Rollback and Spin Cheat Sheet, Part 3
Horse Training Tips For The Rollback And Spin.
Video, audio and written instruction.
Dear Friend and Horseman,
Welcome to the Rollback & Spin Cheat Sheet, Part 3.
If you missed the audio and written instruction in Part 2, go read it before continuing on.
Part 3 consists of QUESTIONS related to rollbacks and spins which were sent in by my members.
Be sure to read the ANSWERS carefully as they contain solutions to specific “trouble spots” which may really help you put a good spin on your horse. You definitely don’t want to miss this. Also, check out the special offers I have for you at the bottom of this page.
Lets get started with the training questions & answers.
Here’s the first question:
Started re-studying your videos. Especially the one about rollbacks and spins. Is there a distinct cue for the rollback vs the spin?
The hand movement as you describe, is to the hocks ( pivot foot) as in teaching to turn over the hocks. You seem to raise your rein hand a bit higher for the rollback than for the spin.
When handling the reins, is there a separate cue for each maneuver?
If you can put me straight I’d appreciate it.
Yes, there is a distinction in the way the reins are handled for the rollback… and the spin too.
When asking for the rollback, I use the rein more decisively (abruptly) and my rein hand is held a little higher to slightly “lift” the horse’s front end as I ask him to come around over his hocks.
This way of handling the reins encourages the horse to make a complete 180 degree turn with one big move. I almost always jump the horse into a lope after a turn like this.
When asking for a spin, I use my reins in a “subtle” way. I’ll keep my hand low and start the spin by laying the rein “very lightly” on the horse’s neck. This first touch of the rein is so light the horse
may not feel it.
Then, I give a short quick release of the rein pressure and lay the rein on his neck again, only this time a little heavier so he definitely feels it. On a trained horse, the entire spin is done with light little touches and releases with the reins.
There is a reason for using my hand real low and cueing with light touches and releases. I want the horse’s front end to stay flat on the ground and cross his front legs over on the turn-around. If I startle the horse with an abrupt move of my hand, he’ll pick his front end up and make a big move, this will ruin the low cross-over.
Hope this helps. Take care.
Larry, I’m one of your members, I’m writing about my mare who is not using her inside pivot foot when spinning to the left.
I’ve got her planting it going to the right pretty good. But when we go back to the left she plants the wrong foot.
She’s using her outside foot to pivot on. What should I do to get her pivoting on the inside foot?
Great question. Tons of riders are plagued by this.
It’s not as big a problem to fix as you might think (unless the horse has been doing it for years and it’s totally ingrained).
Forget about spins for awhile and concentrate on doing half turns and rollbacks.
The object is to put some speed in the turn. Speed will force your horse to use the correct pivot foot.
From the trot, rollback into the fence and half way through the turn, pop him on the butt to hustle him out of there.
IMPORTANT: When turning to the right, pop him on the outside or left hip.
Review the “Rollback & Spin” DVD to see exactly how to do this exercise.
Also, do a series of 180 degree half turns. Do a turn and jump out into the trot. Go 20 feet and do another and so on.
The main point is to turn and hustle out of there. Soon, the horse will be turning quickly on its own and the speed of the turn will have the horse using the inside pivot foot.
In a few weeks, using the correct pivot foot will become habit and then you can start working on the spin again.
Hello Larry, your DVD on spins has made a huge difference in my mare’s spins, but there is one problem we have not been able to overcome.
She will plant her pivot foot for a little bit, then kicks her butt out one step, goes back on her pivot foot, and repeats this process the entire time. We usually end up about 10 feet from where we started (mainly in a direction she would like to go, like the gate).
She’ll usually plant her foot for 3/4 of the turn before kicking out. I have tried the sidepass exercises from your video, as well as popping her on the butt with the reins (which only causes her to kick her butt out more).
She is not a very motivated spinner, which may be causing the problem. I have also used an exercise where I back her up in a circle while bending her to the outside and exiting with a spin to the outside, which works really well in getting her weight back and she’ll hold the pivot longer, but the minute I ask for more speed we lose it.
Do you have any other suggestions for me to try? Thank you for a great set of videos and any help you may be able to provide.
I’ll have to just guess here because there could be a multitude of reasons why your mare isn’t holding the pivot foot. Plus, you didn’t specify “how” you are asking the mare for speed. “How” you ask, is critical.
My guess is you may be pulling too hard on the reins instead of encouraging the mare by clucking to her. Pulling too hard will cause her hind-end to swing out.
You mentioned the mare not being very motivated may be the key. I’d suggest you “get” her motivated. Good performance is seldom achieved by horses that don’t take their job seriously.
On the other end of the spectrum, you mention that your attempts to increase the “speed” of the spin, just messes her up more.
If you pop her on the butt and she kicks her butt out more, she either isn’t ready for more speed or she resents being pushed and kicks her butt out in defiance. When you pop her on the butt, I’m assuming you are popping her on the “outside hip“. If you are popping her on the “inside” you are causing the problem yourself.
Also, it has been my experience that many riders make their corrections, too late. They miss the timing. You said your mare starts kicking her butt out spiraling toward the gate, you need to make a correction the INSTANT this happens.
A. Your mare wants to go to the gate because she thinks going out of the arena is where the work ends. Let her go to the gate and continue to work her. Let her know that being at the gate is more work than being inside the arena.
B. Backing your horse up the way you described, will get your horse to use a pivot foot all right… the wrong one. It’s okay to back-up and then turn but you need to hustle forward immediatelyafter the turn.
Here is something that may help:
If a horse’s front end is moving off the reins correctly, the hind end will stay in place. For a horse to swing his butt out, he “first” has to stop his front end. So, your primary job is to keep the front end moving off the reins. If you’ll do that, the hind end will stay in place.
What is the #1 MISTAKE riders make when it comes to teaching a horse to spin?
Trying to get a correct spin by “pulling the horse back on his hocks” is the most common mistake of all.
Teaching the spin is a “forward impulsion” maneuver… that’s how the horse learns to cross-over in front and plant the inside pivot foot.
Pulling the horse back, will cause the front legs to cross-UNDER which slows or stops the front end from coming around… and that invites the hind end to swing out of gear.
The result will be a horse that simply swaps ends without planting his inside hind pivot foot… or worse… does a turn on his forehand.
This wraps it up for the Rollback & Spin Cheat Sheet.
We have only scratched the surface in our brief time together but I hope you learned some things that will help you and your horse.
If you’d like to learn more and see the entire training process… check out the videos listed below.
Take care and good luck.
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Some of the titles are DVDs and some are online streaming videos. All are really good and you’ll learn exactly what to do to get your horse working well.
These videos show how to train a responsive, well-reined horse!
The secret to correct, rapid turn-a-rounds. Want your horse to plant his inside pivot foot, cross over in front and spin like a top? This video will show you how. Instructions are very detailed and suitable for all levels of horses and riders.
How to train a well-reined horse with the braided hackamore (bosal) and O-ring snaffle bit. Teach your horse lightness… suppleness… sliding stops… rollbacks… spins… lead departures… and good head position.
These “Training Methods” enable you to ride with confidence… knowing you can easily slow down, stop, turn, side-pass, get the correct lead & more… at any time, in any situation.
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