Heavy on the forehand at canter - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 03-11-2012, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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Heavy on the forehand at canter

As soon as my horse starts cantering he curls his neck tight and pulls it down low and he pins his ears and makes this heavy breathing sound thru his nostrils...even though we aren't going fast. I feel like I need to pull his head up. I know now that its not normal b/c every once in a while I get a nice light canter and it feels great with his ears perked and everything. He also gets heavy on the forhand when I jump him. Any advice or some excercises we can do?
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post #2 of 9 Old 03-11-2012, 09:06 PM
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When horse curls under like that, ask him to go MORE forward and momentarily ease rein contact so he moves up more. Don't pull him up. Make him lift his own head, and easiest to do if he is asked to leap forward with "more!"

Being on the forhand is habitiual for many horses, but it is usually due to the way they are or have been ridden; too much hauling back on the rein, and possible the rider herself leaning to much forward and looking down. I know, because i have had these faults myself.
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post #3 of 9 Old 03-11-2012, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks I'm sure it is me leaning forward too much. I will have to check my self.
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post #4 of 9 Old 03-11-2012, 09:32 PM
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Loosen your reins, sit back, and use your legs to DRIVE her forward from behind.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #5 of 9 Old 03-12-2012, 09:10 AM
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Firstly make sure he is in no pain.. does he pin his ears cantering whilst being lunged?

After that, don't worry about his head. Make sure you support him with enough contact so he doesn't trip, and just send him forward, leg on, your back supple, and hands soft.
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post #6 of 9 Old 03-12-2012, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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He does not pin his ears when being lunged. However, my chiro/vet said he has a sore back probably due to his "ankle bones fusing" which can make him carry his back differently. You think that's why?
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post #7 of 9 Old 03-13-2012, 04:06 AM
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A sore back, plus saddle, plus rider weight... it could possibly be to do with it. What work do you do to help stregthen his back muscles, and canter work? I would ask your chiro for a work plan to help keep him comfortable and working.
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post #8 of 9 Old 03-13-2012, 09:22 AM
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Sore back can also be from poor saddle fit (think of what your feet would feel like if you wore shoes tat were too tight). So try to get someone to evaluate the saddle fit and see if you can make the horse more comfortable.

Dressage is for Trainers!
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post #9 of 9 Old 03-23-2012, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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OK so I tried to pay really good attention last time I rode him..He only hates picking up the left lead and the more I push him the angrier he gets..he also dislikes picking up his back left leg for me to clean it. I had the Chiro out again and his left shoulder and hip was locked. I feel better knowing it wasn't just bad riding habits on my part and he is very happy lol. Thanks guys
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