Horse drops inside shoulder while trotting circles - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 16 Old 08-12-2012, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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Horse drops inside shoulder while trotting circles

My horse has a tendency to drop his inside shoulder when we're trotting circles. How can I get him to stay more balanced?
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post #2 of 16 Old 08-12-2012, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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Therefore cutting them off.
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post #3 of 16 Old 08-12-2012, 06:14 PM
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Counter arcs. Everytime he tries to dive in, keep the same bend but counter-arc him away with your leg and support him with your reins. That will help him from diving in and dropping his shoulder. It sounds to me like he is anticipating.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #4 of 16 Old 08-12-2012, 06:19 PM
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I am assuming by "counter arc" you mean to bend him back toward the inside and push him outward back onto the arc of the circle? Or, did you mean take the bend he is trying to fall into on (inside shoulder going inward, head going outward) and then continue circleing the same direction but with horse counterbent?
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post #5 of 16 Old 08-12-2012, 07:16 PM
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Say he is falling in a left circle. When I felt him drop his shoulder I would keep the left bend and make a right circle.

My mare Selena was god-awful about dropping her shoulder when I first got her. We spent hours doing that excersize. As a bonus, I find starting off with counterarcs really gets them thinking and using their brains a little more too.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #6 of 16 Old 08-12-2012, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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How can I do that? Have him going one way but bent the other?
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post #7 of 16 Old 08-12-2012, 08:30 PM
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Yes. Bear in mind if he doesn't already know how to do it he will probably stiffen, brace, throw his head, and fight you little. Just keep at it until your horse takes a step and softens at the poll, then release and pat him and ask again. Let me see if I can find a video for you, I'm not sure my explanations are very good.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #8 of 16 Old 08-12-2012, 08:38 PM
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This video isn't bad, but I would like to see the horse soften its face a little more and really march into the circle, but you can get the basic idea from this.


Also, I prefer to do it at the walk or the trot, but every now and then I will do them at the canter too just to be sure my horse is stil listening. So if I had him on the left lead, I would circle to the left but bend him to the right.

You could always start your ride like this too, and establish that control before you even start work. What I'll do is I start with small circles, asking for a lot of soften and bend just to get the horses loosened up. Then I'll keep that bend and counter arc them away. Then I might change the bend but still keep the circle, or change the circle and keep the bend, or change bend and change circle at the same time...Really anything. Just something to keep them guessing and thinking, and stretching out. It's as much a technique for the brain as it is the body.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.

Last edited by SorrelHorse; 08-12-2012 at 08:41 PM.
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post #9 of 16 Old 08-12-2012, 09:36 PM
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That's interesting. The horse is a bit braced in the neck, but maybe that's cause he is using a shanked bit for direct reining. Might have better luck in a straight snaffle. Maybe.
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post #10 of 16 Old 08-12-2012, 09:42 PM
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Yes, I agree Tiny. I do not like the way the guy is doing it. If I was to do it, I would do it in a snaffle. However it's pretty hard to find a good video of a counter arc. I'll do a more thorough search a little later.

ETA: I'm going to try and record me and Selena doing it later, if it cools down. It's 105 degrees and smoky right now...

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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