• Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
  • dark
  • light
  • leftlayout
  • rightlayout
 Course Home Page  Previous Lesson  Refresh Page  Next Lesson
Module 2/4, Lesson 1/17
Introduction to Shoulders

shoulders cyan

"Working with the Shoulders"

"Contact, Contact, Contact, Forward, Forward, Forward"
Check mark
Check mark
 This module is all about contact, contact and more contact. Forward, forward, forward, and more forward. All horses whether they are ranch, performance or dressage horses need to be "soft, supple, balanced, relaxed, safe and under control". A horse can move in 180 different ways. Our job as handlers is to have better control of these movements. Simply put, we are going to build our Western Dressage horse with two concepts, "contact and impulsion" Up to this point we have been riding mainly on a loose rein. The main focus on the last training module "Foundation" was to encourage and guide the horse to move forward relaxed and supple using one rein. The inside rein/leg was used for impulsion, directional, and a suppling aid. This module and lessons will requires us to change some of our usage of some of the aids and ride with more contact.

.Key Point! Now we are going to teach you how to use the "OUTSIDE" rein/leg as an aid to guide or change the direction of the horse.

,Remember this! The "outside" rein is used to: "straighten, supple, steer, and control speed." The inside leg/rein will still be used to soften and supple the horse. We will drive the horse from back to front, but soften from front to back. Does this sound confusing? No worries, we will work through this one step at a time.

In this module we have included dozens of animation and diagrams to help you succeed. Expect the following concepts to be developed in the following 17 lessons:

Check mark
Learn How to Control the Shoulders with two hands
Check mark Suppling with contact
Check mark
The importance of "OUTSIDE" rein/leg 
Check mark
Methods of Speed Control
Check mark
Introduction to Collection
Check mark
Developing more control with Seat/Leg Aids
Check mark
Using both Reins with Contact
Check mark
Refinement of Module 1 "The Foundation"
Check mark
Introduction to the training scale


What questions will we be considering in this lesson?

Check mark How Do I Use My Aids to Supple My Horse's Neck? Check mark What Are the Aids for a Turn on the Haunches?
Check mark What are Some Exercises to Supple My Horse's Shoulders? Check mark How Should I Introduce Turn on the Haunches?
Check mark Why Are Circles Important? Check mark What is a Turn on the Haunches?
Check mark What Do I Need to Know to Ride an Accurate Circle? Check mark How Do I Collect My Horse?
Check mark How Do I Know Which is the Inside or Outside of My Horse's Body? Check mark What's the Difference Between Connection and Collection?
Check mark How Do I Make the Stiff Side "Softer"? Check mark How Can I Tell If My Horse is Truly Collected?
Check mark How Do I Ride a Serpentine? Check mark Why Do I Want to Collect My Horse?
Check mark Why Do Riders Forget to Use the Outside Rein? Check mark What is Collection?
Check mark What Does the Outside Rein Do? Check mark Are There Some Exercises That Will Help Me Learn to Use My Outside Rein?

"Training Rules"

Check mark Exaggerate to teach, refine as you go! Check mark The horse needs to be quieter at the end than the beginning of the lesson!
Check mark Be as soft as possible, and as firm as necessary! Check mark Ask, Insist, Demand!
Check mark Do not peck at the horse, "get in" / "get it done" "get out"! Check mark  Bending, Flexing & Suppling 

Common People Problems are:  Common Horse Problems are: Benefits to this lesson are:
  1. Rider does not find a good starting point for the horse
  2. Rider does not break down the lesson into smaller parts
  3. Rider does not use the inside leg to hold the horse in the circle
  4. Rider asks for too much bend
  5. Rider asks not enough bend
  6. Rider loses the bend in the transition
  7. Rider doesn't use the outside rein to maintain the size of the circle
  8. Rider can't maintain gait in the transitions to the new bend or direction
  9. Rider does not maintain collection through the transition
  10. Rider is not connected to the aids
  11. Rider crosses the reins over the withers
  12. Rider lacks balance
  13. Rider lacks confidence
  14. Rider has fear
  15. Rider does not use the leg aids effectively
  16. Rider does not use seat bone effectively
  1. Horse is stiff and resistant
  2. Horse does not travel straight
  3. Horse does not maintain bend
  4. Horse loses impulsion
  5. Horse lacks rhythm and smoothness through the transition
  6. Horse does not stay between the aids
  7. Horse's poll pops up in the transition to the new bend or direction
  1. Improves balance
  2. Improves attention span
  3. Improves knowledge of using aids
  4. Improves respect
  5. Improve leadership
  6. Improves softness and directional control under saddle 
  7. Improves shoulder control
  8. Improves straightness
  9. Improves forward
  10. Improves rhythm
Ask a question