Troubleshooting. Common problems in the pivot, and how to fix them: 

• Too much bend. This is caused by trying to pull your horse around with the direct (inside) rein, so overbending his neck.

We resort to this when we can’t make his shoulders move. This will actually cause you to end up going in a circle instead of a spin.

To correct it, think “kick” more than “pull.”

Use your legs assertively to keep your horse’s body aligned and to keep him moving around; use that inside rein just enough to keep his nose tipped in the direction of movement and engage your indirect (outside) rein towards your belly (but not across your horse’s neck). 

• Counter-bend. This happens if you use too much indirect (outside) rein, trying ineffectually to make the shoulders move, and in the process pulling your horse’s head to the outside creating a counter-bend in his neck.

Correct this by using a little more inside (direct) rein and a little less outside (indirect) rein, plus bump with your outside leg at the cinch more assertively.

See photo.

If your horses shoulders won’t move- go back and work on your side pass until you can move them in any direction especially away from the gate (or magnets).

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