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How to Ride a Turn on the Forehand

Ok, so you want to ride a turn on the forehand, here’s our KA Equestrian How To guide….

What is a Turn on the Forehand?

A turn on the forehand is a movement where you turn your horse’s hind quarters around his fore legs in a circular motion. You are using a sideways aid so a turn on the forehand is considered a lateral movement. Other than in the arena, you can use a turn on the forehand when you’re out hacking and needing to manoeuvre around a gate or obstacle.

Why ride a Turn on the Forehand?

There are a few good reasons why riding a Turn on the Forehand is good for your horse’s training…

  • You’re teaching your horse that leg can mean sideways, not just forward, and how to differentiate between the two aids.

  • This particular lateral movement teaches your horse that your leg aids don’t necessarily require their front legs to move.

  • It’s a concept that’s a great starting block for teaching more advanced lateral movements like leg yield and later, half pass.

  • It encourages your horse to stretch and flex the inside hind leg to help improve suppleness and helps to release any tension or stiffness in the horse’s muscles.

  • For us riders, learning to ride a Turn on the Forehand can make us think about the aids that we’re giving to our horses and become more co-ordinated and organised in our application of the aids.

How to ride a Turn on the Forehand

  1. Ensure you have an active good-quality walk on the right rein with the horse working into the contact.

  2. Ride down the 3/4 line and forward into a square halt (you need plenty of room to rotate without any obstruction).

  3. Ask for a little left bend with your left rein, keeping your right rein steady.

  4. Apply your left leg a little behind the girth to nudge you horse’s hindquarters to the right and into the right rein.

  5. Bit by bit, your horse will move away from your left leg and step underneath his body with his left leg you’ll end up facing the opposite direction.

  6. Give your horse a massive pat - you’ve just ridden a turn on the forehand!

  7. I like to go forwards into the trot after riding a turn on the forehand to keep the horses thinking forward.

  8. As with any exercise, repeat it on the other rein. Remember to change your aids accordingly.

Hope this helps, let me know how you get on and feel free to ask any questions or for clarification if you’re unsure.

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