Shoulder In

If we never practice it, she’ll never get this one down.

If we don’t practice it correctly, it won’t happen either.

If I just avoid it, see above.

So, I’ve just had to get on with it. 

Setting up, on the aids, making sure she’s forward.  Check.

setting up for shoulder in

For this to ever happen, the outside seatbone, hip, shoulders, everything, has to swivel in.  Not straight!  (Or it will be sort of a leg yield version down the long side.)  This is really difficult, when you think you’re doing it, but find out you’re still straight!

leg yield instead of shoulder inThe struggle is real friends.

Monday morning, Valiosa was as sound as ever.  The small tender spot from Friday was history.

I’m leery of letting her roll on the narrower grass spot now though.  Just in case she’d want to cozy up next to the concrete planter again…

horse rolling in pastureAfter a two-day non-stop torrential rain storm she was happy to drop in the first, half-dry, place.

horse rolling in pasture with blanket onSpeed rolling blur.  Yes, it’s a thing.

horses getting cast when rolling

16 thoughts on “Shoulder In

  1. I love the leaves in her tail in the header photo. We still have rain, steady and hard, here. The horses are still in the barn — the only dry spot around. Shoulder-in is very hard for me from a coordination standpoint – glad I’m not the only one who struggles.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Today was another CRAZY day wasn’t it!?
      I groomed in Somerset today, and on the drive out there it was just POUNDING rain. Latrobe Rd was a mess.
      Sounds like you are doing a lot of mucking then 😉

      Trick with shoulder in, do it on a horse that knows it! That’s what I got today and boy does it help!


  2. Keep on working on this movement known as ” the mother of collection”. Oddly enough Biasini responds best to an incorrect placement of weight. Belinda told me this when I bought him: put the weight onto the outside seatbone rather than on the inside. For him it works!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This is exactly why I feel I must get to where Valiosa can do this effortlessly. Or, hum, seemingly effortlessly.
      If we must trot around putting wear on the forehand, I want to be able to balance it out if so to say, with work in the shoulder in!!


    2. Philippe Karl says to always put your weight on the side to which the horse is moving. If you’re tracking left, say, in shoulder in, then the horse, from the rider’s POV, is moving its body toward the right, or outside, even though the shoulder is “in”. Ergo, the rider’s weight should be on the right (outside) of the horse. Proof is that it works for you! And for me, and for just about anybody who has a sensitive horse. Same goes for any gait. If you put your weight on the inside instead, you’re pushing your horse to the outside and collapsing on the inside, which doesn’t help much in the balance department. If you want to try a simple funny exercise pretending to be a horse, grab a weighty suitcase and try “cantering” left while holding the suitcase on the left side of your body. Even as a 2-legged horse, you’ll find that you’ve compounded the difficulty of holding yourself up.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Grinning at the sight of me cantering with a suitcase 😉 Sure thing, I like to try most any experiment!!
        Luckily, my pesky Achilles tendon has finally managed to heal it self up enough after the shot and lengthy rehab period, so that I can actually ATTEMPT doing it…
        Strangely, I seem a little stuck on the couch when I think about running again though. Suppose it’s only fun when it’s not done at turtle speed 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m with you, a great feel when it happens just right.
      I test rode a young horse once who was so gifted with it, she would almost naturally follow your hips in wherever you wanted her shoulders, and hind quarters too! I almost bought her because she felt like she’d almost train herself!


  3. What every horse needs, a good roll in the leaves.

    Today’s check-in went well. The snow was no big deal, just on-off flurries for most of the day. We’re staying at Bella’s home in SE Metro Denver. A brief workout tomorrow morning, then the long wait for tomorrow night’s Gambler’s Choice event.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m guessing with the snow, all of these events are held indoor.
      Or, studs in the shoes for sure! 🙂
      I spent two weeks in Denver one year where we got snowed in at the airport right as it was time to leave!
      Good luck tonight!!


      1. Yes, practically everything with the stock show is indoors. The covered warm-up rings are outdoors. But, if it is too snowy and/or cold, the horses (show and rodeo) are held in a holding area in the main horse barn before their events. When it’s their turn, they are sent to their specific arenas and the competitors warm-up as a group on the main arena floor. For the audience, it is sort of like a backstage glimpse.

        The girls are on their walkthrough of the arena floor to gauge the footing and lighting, which has been very good every time they’ve rode the stock show complex. Late this afternoon, they’ll have another walkthrough with part of the course set-up. Since it’s a gambler’s choice, the other part of the course is not set-up. The individual riders get to select fence combinations and height. The girls are essentially planning to ride a WC-style course with fence heights at 1.5 m. They are going for maximum difficulty and maximum points.

        Getting snowed in at the airport, that must’ve been fun. It’s like a slumber party gone bad. 🙂

        PS – Deborah is going to send you what she calls a “riding clinic on paper”. Since you already know the areas you and Miss Valiosa need to work on, she’s not going to tell you “do this, do that” or “try this, try that”. It’s a little bit of charting out the perfect ride on paper.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I hope they did well!!! I’ve personally never seen a gambler’s choice. Tricky to plan it out just the right way!
          How fun with a clinic on paper!!!! I’ve had a bad injury, still planning on ER if orthopedic surgeon cannot see me Mon or Tuesday. What a life 😉
          Mentally preparing not to ride for 6 weeks. (we’ll see about that). Of course I worry mostly about my horse!


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