Leaning into corners-advice needed - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 9 Old 08-15-2013, 07:08 AM Thread Starter
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Leaning into corners-advice needed

I've recently started riding my 13.2 pony again.
I've noticed that he wasn't listening to my leg and just being generally lazy, but I've been working on it and he's becoming more responsive.

But now I have another problem: He is leaning into corners to the point where my leg is sometimes getting scraped along the arena fence. He turns his head in towards the centre while his body moves towards the side. He's done it before and I've gotten skinned knees, but I can't remember how we stopped it.

His teeth and tack are both fine, as it's been checked. The arena I'm working in is only a small round one and I realise that it isn't helping but within the next few weeks I will have access to a bigger arena where he hopefully won't want to do it do much. I will also be able to do more (turns, serpentines, poles) so he won't be getting bored as that might be part of the problem.

Personally I think he is just testing me. I'm the first to admit I'm not the best rider and I'm just not sure if I'm making it worse with my aids when I try to correct it. So any advice on how to stop him doing this? It would be much appreciated.
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post #2 of 9 Old 08-20-2013, 10:37 AM
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I know this problem from a few of the school horses I ride. With all of them, yes, it seemed like they were testing me. What aids have you used to stop him doing this? For me, it often worked well to very clearly use my outer leg. Also, I think it´s a good idea to keep him occupied, as you´re planning.
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post #3 of 9 Old 08-20-2013, 10:49 AM
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Carry your whip on the outside. Do lots of leg yields. If he doesn't listen to the whip it's time to wear spurs and give him a good smack the first time he doesn't listen to your leg and pushes you into the fence.
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post #4 of 9 Old 08-21-2013, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trottingalong View Post
.... He turns his head in towards the centre while his body moves towards the side. ... So any advice on how to stop him doing this? It would be much appreciated.
What he is doing is 'popping" his shoulder to the outside - I.e. He is NOT straight.

Keep inside leg at the girth - he should bend around that leg. Outside rein should come out from the neck and rider MUST keep contact on that rein to prevent shoulder from popping. At first you might need to keep enough contact that he is looking outside - when he does that you should have the shoulder - so at that point - without releasing the outside rein, bend your inside wrist by taking thumb (which should be pointing straight up) and turning thumb to inside.

Since you did NOT release the outside rein when you turned your thumb to the outside (i.e. If going around arena to the left you turn left thumb to point to the right) then you should retain the outside (right in example) shouldder while nose is now pointed slightly to the left (because of the wrist positio).

Since you don't want to keep thumb pointing to outside you must re-point it up in the air. BUT since horse will again try to pop shoulder you must use your inside leg at the girth to push horse into outside rein. This will keep "nose" pointed in correct (inside) direction while retaining correct shoulder position.

In other words inside leg to outside rein - which is always used to straighten the horse. The idea is to implement inside leg to outside rein a piece at a time to get horse straight - then maintain connection (inside leg to outside rein) to maintain the straightness.

You will probably have to do this MANY times until horse starts straight on the inside to outside connection.

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post #5 of 9 Old 08-21-2013, 10:37 AM
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Welcome to the forum!
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post #6 of 9 Old 08-31-2013, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all so much! Especially Valentina
I've been riding him a while now and he's getting better the more I work on it. I know what to do now so its just practice makes perfect from now on.
Thanks
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post #7 of 9 Old 09-02-2013, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valentina View Post
What he is doing is 'popping" his shoulder to the outside - I.e. He is NOT straight.

Keep inside leg at the girth - he should bend around that leg. Outside rein should come out from the neck and rider MUST keep contact on that rein to prevent shoulder from popping. At first you might need to keep enough contact that he is looking outside - when he does that you should have the shoulder - so at that point - without releasing the outside rein, bend your inside wrist by taking thumb (which should be pointing straight up) and turning thumb to inside.

Since you did NOT release the outside rein when you turned your thumb to the outside (i.e. If going around arena to the left you turn left thumb to point to the right) then you should retain the outside (right in example) shouldder while nose is now pointed slightly to the left (because of the wrist positio).

Since you don't want to keep thumb pointing to outside you must re-point it up in the air. BUT since horse will again try to pop shoulder you must use your inside leg at the girth to push horse into outside rein. This will keep "nose" pointed in correct (inside) direction while retaining correct shoulder position.

In other words inside leg to outside rein - which is always used to straighten the horse. The idea is to implement inside leg to outside rein a piece at a time to get horse straight - then maintain connection (inside leg to outside rein) to maintain the straightness.

You will probably have to do this MANY times until horse starts straight on the inside to outside connection.
I like this post but can you clarify which direction the inside wrist and thumb move? First you said the thumb points to inside and then you said outside. One trainer I had described turning your wrist like you would turn a key in a door. That helped me to understand the movement. Just would like to know which way you meant. I also have two more questions if you don't mind:

1) Does this also apply if you are riding down a straight line instead of a circle? Should you always designate an outside and inside for straightness?

2) Won't these cues become beneficial to proper collection and half halts once learned?
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post #8 of 9 Old 09-12-2013, 11:03 PM
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post #9 of 9 Old 09-19-2013, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PineMountDakota View Post
I like this post but can you clarify which direction the inside wrist and thumb move? First you said the thumb points to inside and then you said outside.

Best way to explain inside from outside is to give an example:
When circling to the left (horses right shoulder is outside) you take left hand and turn wrist (with thumb straight up) to the right (thumb is now closer to your belly button then it was).

One trainer I had described turning your wrist like you would turn a key in a door. YES - that's also how one trainer explained it to me. That helped me to understand the movement. Just would like to know which way you meant. I also have two more questions if you don't mind:

1) Does this also apply if you are riding down a straight line instead of a circle? Should you always designate an outside and inside for straightness? Yes - in fact (since horse is wider in hips than shoulders) most of the time when riding a straight line you are riding a small shoulder fore (SF) to place both shoulders in center of hips. (Like humans, horses tend to bend more in one direction than the other.) So ride a horse that likes to pop it's right shoulder (to the outside) in SF to the left when riding a straight line. That will actually keep the right shoulder from "popping" out while straightening the horse.

2) Won't these cues become beneficial to proper collection and half halts once learned?
Absolutely - a good dressage rider must be able to control ALL parts of the horse (shoulder, haunches, head, neck, back, etc...) independantly. The SF is the baby start to collection, as is a proper (SQUARE) halt that starts from the hind end, not started by pulling back on the reins.

Sorry - Best way to explain inside from outside is to give an example:
When circling to the left (horses right shoulder is outside) you take left hand and turn wrist (with thumb straight up) to the right (thumb is now closer to your belly button then it was).

Dressage is for Trainers!
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