Severe bending and stiffness issues. Help me? :/
Hey guys, I'm new here. I'm have a huge problem with bending my mare. She's a 14.3hh QH. She's 8 years old [as of april first :)]... and she's pretty much not your ideal dressage prospect build. Anyways.. She had a cornea transplant on her right eye a few years ago, and only has partial vision in it. I say this because I think it may be one of the reasons she's so difficult to bend to the left, because she wants to be able to see everything, and has to counter bend to look at everything with her left eye. ANYWAYS. Haha.
So... when we're going to the left, she is like bending a brick wall. You have to fight her, and dig your inside leg into her. It's just bad. It's like a huge war with her, and it's ALL the time. I don't really know what to do because I can't just let her counter bend. If I allow her to do that, she gets unbalanced, falls on her forehand, throws her shoulder in, and starts getting faster and faster. I'm talking about the canter, by the way. I'll just put it this way. My left shoulder and back muscles HURT when I'm doing riding.
On the other hand... her right side... is AMAZING and wonderful and light, and lifted and collected and forward and soft and supple and just great. I do not have to have a stranglehold on her to keep her bent and keep her hip from going in. I do not have to half halt the whole time to keep her from getting short strided and quick. I just sit back, lift her shoulders up, and she does so. She moves with very deep hock impulsion, doesn't try to throw her hip in, willingly bends and gives to my hands. She even puts her ears up and LOOKS as good as she feels.
It's like a whole different horse. Even her trot to the left is difficult. I feel like it could be any number of problems [like teeth, saddle fit, rider error] but... I've always had this problem. Always. And then... when I get one side going well, the other side goes from being amazing, to being sh*t overnight. I don't get it. I don't know if she's just being a jerk, and is not wanting to give her whole self to me, or if she could possibly have issues, or what.
Anyone else ever had this problem? Can you help me? What are some exercises I can do to supple up that side and encourage her to give me that light, lifted, bendable, soft ride... on BOTH sides.