Shoulder-fore is a lateral movement which encourages your horse to take more weight onto his hindlegs and step actively underneath his body.

Although it’s not a required movement in any dressage tests it’s a really useful flatwork exercise to do with your horse. It’s great for developing straightness and improving balance.

In shoulder-fore your horse will bring his shoulders in off the track while his quarters stay where they are. The angle is about half of what you’d see in shoulder-in.

The aids

  1. Put a little more weight into your inside leg to encourage bend and activity, keeping your outside leg at the girth to prevent your horse’s quarters swinging out.
  2. Your outside rein supports your horse’s outside shoulder. Thinks straight on this rein and hold it a fraction lower than your inside rein.
  3. Ask for a little flexion on your inside rein to keep your horse soft through his neck.
  4. Keep your shoulders parallel with your horse’s shoulders – you should be in shoulder-fore too, but watch you don’t get pushed to the outside of your saddle.