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Teaching Turns

An AQHA Professional Horsewoman explains how to teach the pivot.

From AQHA Professional Horsewoman Carla Wennberg

Journal photo.


My horse yields very well in both directions with her hips and shoulders. However, when I ask for the pivot, her back feet keep taking baby steps. Essentially, she's "half pivoting." Instead of planting one foot, she's making a very tiny circle using both back feet (almost a shuffle). How can I get her to plant one foot?



When we teach turns, I first work a horse on squares.

Walk squares using outside aids, keeping her shoulder and neck straight. Move your horse's ribcage over, then forward.

I have found the reason some horses won't turn on the correct hind leg is because of not moving the rib cage over.

Also, stop your horse, move a few steps sideways, then turn a quarter turn and go forward.

Work squares at the walk, jog and lope. Get your horse correct on aids and off leg and rein to turn the corner of the square.

Stop, try a quarter turn, if she leans, go sideways a few steps, then turn, moving her rib cage.

Hope it helps!

-- AQHA Professional Horsewoman Carla Wennberg, contributor to the Borrow A Trainer series.