Teaching Your Horse to Spin, It’s Easier Than You Think

Question from a rider:

I'm trying to figure out how to teach my horse to spin, what is the easiest way to get them started? I've been having trouble with them wanting to suck back and hop with their front end and not staying on their inside pivot foot.

Steve Kutie's reply:

I'm sure that everyone has seen a reining horse spinning like a top and thought "How did they teach them to do that"? To be truthful the spin is really simple and easy to teach if you follow a few simple steps.


to keep the forward motion. Watch the outside shoulder leg and everytime it steps under your outside leg say “Step”, As the horse’s outside leg is under your outside leg it is in the perfect position to influence the next step, which will be a forward cross over step, with the horse’s outside or right leg crossing over their inside left leg.

By using this “Step” theory, we ask our horse to step over one step and then push them forward and back out onto a ten foot circle. We then just keep repeating the sequence of steps until our horse is willingly crossing over one step and then walking them out.

Now we ask for two cross over steps and again push our horse out onto a ten foot circle. Keep repeating the sequence so that we will have our horse willingly spinning.

The aids and positioning for the spin are the same as the aids we use while circling (see the Extra Tips). Our outside leg is back by the rear cinch helping to drive the horse forward and holding their hips to the inside of the circle. Our inside leg is at the front girth holding the shape of our small circle. As you release your inside leg, it allows your horse to step over into the spin, rather than staying on the circle. Our outside rein is pressed against the horse’s neck, NOT PULLED ACROSS THE CENTER LINE.

Kutie-DVD-coverPulling the outside rein across the center of the horse’s neck will cause them to tip their nose to the outside of the spin and drop their shoulder to the inside. Our inside rein will be slightly lifted to help position the horses nose to the inside of the spin. Remember this sequence will take some time and will not happen overnight or in a couple of days, be patient and focus on making small steps everyday, your horse will thank you.

As always; Ride Hard, Be Safe and Have Fun


Learn more from our new DVD – Reining Made Easy “The Spin” with Steve Kutie from Kutie Performance Horses