Button #2 is the shoulder button. The shoulders are a lateral movement button. We can use pushing energy on the ground or in the saddle to move the shoulders over. On the ground, our core with the aid of a whip can send a push to a horse’s shoulder to move away from us laterally. Blocking energy can keep a pushy shoulder from coming into one’s space. In the saddle, our leg aids influence the shoulders to move away or block a shoulder from unwanted lateral movement.
Chris Irwin defines five major “buttons” on the horse’s body that we can influence. These are: 1) the corners of the mouth; 2) the shoulders; 3) the girth button; 4) the flank area; and 5) the hips.
Button #1, located at the corners of the mouth where the bit rests, is where blocking energy is applied to tell the horse where not to go. We do not pull on the left rein to go left or the right rein to go right. Remember…no pushing or pulling energy should be directed at the horse’s head. So, left rein does not pull to go left. Left rein blocks the horse from going right. Right rein does not pull to go right. Right rein blocks unwanted left. Try riding with reins that block unwanted direction instead of pulling on the horse’s mouth and throwing him off balance. You will gain more respect and trust from your horse. Blocking not pulling puts your horse in good hands.