7 Easy steps to starting in hand work – Part 2 Turn on the Forehand

Once you have your start and stop controls established, (see Part 1 here), you can then start with sideways controls.

The first movement to teach is turn on the forehand, much as this would be the first sideways step taught under saddle.

Reasons to teach turn on the forehand are:

  • your horse will gain a greater understanding of the response you want from his hind leg when you touch it with the whip (to lift and move forward)
  • you  can start to gain the ability to influence his front end and hind end to do different things at the same time. Eventually this translates into the ability to both straighten him, and perform engaging lateral work
  • you can address stiffness in joints in the hind leg
  • you can address stiffness in his lower back
  • you can teach him to engage his core muscles and work on strengthening them
  • preparing a young or uneducated horse to learn this movement under saddle. A ground handler can apply the aids already learned, while the rider also applies the appropriate leg aid – a simple way to teach him to move sideways from the leg without stress or confusion

The equipment and basic techniques are the same as for start and stop, but now you will ask the front end to (almost) stop while asking the hind quarters to move.

ALWAYS REMEMBER: PATIENCE IS ESSENTIAL – rushing, or allowing anything to be rushed, will negate the learning experience.

What are the ingredients of turn on the forehand?

Continue reading “7 Easy steps to starting in hand work – Part 2 Turn on the Forehand”