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How to Stop a Horse From Falling Out Through Its Shoulder

Panel Expert: Bernie Traurig

Submitted by member: Stephene

I am having a major issue with my mare. She is a granddaughter of Good News Joe out of Last News. She was not started well and is now 8 and has always fallen out through her left shoulder on the right rein when on a bend or circle. The problem is worse in canter when the speed increases. It even happens when I prepare early for my turn and look with my outside aids on. She braces her neck with inside bend, drifts to the left and it is very difficult to make the horse straight. She does have sensitivity issues with her mouth. I ride in a simple snaffle bit. There are no issues on the left rein and she goes well between leg and hand on that side. The problem was worse today at a show as the warm up was set up for the right rein (clockwise). The horse gets frustrated and the warm up is then wasted.  Lots of faults in my round. I have 2 flatwork lessons per week and have had the horse for 12 months.

Answer by Bernie

Hi Stephene,

There are lots of horses with this issue and it’s usually solvable.

It sounds like your horse does not respond to the outside lateral aids, the bearing (neck) rein and the outside leg. The bearing rein used against the neck on the outside directly influences the shoulders towards the inside, along with the outside leg.

Sounds like she needs lots of rehearsals with these aids on the flat and over cavaletti. I have provided below a list of video topics that will describe how to train the horse to respond to these aids. Daily repetition of application of these aids in various places around the arena should solve the issue.

My Video Recommendations:

controls of the horse part 1 correct rein aids on your horserein aids

Controls of the Horse Part One – Rein Aids
Bernie Traurig
Bernie Traurig demystifies, clarifies and modernizes rein aids and their direct application in the show ring in this video, the first of a two part series. Youʼll learn the proper technique of each rein aid as well as the appropriate circumstances to apply them. By mastering rein aids and using them in conjunction with leg aids, youʼll have a powerful tool at your disposal, resulting in a superior performance.
Running Time:  20 minutes and 18 seconds

View Video
Controls Of The Horse Part Two - Leg Aids- Bernie Traurig

Controls Of The Horse Part Two – Leg Aids
Bernie Traurig
Bernie illustrates, for all the basic jumping disciplines, the significance of the correct position & timing of leg aids as a powerful blend with the rein aids. Teaching independent and prompt responsiveness to leg aids will result in clear, effective communication with your horse when used in conjunction with the rein aids for ultimate control in the ring.
Running Time: 35 minutes and 43 seconds

View Video
Fundamentals of Flatwork Basic

Fundamentals of Flatwork – Part 1 – Basic
Bernie Traurig
The first of the series, this video outlines a simple, progressive method of flatwork for all jumping disciplines. It focuses on the training of a young or inexperienced horse with the aim to achieve obedience to light rein and leg aids, and assumes the rider is familiar with the proper techniques of riding and jumping. But you do not have to be a highly experienced or seasoned rider because Bernie’s strategies are clear, straight-forward, classic and timeless. The Basic level highlights his favorite exercises that can be incorporated into anyone’s training program.
Running Time:  46 minutes and 25 seconds (divided into chapters)

View Video
Fundamentals of Flatwork - Part 2 - Intermediate - Bernie Traurig

Fundamentals of Flatwork – Part 2 – Intermediate
Bernie Traurig
If you have the Basic level down, you and your horse are ready for more of Bernie’s proven supplemental training techniques. In the Intermediate level, you’ll learn how to put the polish on your performance by blending these potent methods into your everyday training program. You will learn how to build on the fluency with which you and your horse have come to communicate. For most horses, mastering this level will be sufficient to perform well in any show ring.
Running Time: 59 minutes and 6 seconds (divided into chapters)

View Video

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Bernie Traurig

As a Horseman, Bernie is renowned for not only his riding talents but for his teaching and coaching gifts. As a competitor, Bernie has represented the United States Equestrian Team both at home and abroad on many occasions and reached the top of the sport in all 3 of the International Equestrian Olympic disciplines: Show Jumping, Dressage, and Eventing.After amassing 60 years worth of training and riding techniques and experiences with thousands of horses, Bernie is driven to give back to the sport that has given him so much fulfillment and success.

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