Huge, annoying issue!

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Huge, annoying issue!

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  • Horse won't take right lead physical issue?

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    04-25-2011, 01:16 AM
Angry Huge, annoying issue!

I've got a horse who has the biggest trouble picking up his right lead. It's actually really frustrating.. It's only the odd time we get it, unless we circle REALLY small then he'll switch. Any advice? He's perfect the other direction. He bends, counter bends, our leg signals still need some work, but other then that he's a really good boy!
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    04-25-2011, 02:27 AM
It's possible that he is a little sore or doesn't have enough muscle and that prevents him from picking up his right lead. If you rule out a physical problem here is what worked for me: circle him so he picks up his right lead (since you said he will in a circle) and praise him BIG time. Make it seem like he just did the greatest thing ever and bring him back down into a trot or walk. After a bit ask for the canter again in a slightly larger circle. If he picks up the correct lead praise him again and repeat the process on a larger circle. If he doesn't, make him canter in a circle once or twice on the wrong lead. It will be uncomfortable for him and he won't want to do it again. When he picks up the correct lead (it may take awhile to get him to pick it up. Be patient and don't give up!) praise him and circle him (fairly large circle) to show him how much more comfortable the correct lead is. Hope this helps! My mare almost always gets the correct lead now!
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    04-25-2011, 03:34 AM
Put down a ground pole in a corner of the arena, ask for canter about a stride in front of it. You might get a jump, so be prepared, but it almost always works.
    04-25-2011, 12:54 PM
Green Broke
Agreed with PaintLover, make sure first there isn't a physical issue going on: stiffness, weakness, pain of some sort, even a tack issue.

Is he green? Or is this a newer issue? Is he as balanced at the trot to the right as he is to the left? If not, building up his muscles at the trot and making him flexible will help out his canter quite a bit.

Originally Posted by UnrealJumper    
our leg signals still need some work, but other then that he's a really good boy!
Fixing this will actually help out quite a bit. Remember that the first beat of the right lead starts with the outside (left) hind. So you want to orchestrate your aids so that will step off his left hind when you ask (which means you ask right before he picks up his leg). Before he can do that he needs to be able to move off your leg correctly. If he's not doing this well, IMO it's easiest to get a horse to do this starting with turns on the forehand (so he gets the idea of moving his inside hind over when you ask) and eventually a leg yield. In a leg yield your horse will move his inside hind over... which means the next step will be with the outside hind. Or, the first step of the canter. So when I have a horse that has difficulty picking up I lead I will often leg yield over, then immediately ask for the canter.

If a horse is in the habit of picking up the wrong lead, even setting him up for the correct one won't necessarily fix him immediately. If he picks up the wrong lead I don't make a big deal of it. Technically I asked for the canter, and he did it, he just gave me the wrong one. So I circle on the wrong lead (just so it's somewhat uncomfortable) and the go back down to a trot, set him back up, and ask again. When he picks up the correct one I make a big deal of praise and let him see the correct canter is actually easier.
    04-25-2011, 02:37 PM
Just under saddle or on the lunge line too?
    04-25-2011, 02:41 PM
Originally Posted by mls    
Just under saddle or on the lunge line too?
Let me add to MLS's good question; how about at liberty? Does your horse only pick up one lead when running loose?
    04-25-2011, 03:32 PM
I use to have a horse like that he was a better dog than horses just be patient
    04-25-2011, 03:33 PM
Im new here so I need some fr
    04-25-2011, 06:07 PM
Have you tried leg yielding him into the canter depart?
    04-25-2011, 08:06 PM
Thanks for all the ideas! He usually picks up the wrong lead at liberty, and on the lunge, but a lot of the time when he's running at liberty he'll switch by himself. He doesn't seem to be in any pain, and he still picks up the wrong lead even when we're riding bareback.

He is a totally bomb proof horse for the trails and roads, but hasn't been worked in an area until recently.

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