Mike Major – Ranch-Horse Versatility
You might not realize how much a horse can drop his ribs to the outside during a circle, spin or rollback, or even when he backs. When his ribs move out of position, your horse’s momentum is gone. He must learn that you can bump his ribcage back into position to straighten him, and it’s no big deal. When you control his ribcage, your horse doesn’t lose momentum, so his maneuvers are fluid and fast.
One of the most important places to control your horse’s ribs is when you move his front end to go into a spin, as he takes that initial step to cross his front legs. Many people but don’t feel a horse’s ribs fall out of position, but with his ribcage bowed to the outside, a horse can’t spin fast and usually starts pivoting on the outside hind or both hind feet. He never sets his back end to spin because his ribcage position doesn’t let him. When a horse’s ribs are in line, he should be fairly straight in his turnarounds even though his head and neck might be curved a little into the spins.
– Mike Major