Canter seems off balance?

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Canter seems off balance?

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  • Horse canter seems off
  • Horse suddenly stiff and off balance at canter

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    12-10-2013, 09:11 PM
Canter seems off balance?

I just got my mare about two months ago, and we work about four or five times a week, sometimes less, usually not more.

Tru and I are a pretty good team if you ask me, and I seem to get everything I want out of her. Trulee is being kind of difficult on several aspects though, she is very spooky, which we are working on, and it has gotten a bit better, and she seem to have trouble cantering to the right. She always was a bit bobbly to the right, even when I tried her out, and she has sort of gotten better, but recently, she has been pretty bad about it.

She seems to be going faster, she is more difficult to get into it, I am getting it done, but not without a fight. Yesterday, I had to smack her with the dressage whip, and first then did I get her into a really fast, not fun version of what is in between a canter and a gallop.

I don't have a lot of room to work her in, because the only usable arena at my boarding barn is a very small indoor, in which you can only do a circle, but we make it work, except with this canter thing.

Do you think that she is off balance? Or that I am? I know she can be stubborn but usually not like this? Usually she would prefer to canter slower rather than faster. I think I may be causing it, because I do ride with uneven stirrups, do you think that being comfortable with different leanghths of stirrups is bad (like an inch)?
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    12-11-2013, 02:24 AM
How is she when you lunge her at a canter?
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    12-11-2013, 03:21 AM
How long have you been riding? How old is she and how much riding /training does she have? Do other people have the same issue if they ride her?
Would you be interested in posting a video for this?
    12-11-2013, 09:41 AM
If you need different length stirrups then that can mean that one of the leathers is stretched out and they don't line up with each other or that the problem is with you and you're crooked. Take the leathers off and set them side by side. If they're even, it's you that's crooked. Lots of us get crooked so there's no shame in it. I get crooked too! I think the problem is likely that you're crooked and visiting a chiropractor would be a good place to start.

Just curious, is your stirrup higher on the right or lower?
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    12-11-2013, 09:54 AM
Is it only to the right? Will she hold her lead? What happens when you ask her for the canter from a walk? So she seems to want to go faster now once you get her into the canter? What does she do when you ask her to go slower? What does she do when you have her in the canter and then get off her back and give her her head?

Enough questions for you??!!!!! TEEHEE!!! :) :) :)
    12-11-2013, 11:30 AM
She is 6, I have been riding for twelve years, she has only been under saddle for about a year. She was broke at five.
It Is only to the right, the left is beautiful. Not excatly collected yet, but it's coming along. I have tried to get her into it from a walk, but she plain refuses most of the time, at which point I smack her, at which point she trots off really fast, and if I really coax her and possibly tap her with a dressage whip, does she canter, in the other direction, it's compleatly different, all you have to do is sit down, back, give a little leg, and sometimes cluck. And then she is off in a balanced and consistent canter.
I pretty mug always let her have her head, I don't feel the need to pull on her mouth because I'm not afraid of her, and she doesn't run away run away, and if I put pressure on the reins to slow her down (to the right) she breaks back I to a trot.
She will hold her lead, but she wouldn't at first when I first got her. We got past it.

The stirrup that is longer is the one on the left, I noticed it when I took them off to clean my saddle, And I put the stirrups next to eachother, and the holes I used were like an inch at different leangths, I didn't really worry about it then.

When I lounge her at the canter to the right, it seems harder for her, but it depends, she hates to lounge to the right to start with, even at a trot. Like, she would rather go to the left than right. I don't let her of course. She had a thourough vetrenairian lameness check, including x rays of her front left leg, and an ultra sound. The vet couldn't find anything.
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    12-11-2013, 11:32 AM
I also texted my friend/trainer/barn manager to see what she thinks.
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    12-11-2013, 11:39 AM
Originally Posted by remka    
When I lounge her at the canter to the right, it seems harder for her, but it depends, she hates to lounge to the right to start with, even at a trot. Like, she would rather go to the left than right. I don't let her of course. She had a thourough vetrenairian lameness check, including x rays of her front left leg, and an ultra sound. The vet couldn't find anything.
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I'd get a chiropractor out just to see if she needs adjustments. Then I'd work her more to the right than the left. Get her nicely bent and moving forward and flex to the right, do some circles.

Also since your left stirrup is longer, that means when you canter to the right, your right leg is more bunched off so you may have unequal pressure on your seat bones, and you may be pinching. A longer stirrup encourages your leg to stretch. Shorter stirrups encourage angle.

Maybe a chiro visit is due for you too
    12-11-2013, 02:24 PM
The left stirrup will often become longer due to the pressure put on it when the rider mounts. It's a good idea to trade the location of your stirrup leathers every so often. And don't oil you leathers but VERY rarely.
Forgive me if I say things you already know.

It sounds like your horse may have some kind of kink or malalignment in her spine or pelvis. It could actually be on her left side. When she canters to the right, it's the left side that must elongate, so sometimes the side that always wants to remain concave is the stiff side.

I would do a lot of work on leg yield, spiral in and out both directions and focus a lot on having the bend, and the hind end steppin under. When you do this, look to see how tense or stiff her poll and jaw are. Problems in the body are manifested a lot by stiffness in the head.
    12-11-2013, 11:15 PM
Thank you guys soo much. I will think about a chiropractor for her, but my family doesn't believe in chiropractors for humans, my mom is of the opinion, that if you have a problem, go to physical therapy. We pretty much only work on circles, due to a tiny indoor arena, she works perfectly at the trot under saddle to the right, probably better than to the left, but that's only because she is spookier to the left. I think she can see better in one eye, and when she can't see as well, she panics. No vet has told me this though. I also turn really tiny circles with her, and then make them bigger, and I ride her down the quarter line, and leg yield her to the rail. It doesn't quite work in the tiny arena as well as in the outdoor.

Thank so much for the advice, I have a doctors appointment in January, for my wrists, and annual physical, I will talk to the doctor about maybe being off. Maybe the fact that I have never been to a chiro is the problem :/

Tinyliny: the stirrup leathers aren't different lengths, the holes make them different lengths, like if you take them from the saddle, an put the buckles next to each other, the most used hole, which is my hole, on each of them are about an inch apart, I tried shortening the one side, but it made me feel really uneven and uncomfortable. And when lengthening the other, I started to loose it in the canter and in the trot I was reaching for it.

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