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Shoulder-In makes my brain shut down.

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  • Shoulder-In makes my brain shut down.

    Ok... seriously.

    I cannot recreate a shoulder in outside of lessons.

    I can produce it just fine in lessons. I get the concept. I understand three tracks, I can visualize it and I really ought to be able to produce it quite well. All the requisites are in place- we made sure because I used to not be able to do it with my trainer THERE.

    Coach has me riding a 10 meter circle and the coming off of it and asking for him to shoulder in.

    I just. can't. do. it. when my trainer isn't there yelling at me. (She never yells, actually... maybe it would help?! )

    Help? Please? I just watched Jane Savoie and it all MAKES SENSE in my head. I think I just have a mental block. Maybe I'm not working hard enough without trainer's scrutiny.

    I don't know... any hints?
    Big Idea Eventing

  • #2
    Start by just trying to do a shoulder-fore. It not so much pressure...


    • #3
      I think the problem with all of those sorts of things- first, we want to get it right. 2nd, no one gave the horse the instruction manual on how to do one and they all have different ideas of what aids work for them.

      I had one that liked the inside seat bone. At the same time, another that needed the outside shoulder held. I guess I do "the move my shoulders the way I want their shoulders to move, and keep my seat where I want their hind end to be" train of thought.

      My issue? Flying changes. I suck at them, I freak out horses doing them, and they cause me serious anguish. I will never be an advanced rider because I will NEVER get a flying change without serious cheering if it happens (unlikely as that is!)

      Good Luck! You'll get it!


      • #4
        let go and sit up
        I swear when i come off the circle for the long wall i say that in my head
        chaque pas est fait ensemble


        • #5
          it helps me to think inside hip to outside rein for shoulder in and inside hip to inside rein for haunches in.


          • #6
            Ride your horses hind legs straight up the track with your seat.
            Make the bend with your legs - the inside one will work best if you step into the stirrup, and be careful not to overdo the outside leg, just let it sit there.
            Think about having your shoulders direct the horse's shoulders (and neck and head). I do like what fatorangehorse said.

            Offer the inside rein forwards as a test.

            You really do have to hold the direction with your seat. You probably ARE doing this in lessons.

            I don't think it hurts to play with the shoulder-in. Unless you have a particularly precious/precocious horse, you can play with shoulder-in in walk and in trot, even in canter. By play, I mean ride it anywhere...on the short side of the arena, on a diagonal line, then change to the other shoulder in, and change direction (zigging and zagging up the arena), on a circle, on the centre line. You can ride transitions in shoulder-in, you can intensify the trot and then come back.

            You might have to over do some aids and back off on others until you get the right balance that allows your horse to shoulder in - after all, it is not some trick to be learned. You just have to set up the parameters and get out of his way!


            • #7
              Originally posted by eponacowgirl View Post
              Ok... seriously.

              I cannot recreate a shoulder in outside of lessons.

              I can produce it just fine in lessons. I get the concept. I understand three tracks, I can visualize it and I really ought to be able to produce it quite well. All the requisites are in place- we made sure because I used to not be able to do it with my trainer THERE.

              Coach has me riding a 10 meter circle and the coming off of it and asking for him to shoulder in.

              I just. can't. do. it. when my trainer isn't there yelling at me. (She never yells, actually... maybe it would help?! )

              Help? Please? I just watched Jane Savoie and it all MAKES SENSE in my head. I think I just have a mental block. Maybe I'm not working hard enough without trainer's scrutiny.

              I don't know... any hints?

              here read my helpful links pages read all of page 1 and all links on page 1

              your not alone and its a common problem


              • #8
                Bruce Davidson told me in a clinic years ago, "who told you you can't do collected trot?" He gave me courage to try on my own.
                Epona, just "DO IT". Try it different ways. Do it when you have a shadow to watch and try it when you can watch the shadow, or if you are supremely lucky, in front of a mirror. You have to get the feel for it by "DOING IT". That's the only way it works. If you wait for someone to tell you yes, that's right, it will be half a lifetime (like I did) before you find out if it's right or wrong. Don't wait. Practice a few steps every day and on different horses, if you can.
                Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
                Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)


                • #9
                  quit making it so difficult. or in other words quit letting 'them' make it so difficult. Shoulder in is soooo easy.

                  seriously, most horses travel in shoulder fore or haunches-in anyway (because they hate straight)

                  try it without a circle.
                  forget about your butt for the moment.

                  just trot straight down the long side.

                  then put on some more inside leg AT THE GIRTH (if you are posting do it in rhythm with the trot) to make horse's shoulder bend around your leg. don't worry if nothing happens right away. then to make it happen give a little 'honk, honk' (in rhythm with the horses stride--like 1/4 notes. 4 beats to a measure 1/4 note gets the beat--a honk is a 1/4 note) on the outside rein which will ask the outside shoulder to slow down a bit.
                  don't think about making him bend on a 10m circle, think about still making him go straight.

                  if you are seriously having issues think about it in a shoulder in for dummies way. these smart dressage riders are too technical sometimes.

                  If it is not working their way, or the 'refined way book correct way', do it a different way a few times until you get a handle on the feel.

                  training of horse and rider is cause and effect, a learned response. Just like dogs.
                  you ask, you ask, you ask, and then when you get what you want you praise.

                  remember, they are just horses.
                  Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!


                  • #10
                    Old instructor trick, get on the ground and do it on your own two feet, as a dance movement, flowing along.
                    It is kind of fun too.

                    Most people get kind of tense and the horse tends to lose impulsion and having to also contend with that makes it double hard.


                    • Original Poster

                      YAY! COTH rocks. I rode my guy this morning with the single intention of GETTING it.

                      He very patiently put up with me warming him up...
                      attempting the first couple,
                      getting online on my Palm,
                      rereading your responses...
                      trying something else...
                      rereading AGAIN...
                      making my fingers work on three tracks...

                      and FINALLY...
                      I think I figured it out.

                      I think I was trying to PUSH him from the outside... I finally figured out that I need to ride the bend and then just hold his haunches on the straight line.

                      Big Idea Eventing