Originally Posted by Equuestriaan
Lately I've been having a lot of trouble getting Dakota to bend around the corners. I know I've asked about this before, but it's gotten worse, and I'm getting increasingly frustrated and angry at Dakota. Now, instead of just refusing to bend around the corners, he just trots around the ring with his nose to the outside. I feel like I've tried everything, so I wanted to ask you all for advice. He literally is looking to the outside the whole time.
I tried to use my inside rein to bring his nose back in but he just cuts his corner or starts to turn to the inside. So then I tried using a little less inside rein and more inside leg, to keep him on the rail, but he completely ignores my leg and continues to stick his nose out. I've even tried turning my inside toe out so my foot is perpendicular to his side, so that I have the spur right on him, but he just ignores it like it's nothing.
Any advice on this problem is greatly appreciated, because I feel like I've done everything I can with him. :(
The horse is not straight.
The concept of crookedness/straightness is complicated so I will not try to get you confused with a lot of terminology but suffice to say that crookedness is viewable in both the horse and rider.
Crookedness is caused when the horse's hind legs are not working with equal thrust and support. If for example the horse is traveling left and the left hind does not stride forward as far as the right then it does not supporting the shoulder on that side. This means the left front leg has too much weight and the shoulder leans into the left shoulder with the horse bending to the outside or to the right. This will force the right hind farther out to the right so that it no longer remains under the horse and now is supporting absolutely nothing as it is no longer thrusting or carrying.
So how to fix.
The area to look at is not so much the left hind as it is the right hind that is not doing any work. This side needs to be pushed over to bring the right leg more under the body and make it start carrying weight and using thrust so that the two hind legs are working more in unison. The horse may try to avoid this extra work by pushing the shoulders left so the rider will need to use their left calf and supporting the neck/wither connection with the left rein. A heavier right seat bone will help also.
Now in all this be careful that the inside shoulder of the horse has not caused you the rider to feel like you are slipping to the outside so you automatically weigh the inside more in an attempt to balance yourself (that dreaded collapsed hip). This will only cause the problem to increase in its magnitude. This may have started out with a minor crookedness on the part of the horse but incorrect riding has cause the problem to worsen.
To do this you will have to be strong and persistent.