Step Seven – Yielding the body
Teaching a young horse to move their shoulders and hindquarters has many advantages, for example not pushing his shoulder into you when leading, or walking a horse in a clockwise circle away from you.
A horse which has been taught to yield its body with the minimum of pressure from the ground, will find more advanced training under saddle much easier. It’s mind as well as it body will be more flexible.
Horses which have a problem moving forward are sometimes referred to as ‘blocked through the shoulder’ and this is more of a mental inflexibility than a physical inability. Horses which are prone to rearing have the same problem but to a greater degree. If such horses had been properly educated on the ground, with understanding and respect, their blockages would never have occurred.
If you have control of your horses shoulder and hindquarters, you have control of his feet and also to some degree, his mind. He will learn to respect you as a leader and the bond between you will grow.
I teach people how to cue their horses to move either the front or the back end of their horse, or both together laterally, using verbal and hand cues. The combination of both means there is less confusion for the horse.
Step Seven is a very important step and naturally flows on from the previous Steps. It also prepares the horse for the subsequent Steps Eight, Nine and Ten.