The best thing about blogging is people asking questions, that in turn begs me to search my soul and helps me to get my head around things.
Firstly it was a good day for the boys again, Moo was mega spooky but I didn't give up and finally got the relaxation and Chapsi was a super star...mastering voice commands to walk, trot and halt when 10m from me *big thumbs up*. We did more on moving the shoulder and learning to bend towards me a little.
So on to Di's question of how to teach moving the shoulder away. There are a number of ways and firstly I think it's important to know why you want to move the shoulder. I can tell you why I want but there maybe other reasons and methods.
There are two BIG things I like to be able to influence with my horse; the ability to start and stop him and the ability to keep him out of my space (OK mabe we'll call that three, LOL). So moving the shoulder, along with shifting the hip away and backing are essential in keeping him out of my space.
Richard Maxwell (I really rate Max's horse skills on the ground) uses rope circling to move different parts of the body. Parelli (who I really rate as the no.1 marketing man) I believe grabs his carrot stick. For me it's a question of what works for your horse. I teach a yield to pressure early on, pressure on the girth means move on, pressure on the chest means go back and so forth and so it's not a giant leap to... pressure on the shoulder means move them over. It's best to teach it one the move...get a forward walk and then put pressure (maybe quite a bit to start so perhaps use the flat of the hand) on the shoulder and at the same time walk in towards the shoulder. Simple as that...believe you can and you will; anyway Remy is a smart cookie!!!
Being able to move the shoulder is great for starting leg yield and lunging, it's essential during changes of the rein whilst lunging if you want to avoid being walked on.
Remember though it's hard to move a leg if you have all your weight on it!! Play around with bending the head/neck more or less inside because heavy inside bend will place more weight on the inside shoulder which leaves the outside shoulder free to make the first important move to the outside and ONLY THEN will the inside leg/shoulder be compelled to follow the movement.
Go play the Di!