Stacy’s Video Diary Jac- Episode 29- Teaching a horse to move hips

Total Training Time 78 hour 10 mins

Look at how far Jac has come with just under 80 hours of training!

I know it seems like I do this every episode but…again, I demonstrate how I warm Jac up and explain why I keep working on bending and counter bending…I want him to MASTER it.

I also demonstrate how I am beginning to ride Jac one handed, including showing how I ‘ask’ with the outside rein and then, if necessary, use the inside rein to ‘make’ it happen.

I don’t expect the horse to fully grasp neck reining under pressure at this point. I only use the neck reining lightly during warm up and I switch to riding two handed for the majority of the training.

At 4:30 I demonstrate Jac’s progression in the spin and explains what I am looking for.

At 8:38 I show how I begin to teach a horse to move his hip. Hip moving, combined with shoulder control, is the foundation for future maneuvers such as lead departures, lead changes and other advanced maneuvers.

I explain what leads are and what is considered a ‘correct’ lead. Then I show groundwork exercises and mounted exercises to begin teaching a horse to move his hips.

Remember, as always, the ‘release’ is what teaches. If you ask for the hip to move but release when the horse is backing up….he will back up on that cue instead. (Jac tries this)

Also, giving the horse time to think about what is happening will allow the horse to ‘own’ the idea.


  1. Rhonda on March 29, 2014 at 11:25 pm

    I see a couple other people asked it too but I was wondering why you are having him pivot on the “wrong” foot to begin with and how do you transition him eventually to spinning on the correct foot? Loving the videos!! Thanks.

    • Stacy on March 30, 2014 at 11:57 am

      Rhonda-I am going to try to make a video to describe it…sorry for the delay. The blog would be faster but video probably more clear…

  2. Carolyne on March 28, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Same Question about the ‘wrong’ hind foot.

    And I wanted to say, the skipping analogy helped put what has been an elusive, abstract idea into something I can concretely understand. THANK YOU!!!

  3. Laurie on March 27, 2014 at 6:46 am

    Hi Stacy, I am enjoying your blog. I am currently using many of your ideas with my two year old filly. I want to know if you prefer to stall your two year olds or leave them turned out ?
    Thanks, Laurie

    • Stacy on October 17, 2014 at 12:33 pm

      I do what the weather allows where I am. I prefer to have horses out as much as possible. There have been times when the weather created ice and deep mud and I have chosen to keep the horses in more that I would want to, but I felt it was the best for the horses in the situation I was in.

  4. Carolyn Russell on March 26, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    Stacy, I just want to tell you I have enjoyed watching you train Jac. You remind me of my mom and her training methods. We raised thoroughbreds for the track when I was growing up, and the ground work is the key to having a sane horse when they came home from the track. I cried when I watched your bridleless/bareback freestyle on Roxy.(I haven’t been on a horse in close to 15 years. My mom passed away,I moved away from my foundation, and all my horses that mattered to me were gone as well.) When I was in my mid teens my show horse was a racetrack thoroughbred that had been repurposed by my mother. It was a challenge for many reasons, but I loved that mare. I used to give a bridleless demonstration for my 4-H club on this mare, I would take off her bridle while I was riding and do a reigning pattern with simple lead, slow spins, and good stops with no slide( I am not comparing just remembering how much fun it was and the pride that came from being that connected with my horse. Watching you ride has inspired me to start riding again as soon as I find something to ride. My mother invested a lot of time/money/ and sometimes blood sweat and tears into my education to be a good horseman and it was huge part of my childhood, and watching you has inspired me to maybe heal and start again. Thank You so much.

  5. Yvonne on March 26, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    I am wondering the same thing about spinning on the incorrect hind leg. My horse does this and I am wondering the next stage?!

  6. Lindsay J on March 26, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    I was just wondering why you are ok with Jac spinning on the ‘wrong’ hind foot? Is there a reason why to teach him the wrong way first? And how would you go about correcting this later on in his training? Just curious, thanks – Lindsay 🙂

  7. Margie on March 26, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    Stacy, could you please explain why you like the horse pivoting on what we call the incorrect hind leg? I have viewed this as a problem and really need to be enlightened on this!!

