Advanced Rollbacks


Last week I shared with you what beginning rollbacks look like. What I’d like to do now is talk a bit more about how they look on an advanced horse. Now, Cosmo still isn’t perfect. I’m not a cow-horse trainer (but I did spend 3 years working for one), so I’m not concerned with all the same things. That said, it’s obvious from watching the video that my mare is better to the right than to the left. So that’s something for me to keep in mind as I continue to help her learn and bring her along. An advanced rollback is one movement – a stop to a turn around, and off we go!

ride outside the turn, I want my horse to wait, advanced rollbacks

I want my horse to wait on me, not anticipate. And to do that, I need to not make anything I do on them like a “drill”. To teach a horse to wait requires consistency on our part, as well as the ability to change things up. Around here we like to say “adjust to the situation”. If my horse is craving me to ask her to stop, I might ask her to lope off instead.

One other thing I want you all to think about is this: make sure you’re giving them a place to go. What you cant see in the photo below is that my right leg is out of that filly’s way. This gives her a free space to move into. I’m also asking her to go right with my left leg. The more advanced we ride, the less we need to use our feet. Turning our horse should technically start at our hips.

advanced rollbacks
Lee Smith, helping me teaching a two ride colt a rollback at the 2020 Art of the Cowgirl Event in Phoenix, Arizona.

Now that we have a few of the caveats out of the way, let’s get into what this looks like on my more advanced horses!

As always, I hope you find this information helpful! Please feel free to comment or contact me with questions! And remember, it’s what happens outside the turn that counts!

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