been under saddle? What can he comfortably do right now?

    Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation


    • Original Poster


      He's four. He's been under saddle since Nov 10. He gets worked 4x a week 45 min sessions usually. One day he is ground driven/lunged of those 4. All day turn out. He is WTC, and plenty fit. Both trainers I work with agree that he is a physically mature/strong horse for his age, i.e. he isn't gawky or weedy. Very naturally balanced and coordinated. He's very cool headed, so he can handle work that is mentally challenging as well as physically.

      2007 Welsh Cob C X TB GG Eragon
      Our training journal.
      1989-2008 French TB Shamus Fancy
      I owned him for fifteen years, but he was his own horse.


      • #4
        Walk a twenty meter circle, add in a few steps of shoulder in, maybe 2 good ones, maybe 5, then carry on as normal.
        Add in some transitions up and down to trot when the exercise starts to feel behind the leg and sluggish, to freshen it up.
        Just a couple of times on each rein as a warm up to lateral work.
        Keeping the outline steady in and out of the shoulder in can be a challenge so I'm happy with just a couple of good steps and don't over do it as it can get stodgy but good to go back to during the same session. I really get a good feel of inside leg to outside hand from this exercise.


        • #5
          I have a similar problem with my mare, renvers helps get her off the inside rein and straighter into the connection. once i get it and then feel like she's falling back to the inside, i just do a few strides of it again to remind her.


          • #6
            Renvers for a 4 year old only started in November? NOT.

            I'd suggest you work with a bona-fide young horse trainer. Do you have a good one in your area? Don't accept a "poser".

            A 4 year old is only "so" fit. Sorry. That's training level, learning first level. Continue to build strength and confidence with shallow serpentines and counter bending and what you're doing. He's only 4, don't forget. Look at the 4 year old tests if you want to know what the cream of the crop of 4 year olds should be doing, and then ask yourself if you can honestly train a "cream of the crop" 4 year old like the pros can. Most of those 4 year olds have been under saddle a lot longer than your horse. Why do you want to push your horse? What are you doing to do with an injured horse?

            If your horse keeps going out the shoulder, you're not being effective with your aids. That's not a terrible thing. Planning to go to the National 4, 5 6 year olds? If not, cut yourself and your horse a break and train him with a solid foundation, not on a time scale.


            • #7
              I wasn't under the impression by the OP's post that they were pushing their horse too hard too fast...

              Your horse's fitness aside OP, make sure you are riding straight - and shoulders up! Also, make sure your horse is aligned chiropractically. Then make sure you are riding with even reins. Sounds simple, but riding with a shorter inside rein (not even by much, and you might be doing so out of habit without noticing) will do this too. Our horses are our mirrors and I am betting there is something of the above going on to cause your horse to pick up such uneven contact.

              As for a specific exercise if it is not any of the above or if the above does the trick but you need one last extra push - a CoTH'er posted awhile ago an exercise I found very beneficial: simply put, ride your corners square. Ride straight down to the corner and at the corner itself (prior to any turn), ask your horse to move his hips over with your inside leg (so, pushing his hind to the outside) to make the turn. Sort of a turn-on-the-forehand but while moving forward, that engages the hind and causes the horse to lift that inside shoulder and straighten, and as a result, pick up more even contact. I found it easiest to do this at the trot. That, and lots of lateral work (ie, simple leg yields) should help strengthen your horse and have him balancing and traveling straighter.

              Hope the above maybe lends some insight.

              ETA: Oh yea, forgot to add to keep in mind the training scale. I think the type of crookedness you are referring to is due to something you are doing as a rider and/or is correctable, but true and full straightness is higher up the training scale and so will take time to develop as you and your horse progress. At 4 and with less than a year u/s, you have to give full straightness more time
              Last edited by naturalequus; Jul. 17, 2011, 10:58 AM.
              ....horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
              ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.


              • #8
                I would hack a couple times a week up and down a few hills and ride some large figures on a slight slope. This explains to them more about how to balance themslves than working in a ring.

                It will also show you better where your weaknesses are.

                I always hack out young horses regularly.


                • #9
                  A young horse should just be going steadily forward and doing curved lines (circles/half circles/serpentines/etc). Straightness is made by the ability to eventually control the (outside) shoulder from reactions to the inside leg pulsing. But it comes over time through the use of bended lines, and eventually through shoulder fore/shoulder in/shoulder in entwicheln, but the later (or renvers which also controls the shoulders) are inappropriate for a younger horse imho.
                  I.D.E.A. yoda


                  • #10
                    Don't beat a 4 YO over the head with lateral work, and schooling should be part of a rounded education which includes lots of hacking I agree, but there's no harm in introducing the notion of lateral work at that age. Just started introducing it to my 4 YO while out hacking. He's so clever he needs something to think about.


                    • #11
                      To the right, he is solid in the bridle. To the left, he is heavy on the inside rein and too light on the outside. I tend to lose his shoulder--often to the outside (which is to be expected), but sometimes to the inside. I realize I need to move him into the outside rein off my leg and keep a steady connection there while also avoiding any kind of "pulling match" with the inside rein
                      Anytime an otherwise willing horse (which you seem to have)has issues with one thing-it's either rider error, or the horse is sore somewhere. Check yourself first to make sure you're asking correctly-if you rule that out, get a good MT OR chiro to fix the physical problem.
                      And don't push this horse too much too soon-or you will have problems. School the horse, maybe 2X week-only ask for collection for a few steps, then allow the horse to stretch! Go out as the others suggested for trails and fun!
                      Equine Massage Therapy Classes and Rehab for Horses


                      • #12
                        1. Add in a little more fitness work- i.e. walking hills. Most horses have a naturally easy side and a naturally more difficult side- strength will help him overcome that.

                        2. Anytime you think to yourself "I wish I had more horse in my outside rein" bring his shoulders in just a hair for 3-4 strides. Close your fingers around your outside rein, and close your inside leg. Baby shoulder-fore will help him engage behind and push through to your outside rein.

                        3. Square corners at the walk. As you ride into the corner, close your outside rein and leg. Expect him to stay very straight in the corner, and turn off your outside aids.