Horse-Training Tip: Execute the Pivot

A pivot is a common maneuver in horsemanship, so practice is essential for a executing a successful pattern. Journal photo A pivot is a common maneuver in horsemanship, so practice is essential for a executing a successful pattern. Journal photo

August 29, 2017

Horse-Training Tip: Execute the Pivot

Teaching your horse to pivot takes time and patience.
From The American Quarter Horse Journal 

Horsemanship is one of the most popular events in AQHA youth and amateur competition. It consists of rail work and a pattern full of challenging maneuvers that riders must perform precisely - almost perfectly. Horsemanship is defined by detail. Virtually every horsemanship pattern calls for one or more pivots. AQHA Professional Horsewoman Bonnie Minor of Dennison, Minnesota, gets down to the horse-training basics for perfecting your pivots.

America's Horse offers tips to help you better enjoy your American Quarter Horse. AQHA members receive this award-winning publication as one of their AQHA member benefits!

"A pivot is a forward-motion maneuver where the horse plants one leg and walks around that leg," she explains. "If you're doing a pivot to the right, your horse would plant its right hind leg and walk its left leg around. Its shoulders should move around, and its left hindquarter walks around its right quarter, and vice versa. If we're going to the left, the left foot stays planted, and the right foot walks around it so the shoulders have to do a big sweeping circle."

Are you taking advantage of AQHA members’ favorite member benefit? Read America’s Horse for great human-interest stories, as well as informational articles that will help you better enjoy your horse.
Beginning Horseman: How do I cue my horse to pivot to the right or left?

Bonnie: When you cue your horse for a pivot to the left, move your hand slightly to the left - just enough to tell the horse that there is going to be a movement to the left.

Continue reading to learn more about cuing your horse to pivot and how to address common training problems.