Advanced Shoulder In Excercises
Once you have established a proper shoulder in, where the horse’s forehand is brought about half a step inside the track of the outside hind leg, thus the outside shoulder is straight in front of the inside hind leg. The inside hind leg is brought well forward in the direction of the outside foreleg. The horse is flexed and slightly bent in the direction he is moving. The inside hock is engaged, carrying most of the weight due to the diagonal postion of the horse, the lateral bend and the increased collection. First ride a 10 meter circle on the long side, continue up the long side 5 steps in shoulder in and turn onto another 10 meter circle, repeat up the long side. This will help supple your horse and test your timing with the aids and communiction to your horse. Once this is performed seamlessly, track up the long side 5 steps in shoulder in, stop the forward movement with your outside aids and ride the horse straight on the diagonal 5 steps, shoulder in 5 steps, straight 5 steps, halt, rein back 5 steps, immediately into shoulder in 5 steps, straight 5 steps, repeat until you reach the end of the arena. This excercise will become a dance as your horse waits for your aids, starting to collect into piaffe as he becomes more proficient, but ask him to continue moving forward and sideways, staying very light in the bridle. The series is very difficult to ride and for your horse to initially understand, so take your time and try it in walk first. Once you have mastered the excercise in walk try it in trot. Be certain to demand immediate response from your horse in all transitions and slow it down if it becomes confusing. Once mastered, this is an exciting excercise to ride.