  8. Bob Nott on March 26, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    really loving your video’s training Jac, learning a lot, thank you Stacy

  9. Dr. Eva Brennessel on March 26, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    I truly treasure the clarity and simplicity of your teaching, fully aware of it being hard work to “be simple” like this. Yet one thing I cannot overcome (admittedly coming from the schooling of “Wienner Hofreitschule” and a vet. background, too): a horse that age is neither physically nor mentally “grown up”. So I would regard riding like this, the meneuvers you show as you train them, to be way too much for his body – while I believe that mentally it’s very obviously ok. You can “see” the mentality, but what is done to tendons e.g. is invisible. I would, if I may, ask for your comment on that, too. ( and I am in no way beginning a discussion about the generally way too you training of horses for them to be “shown” at an age when training should really begin… this is neither my intention nor am I suggesting you do this ) Thamks!

    • Stacy on March 26, 2014 at 5:28 pm

      It is an interesting thing to discuss. I was just at a ranch where the manager has been there 56 years. He remembers when horses weren’t started until they were six, seven, eight years old.
      I ask a lot of vets…and get a lot of opinions. I have been told by many that some work/stress is good. They quote studies that say that groups of racehorses started early vs started late have about the same issues. I don’t know the studies.
      What I do know is that I have had ‘older’ horses come to me unstarted at six, seven and eight and some already have arthritis…and they have only been pasture pets. Others are in training early and are sound show horses into their 20’s.
      And everything in between.
      I look at it a bit like children. Many children play sports, pretty competitively. When you look at great basketball stars, etc. they have likely been playing for years and years. Occasionally you will see a parent or coach push a child too hard but for the most part they play pretty intense.

      Many horses, especially stallions like Jac, are often pretty hard on themselves. Jac and my gelding Popcorn, when turned out, will work themselves so hard that I end up locking them in to give them a break….strange thought.

      What are your thoughts?

      • Dr. Eva Brennessel on March 27, 2014 at 11:18 am

        Well, my thought is that we all may know examples of one or the other “side”, so to say, they are all based on personal experience (I include what one personally heard as “personal experience”, what I personally discussed with those I trust… ), 56 years as a manager on a ranch, vets and what they experience, horse trainers… yes, I believe they say what they have come to believe through experience.
        But when I look for a more solid base to find an answer to the question “when earliest to start training a horse”, I tend to turn to Physiology. Simply because I feel there is no bias there, or much much less likely.

        Please, forgive my Englisch here, I am not used to such discussions in other languages than German (my mother-tongue).

        It is the joints and esp. the place where bone-growth happens (i.e. “Wachstumsfugen”) that truly matters most. Once the last are “closed” (fully grown bone) at the tuberositas tibiae, the animal can also carry weight fully and be ridden. It is the small bones, for example the “Gleichbeine” = ossa sesamoidea proximalia between os compedale and os metacarpale tertium, that suffer most and cause the way too early wearing out of many horses that are started at a very young age, Arthrosis in the end, but not only this, of course.
        The teeth say it more easily, it helps and no x-ray is needed, the earliest to begin should according to that be apprx. 3 1/2 years. Then the incisors 1 and 2 are in contact and have been changed to the permanent teeth. Number 3 follows around 4 1/2 years of age and soon after that you can deduct the above said about the bones.
        This doesn’t mean of course, that nothing can be done with the horse up to that age!
        Only pasture and general handling. But no longeing (the way it is usually done) and no riding. They can well be taught what they need to know for their career later on – but in other ways;
        many of the “old masters” did, when it was a luxury and considered an art, not for everybody and certainly nothing to make money with. Those days are long gone, we know. Some like Philippe Kartl from the Cadre Noir turn there again, others never left this path, like the old “Wiener Hofreitschule” – but they are of course priviledged. Yet, if we discuss it here, that is where I think we should all turn to a bit more again. What do you say?
        Thank you for your interest in opinions and willingness to discuss, Stacy! 🙂

  10. Ashley Robinson on March 26, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    yay same here 🙂

  11. Lesia Lowe on March 26, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    Yayyyyy I can see it now!!!

  12. Ashley Robinson on March 26, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    I cant watch 🙁 it says the video is private

    • Stacy on March 26, 2014 at 4:44 pm

      I fixed it!

  13. Lesia Lowe on March 26, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    awww I cant see the video….it says video I private….

    • Stacy on March 26, 2014 at 4:44 pm

      All better now, I fixed it.

      • Lesia Lowe on March 26, 2014 at 11:08 pm

        I think if they added music at the 9:30 mark ….you would be considered two-stepping…. then at the 10:30 mark… we get another dance move with your shoulders…… ya know?? you are a pretty good dancer….lol….. now we need to get JAC side passing with ya…. and then you will have your next Bareback & Bridleless routine done!!! haha….

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