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In-Hand Work for Better Dressage: The Shoulder-In

In the February issue of Horse Sport, Simon covered lungeing and leg yielding, two simple in-hand exercises that are incredibly useful for both horses and their handlers to give the horse confidence and make it more supple. Here he explains training the shoulder-in from the ground. Make sure that you wear gloves and a hard hat, and that your horse is not afraid of the whip. Always work in an enclosed, quiet environment when introducing new exercises. Begin with a simple leg yield by walking the horse around a circle approximately six to eight metres in diameter. Once established on the circle, the handler encourages the horse to bend the neck and head slightly towards them and invites the quarters to step to a slightly bigger circle by touching the whip to the inside hind leg between the hock and the fetlock. The result of this is that the horse’s…

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