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Horse-man-ship Mentality – Do Not Miss This!

Horse-man-ship Mentality – Do not miss this!

Shoulder control. Why is it so important?

If a horse wants to go somewhere and they feel resistance in going there, they will brace into that resistance, and it is usually with their shoulders.


The intentions of the horse are to create the resistance that they are offering so that they can go where they want. They are trying to move the pressure they are feeling by pushing back against it. This is why I say that they use their shoulders as a defensive tool.


Therefore, the mind of the horse holds their intention and controls where their body will go. The emotion behind their resistance can vary in intensity depending on the temperament and attitude of the horse. The more determined they are about where they want to go, the more push they will offer. In simple terms, the mind of the horse is in control of the shoulders.

This is why I pay so much attention to that area of the body. I believe if we position ourselves as we need to so that we can get the horse to move their shoulders where we want, this is an opportunity for us to have a point of entry into the horse’s mind.

 When that shoulder quits the brace and moves ever so slightly the horse has an opportunity at that instant to feel the almighty release. If they choose to continue in the correct posture (this is what I call them stepping into my “Clear Mental Picture”) here is where I will allow the horse to rest in complete freedom from any of my aids.

Note: All body parts affect each other but for the purpose of this blog,  I am speaking of the shoulders.

Mindful Riding,

Dennis Cappel - Master Horseman

Cappel Training and Shoeing


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