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Thread: Horse bends right on left rein?

  1. #1
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    Jun 2012
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    Default Horse bends right on left rein?

    I've got a youngster called Dan I have been backing in over the past 6 months, We are walking and trotting confidently, Canter is quite wobbly and takes a while for him to decide he 'wants' to canter..
    Taken him over polls and has been loose schooled over a few jumps

    Basically, my boys always brought his head down when i've been riding him, of lunging, but he seems to bend to the right on the right rein, but bends to the right on the left rein too.. and brings his head down and too the right

    But when I try to encourage him to bring it too the left, he comes off the track, and as a result I have to use the right rein to bring him back towards the fence and we are at square one again.... So help and advise would be appreciated!

    Also advice onto a more swift transition into canter would be very much appreciated also!!!

    Thankyou


  2. #2
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    I assume you're talking about in the school?

    I can't help with bend but my youngster (broken in August) is only just starting canter work in the manege now but we've done loads and loads of canter work on hacks, working on getting fast, responsive transitions etc. And she seems to be getting the idea in the school quickly as a result

    Smile because it happened.
    Jimmy 2003-2011

  3. #3
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    Ooo thankyou, i've taken him in the field a few times and we have got a canter, It just feels like im back in a riding school! and i don't was a unresponsive pony as a result... you know?

  4. #4
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    & yeah i am talking about in the school

  5. #5
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    Do you have any hacking with long straight paths suitable for canter? I find they're the best for young horses as they can focus on canter and transitions without having to worry about where to go or corners.

    Smile because it happened.
    Jimmy 2003-2011

  6. #6
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    Jun 2012
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    we have our actual fields which where aloud to ride in after the horses have been brought in, and there are fields near by but i haven't taken him out inhand in a while haha! on my to do list

  7. #7
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    My horse is a booger for doing this, only he bends left on right rein! I find lots of leg (pony club kick of the inside leg if necessary) before coming up to his favourite corner for doing it, although others he tries but not as much. Look to your own position and make sure you are level in your shoulders and that your dominant hand/shoulder is not back with your less strong hand shoulder forwards (so in effect, your shoulders are twisted). I have found lots of long-lining and lunging in a bungee on the rein that is an issue - so in your case the left rein - and also doing decreasing circles and pushing back out into a 20m circle. I have found cantering on hacks is a good way to help get a youngster cantering, but make sure you are asking for the upwards transition the same way as you would in the school. With mine, he is very voice orientated and has picked up canter on the lunge/long line from voice and this has helped when being ridden as I can ask through voice while asking with legs. If you are not able to canter on a hack, ask for the canter on the long side of the school.
    Visit Mico

  8. #8
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    Check you first of all as EK has said. But I find that prodding Ted in the flank with the schooling stick gets him to move over as at first he thought the inside leg just meant go faster so you need to do a pushing motion and persist with the bend, to be honest its better he comes off the track with bend now then you keep building up the wrong bend if that makes sense. Persist with pushing him back rather then taking him back with the rein.

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  9. #9
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    I'd be working away from fences for a while, on large circles and constantly changing the bend. This is where i prefer to ride in a field - you get more room to 'freestyle' and less worrying that you're going to have to change the rein before you have gathered the correct bend
    Native pony addict!

  10. #10
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    Cantering out on hacks or in a field is the best way (IMO) to teach youngsters to canter. It is easier for them to canter in a straight(ish) line with plenty of space, than in the confines of an arena. Far from teaching your boy to be "unresponsive", this will probably encourage forwardness more than anything you do in the school! The messy transitions you're getting in the school will mostly be due to him being unbalanced. The quality of your trot affects the quality of your transition, if he is taking a while to pick up canter it may be because his trot is unbalanced and rushed. Also think about how clear you are being with your aids - with youngsters you need to exaggerate everything to make it really clear what you're asking. When you give the leg aid for canter, a tap behind your leg with a schooling whip can help to back it up. Don't be afraid to use voice aids either, some horses really respond to getting a vocal command at the same time as the physical aids.

    Always wanting to bend to the right may be due to him being stiff on his left side. Horses are slightly one-sided anyway but youngsters often even more so, until correct schooling and increased flexibility even them up. As he brings his head down at the same time as twisting right, he's leaning on your hand to help balance himself - at this stage of his education he won't have the physical ability or awareness to carry himself properly and may be inclined to use you to support himself. To deal with this in the short term, when you feel him begin to lower his head and lean to the right, give the contact away - literally push your hand forwards and let the rein go saggy - he can't lean on your hand if there's no contact. As you give the rein away and he hasn't got your hand to rely on, he may fall in at the shoulder, so your inside leg needs to be there to support him. Also if he drifts off the track as you describe in the OP, make sure you are pushing him back over with your inside leg and not just pulling him over with the rein - if you're just using the rein to bring him back onto the track you will be encouraging him to lean more. Do plenty of flexing/bending/stretching exercises, both in the saddle and on the ground, to help him become more flexible. You will find he becomes more supple anyway as time goes on and he gets more schooling, but you will need to encourage this now as well.

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