"Straight talk time: Before tackling today's topic, make absolutely sure that your horse has been thoroughly sacked out to your touch. If that little voice says there is any way your horse is going to react negatively (flinch, freeze up, pull away, try to kick, etc.) to your touch, especially when working around those back feet, then... you ain't ready. Conversely, if that little voice says "All systems go," then you should have an easy day of it.
You can teach the following very simply without a round pen - but the round pen offers two significant advantages: 1) You don't have to juggle a lead line in one hand, and 2) Should the horse need a little extra motivation to play along, you can send him around a few rotations.
Simply put, the better we can control the hind end of the horse, the easier it is to control the front half of the horse. So, we start with the back feet. Standing on the horse's left side, you'll ask the rear of the horse to move away. Ask him to take a step or two and when he stops, look at the back leg closest to you (the one we'd like to pick up). Does he have any weight on it? We want to keep asking him to move, then pausing, then asking him to move until, by chance, he stands with that nearest back leg cocked up. You've seen this stance a million times. They'll stand there with weight on three feet, the fourth resting, slightly turned up, toe to heel."
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"I treat the horse the same way. If I ask him to standstill, that's cleaning his room. I say "Clean your room." He says "No." I say "Fine." Now, what can I do that requires movement? It doesn't matter if I'm in the arena or the trail. In either place I can work on change of directions. I can work on his headset. I can get the horse working better off my legs or seat. And I can always work on speed control. I could do all kinds of different things. I can work on all those things when my horse wants to move. If my horse wants to move, I say, great, let's do it. Let's work on breaking at the poll, softening up your neck or following your nose; let's work on your leg speed; let's work on you moving off my legs. Let's do all these different things, and then, when I'm done, I'm going to ask the horse: "Do you want to clean your room, the garage and the patio? Or, do you want to just stand still?" These are all things I would have wanted to work on anyway..."