Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Shoulder, i.e. Straightness II

Absolutely everybody who is interested in the previous shoulder discussion needs to go to Horse of Course's blog, scroll down to March 22, Clinic with Kyra and read her description of the clinic she just attended. HOC rides dressage (with a little American cowboy thrown in) and writes about straightness and forward.

She reiterates what I was trying to say, but I don't think I was clear enough.

You can't get control of your horse until you have straightness and forward. You just can't. For me, it's about control of the shoulders, but HOC reminds me to think about the hindquarters too, that's where the motor is.

This is why I won't use a round pen past the first couple of encounters (on the ground) with a horse. I feel like it teaches them to tip into the center, giving me something to train out of them. Which as you know, makes me feel like I made a mistake in my training.

Anyway, check it out.


  1. I have not read your post yet, so no comment on that, but you asked about a discussion forum. Amanda from started a forum for her blog. You might try contacting her.

  2. Nice to have you back, Mugs!
    I am glad you enjoyed the notes from the Kyra clinic.

    I liked your last post very much.
    There are so many similarities in how to solve the problems even if we are at two different corners of the world that it makes me smile...our horses are the same!
    But what fascinates me even more is when there are slight differences.
    It makes me think, and try to analyze why.
    Is it because the movements are executed differently? Is it because of traditions? Can I get a better result if I try another way of doing it?
    Wonderful. Thanks for sharing, as always.

  3. Interesting discussion.
    I have seen many a pony with the problem described. The horse's weight is pushed onto his inside shoulder because of the rider, because he does not know how to balance on a circle/turn or both. Overuse of the inside rein will create this problem as will the rider leaning or collapsing to the inside. Kyra's description of the importance of the rider's elbows definitely comes to mind for this problem as does riding the horse's body. The horse needs to lift the inside of his body to bend and he cannot if the rider is pushing the inside down!
    I agree with you, Mugs, on the round pen comment.

  4. Great post, Mugs! I'm a long time lurker and first time commenter. I just thought I would mention some options for doing forums:

    You might try looking at or for free forums/social networks. Then you could just link to them from your blog.

    Or, you could pay to get your own domain and hosting, which isn't very much. If you went that route you could setup Wordpress and a forum on your own site and put advertising on it. This would be the route that I would go as it has the most potential.

  5. How do you always post exactly what I need to read exactly when I need to read it? This is uncanny! That Kyra clinic made such a huge difference in my ride on my greenie today. Thanks!