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Old 04-30-2013, 10:45 AM   #11
DocsMinnieElixer
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When i'm teaching a spin my two main concerns are keeping the horse stepping freely off my outside rein, and keeping good forward impulsion. I will start a green horse off by asking for a couple of steps over with his shoulders, then I will push him forward and cluck and bump.squeeze my legs to push him forward with impulsion out of the turn. Most people over spin their horses and keep them in that spin for too long trying to teach the spin while in the spin. You teach the spin by everything you do before and after the spin. You can't fix it while spinning, so if the horse gets sluggish or sloppy or loses cadence, push them out of it and then just work on building momentum in the trot, winding up that spring, and when you feel that energy driving forward under you again and your horse is in good position, ask for a couple steps again and then push them out. One of my mares is chronically lazy and it takes a lot to build up enough energy to get good cadence or increase the speed in a spin. I have to literally cluck and "jump" her out of a spin, so that when i do ask her to spin and I cluck for more energy she knows that it means to get moving. If I just simply trot her out she doesnt really gain any impulsion, it's a slow flat trot and then the energy immediately dulls when she gets out of the spin.

It's also important to make sure that you are using your leg as little as possible. I dont like to keep my leg on the horse at all in the spin. I want my position and the placement of my hand to cue the horse to turn, and my leg will only touch the horse if he needs to be reminded stay in the turn or add some speed. And if you're going to use your leg, get in and then get out. Dont leave that heel/spur sitting on their side or you will dull one up real quick.

If I feel resistance to my hand I will "bump" that inside directing rein a bit. I should not have to move my hand two feet out to the side in order to get enough leverage for the horse to follow it. I will move my hand enough ot give the horse clear signal that I want him to turn and i can see the bubble of their eye, and then touch his neck with my outside rein, and I expect him to step over. If he leans on my hand I bump it that direction until he steps over and then the rein goes soft immediately again. I dont like backing a horse into a spin, especially when schooling a green horse. It does not encourage the horse to keep any kind of forward momentum or impulsion, and it is crucial for a correct spin to keep that forward drive, or you end ip with a horse switching their picot foot and getting tangled up under themselves.
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:39 AM   #12
Cattleman
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Wow, thanks for the responses this has given me a lot to think about. I would also be interested in hearing some things you will do to help your horses learn the spin. I have been trotting small circles and winding it down to a spin then reversing directions and winding it out again back into small trotting circles.
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Old 05-06-2013, 11:26 AM   #13
Corry
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I agree. Very helpful discussion And this is the outcome with me: When riding, I recalled what I read here and found my mare spinning in an improved manner because my idea of, and my focus during, spin training changed. I often take videos when I ride so I can supervise myself. Today it looked much better, easier, more fluently, simply nice. Now I am content with the basic technique and style. Next thing I'm going to strive for is to increase the number of turns we can do subsequently (so far I only ask for a half or one complete turn at the most) and, later, to add speed. This will take some time, but that's fine with me. We are on our way. All we need is time and practice.

Thanks to all who contributed to the discussion
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Old 05-13-2013, 12:09 PM   #14
Corry
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Today I became aware of another factor which influences the lightness when performing a spin and which I--stupidly--overlooked so far: I always took a lot of time to make my horse supple before I started to ask for spins. Usually I did turns and spins only at the end of the ride. Most likely my horse often was already a little tired when I asked her to turn or spin. The last days, although warming her up properly, I did not spent as long as in the past in suppling her before I asked for turns or spins. It was much easier for both of us.
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Old 05-17-2013, 09:24 PM   #15
DocsMinnieElixer
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That is a great point. I tend to not pay close enough attention to how long I've been riding the horse and just how sapped he might be when I'm still expecting him to be really responsive. A trainer frined of mine said he sets his watch and when the timer goes off he will start to wind it down for the day so he doesnt ask a tired horse to give more than he's got in him. I thought that was a good idea considering I can get lost in training for hours and I'm concentrating so much that I just dont realize where the time has gone. Most of the time the horse will keep trying hard even if he's tired, but you interpret him being tired as resistance.
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Old 08-10-2013, 11:14 AM   #16
JB Horse
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To me:
1) I prefer the term "turn-around." "Spin" can imply speed. I want good form & function. Speed comes with good form, function, balance, consistency.
The rider must learn first. It's more difficult to "fix", than train.
Set-up & preperation are critical. Often, when a rider gets in the arena, to show, he begins to hurry. This wrecks the whole deal.
2) I begin on the ground. A prepared Foundation is critical to any manuever.
Being on the ground, you are not on his back & getting in his way. The horse can concentrate on moving his feet & developing balance.
3) On his back: Without the ability to properly move his feet in a balanced manner, the "spin" will suck. It is difficult to fix. The horse is worrying more about your imbalance, inconsistency, & abruptness.
4) Continuous slow, accurate, prepatory moves can set you up. The "spin" is a combination. Learn the parts of the combination, then begin to put them together.
To set the horse up for success, you know how to set yourself up...

Just my two cents.. I have made many mistakes, & continue.
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