Horse not hot off one leg?

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Horse not hot off one leg?

This is a discussion on Horse not hot off one leg? within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category

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    12-04-2013, 10:34 AM
Horse not hot off one leg?

I may just be overanalyzing this.. Max could just be having a bad week but just the past couple of rides on him I feel like he's been completely dead off of my right leg, just the right.

I've checked for pain, no pain. In theory he knows exactly what I am asking because he's 12 and has done it all his life.. And it wasn't like a build up thing because in the recent past he has been perfectly responsive and tracking well, but yesterday the only way I could get him to wake up and track underneath himself was if I increased pressure until digging into him or use the crop..otherwise if I let him have it his way he would have dove in and we'd be doing 7m circles.. Not cool.

Anyone had this happen out of the blue before? When I bring him down to a standstill and ask for the cue to move his haunches he's back to being perfectly light on the aid, but as soon as we are moving forward.. My leg actually cramped from working so hard yesterday. Little imp.

Thanks in advance guys!
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    12-04-2013, 12:01 PM
Did you try kicking him?

Of course if you dig your heel in and hold him up on the right side, he's just going to say "oh gee thanks!" and lean over.

Just kick the horse when he doesn't respond. It's not tough.

Also make sure you aren't leaning right, and turning your body to the right. Think left shoulder back.
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    12-04-2013, 01:00 PM
Thanks that helps! I guess I should have been more clear, I have about three "levels" of cue, the normal ask, the harder ask, then the wake up and listen kick, not keeping the pressure on after them ever- he's the sort of horse that would totally lean on me if I let him. I'll have to get a buddy watching me- maybe I've been doing something that I'm not aware of. I'll add in the shoulder back.
    12-04-2013, 01:28 PM
Super Moderator
If you've removed the things like you not sitting straight and allowing him to lean on your leg then I think I might start to consider physical things like stifle, hip, hock etc - even something going on in that hoof that's making him not want to put the same amount of pressure on it
I kept saying that Flo wasn't right quite a while before even our very good vet could see there was something slightly out on her stifle action
    12-04-2013, 02:46 PM
It's probably me, let's be real, 99% of the time it's me. I'll always have something more to work on/improve no matter how long I've been riding for. I'll definitely be looking into me leaning in.

You make a great point though, Jaydee. Max has mild arthritis in his right hock, it just hasn't bothered him ever and is kept under control with some IM's and constant exercise. But I guess I forget to factor in the weather getting colder. The aids didn't improve throughout our ride though, and I would think that with more movement it would get better. So many possible factors. He stays really active through his hocks though so I'll see if I can get a video of any difference tracking both directions.

Thanks for the great advice!
    12-04-2013, 09:54 PM
What's your anti-arthritis regimen like?
    12-04-2013, 11:51 PM
He's on a regimen of Legend and Adequan and I'm finishing off some Tight Joints Plus oral supp to use it up and for my own mental peace of mind, as well as riding 4-6 times a week with long warm ups/ cool downs in various disciplines. 24 hour pasture. I was not taking any chances when I originally learned of the arthritis.
    12-05-2013, 10:47 AM
Super Moderator
I do find that arthritic horses seem to benefit from being stabled and bandaged at night in cold wet weather - as long as the stables got room for them to walk around.
Have you tried Back on Track wraps and hock boots - I was really impressed with the results I got after using them?
    12-05-2013, 11:48 AM
Funny my instructor just recommended those for him. I will definitely be checking them out.

I agree with the stable and wraps in this sort of cold. Good thing I will be moving him to a place where that will happen soon (better arena footing too, which could contribute).
    12-05-2013, 12:48 PM
Super Moderator
My vet recommended them to me after seeing such good results from using them when his daughters horse sprained a tendon - she competes at quite a high level in dressage and now uses them for all sorts of things - she has to trailer really long distances to get to competitions and finds them really great after that sort of thing too because they seem to stimulate the circulation

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