“Stacy, I’ve been following Jac’s video series and am loving it. Thank you so much for sharing it!I have a question about the inside turns: why is it so important to you that he turn to the inside instead of the outside? I have learned to turn to the outside and have trained my horses accordingly and am wondering whether I should retrain myself and them. In order to do that, I figure I need to understand the reasoning better.

Thank you for being such an inspiration!”

Best regards from Portugal,
Sandra

Inside turns and outside turns have a subtly different effect on horses. It isn’t that one turn is ‘correct’ and the other is ‘incorrect’ but instead they both have different side effects.

Both outside turns and inside turns will help the horse learn to read your body language and will promote respect. The outside turn is often more important for teaching respect. If you have a horse that is pushy and in your space the act of cutting the horse off and driving him into an outside turn is an act of dominance by the handler.

The inside turn is better for teaching the horse to draw to the handler. Inside turns are very useful with horses that have trust issues because they subtly suggest submission. Taking a step back or away from the horse is used to draw him in towards you.

Maybe the strongest argument for teaching both the handler and the horse to do both inside turns and outside turns is that both will learn to read each others subtle cues.

If you go back and watch Episode 3 with Jac you can easily see that Jac does not respect me. When Jac is leaving, or dragging me, it is clear to see that it is not out of fear. He looks annoyed and testy but not frightened yet he still pulls to the outside or away from me as a form of defiance.

 

In Episode 4 watch Jac’s body language, he is arched away from me. Specifically watch his right eye at 8:20 and again at 8:30. You can see that his eye is looking away from me so much that you can see the white. He is physically near me because the rope is holding him…but if there were no rope he would be gone.

Episode 13 talks the most directly about this subject. Jac has been a more dominant kind of a horse. He respects my space enough that I don’t feel the need to turn him to the outside but the way that I am driving him forward with the whip is accomplishing the same thing; establishing myself as the dominant one.

Two things that make inside turns happen for me are:

  1. Jac’s personality
  2. I have been working him on a line, practicing inside turns
  3. I ask for the inside turn when Jac is on the far side of the pen- away from the barn-which increases the odds of him turning in

Around 12 minutes in Episode 13 Jac starts making the mistake of turning outside. I call it a mistake because I was asking for the inside turn but Jac was distracted by the tarp so he didn’t focus on my body language. You can see how I correct him by quickly turning him back to his original direction and then asking for the turn again.

In Episode 14 you can see how the ability to ask for an inside turn makes it possible to focus a horses attention on an object. This is not possible with an outside turn unless the object is directly on the fence.

The most important thing to remember is that inside turns and outside turns accomplish different things one of the biggest being the ability of the horse to read the humans body language and the human to read the horses body language…and that is a pretty big thing.