Shoulder falling in & counter flexed. help.
   

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Shoulder falling in & counter flexed. help.

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  • Counter flexion open hind leg
  • Horses shoulder falling in when bending

 
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    07-11-2010, 03:41 PM
  #1
Weanling
Shoulder falling in & counter flexed. help.

First off I have to say that my horse Phoenix has come a long way since he was brought back into work in October. He's lost 250lbs and is getting fitter every day. He also has hip issues particularly with his right hip.

He is seen by the chiropractor regularly to help with his hip issues which inevitably lead to issues all along one side. So... this makes him a very one sided horse which is understandable. I think that i'm also a pretty one sided rider which i'm working on and all that good stuff.

So the issue i've come up against right now is when we're travelling counter clockwise he tends to slide his shoulders to the inside and counter-flex his neck by roughly 15 degrees. Going clockwise he's fine, straight-ish and sometimes he has more flexion than he needs but he's mostly getting there. Also i've noticed that even going in a straight line (like down the arena wall) his shoulders are falling to the inside and his neck is massively counter flexed. If that wasn't hard enough to be getting on with randomly he'll completely bend his neck and body in towards the middle of the arena and head for goodness knows where.

I've tried working him on a 20m circle and to start with he is the same, shoulder in, counter flexed. If I let him spiral into the circle he'll get straighter but as soon as I try and urge him back out he goes back how he was.

It's probably me, i'm probably giving him mixed signals or something but if I don't know why he's doing it then I can't start to fix it. So any ideas? Which aids should I used to try and correct the counter flexion? Do I need more inside leg? More outside rein? Any exercises anyone can recommend to work on straightening a horse that is one sided?

And just to prove he's not always a problem and does have his good days, have a picture taken a few months ago after a particularly good ride

DSCF0306 - Copy.jpg
     
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    07-11-2010, 03:53 PM
  #2
Banned
My guy is almost the same, always counter-flexed. I'd love to hear the responses. What I've been doing lately is turning my inside knuckles in, not under, but in (so that they face your other hand). This seems to get Jerry to flex and bend to the inside, but then he looses it.
     
    07-11-2010, 04:07 PM
  #3
Weanling
I'll give that a go. I've been doing small flexes and counter flexes of his poll at the walk by turning each hand (like turning a key) and that seems to have helped his other side but not this side.
     
    07-11-2010, 06:05 PM
  #4
Banned
Have his hind legs checked for soreness.

The wrong flexion is a symptom of a problem that is originating from the rear and he is not traveling straight.

Then check yourself to see if you are sitting evenly on him.
     
    07-11-2010, 07:39 PM
  #5
Foal
I have the exact issue in the exact direction. I have had my horse's back legs checked and she is fine. I could certainly be me as that is my bad side as well. We can't walk a line straight either. :/

Per trainer, I've been working on dropping my right leg/hip bone weight and using my inside (left) leg to yield (it's also my horses worst yielding side) to create some bend - also work on turn on forehand for that direction yields and also shoulders in/out same yielding. So far we still have the issue which is exasperated at the canter and we spiral in despite my efforts to push back out (which sometimes work a bit).

So I'd love to hear more ideas.

Oh yeah, my horse is also very heavy handed/forward, so there's a lot of tug of war/speed control going on which distracts from getting the job done. My trainer also commented that my horse isn't very keen on multitasking, hehe.
     
    07-12-2010, 08:39 AM
  #6
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyder    
Have his hind legs checked for soreness.

The wrong flexion is a symptom of a problem that is originating from the rear and he is not traveling straight.

Then check yourself to see if you are sitting evenly on him.
well he does have his gimpy hip which gives him problems especially in the canter, he's getting more balanced but it's taking time and work. I've just recently had him worked on though and he isn't acting sore, he usually gets very pissy and jigs.

Next time I ride i'll check to see how straight I am.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowanne    
I have the exact issue in the exact direction. I have had my horse's back legs checked and she is fine. I could certainly be me as that is my bad side as well. We can't walk a line straight either. :/

Per trainer, I've been working on dropping my right leg/hip bone weight and using my inside (left) leg to yield (it's also my horses worst yielding side) to create some bend - also work on turn on forehand for that direction yields and also shoulders in/out same yielding. So far we still have the issue which is exasperated at the canter and we spiral in despite my efforts to push back out (which sometimes work a bit).

So I'd love to hear more ideas.

Oh yeah, my horse is also very heavy handed/forward, so there's a lot of tug of war/speed control going on which distracts from getting the job done. My trainer also commented that my horse isn't very keen on multitasking, hehe.
It's odd because it's not my horses normal 'bad side'. Usually he's worse on the lunge going clockwise because of his hip but when I ride he's worse going th opposite way, which makes me think it's me causing it to be honest. I need to try and introduce some leg yielding and exercises like that. I'm working on his canter on the lunge line and haven't yet cantered him while riding, he needs to be more balanced and aware of where his legs ad body are before i'm going to try; because of his hip he counter canters and sometimes bucks so it's more for my safety than anything else. I bet if I did get on him and canter the problem would be more exaggerated.

I'm pretty lucky, Phoenix isn't heavy in my hands at all, he's just started to stretch down into contact now he's getting fitter but he's never heavy about it which is nice.
     
    07-12-2010, 09:35 AM
  #7
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenix    
well he does have his gimpy hip which gives him problems especially in the canter, he's getting more balanced but it's taking time and work. I've just recently had him worked on though and he isn't acting sore, he usually gets very pissy and jigs.


So his bad hip is on the right side then.
     
    07-12-2010, 09:50 AM
  #8
Weanling
Yes, would that make sense for him to be falling in on his left side?
     
    07-12-2010, 10:21 AM
  #9
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenix    
Yes, would that make sense for him to be falling in on his left side?

Absolutely. Always look to the opposite rear leg when the horse falls in on the shoulder.

This could also be you being crooked to compensate ( even if you are unaware you are doing so.)
     
    07-12-2010, 12:04 PM
  #10
Weanling
Oh okay, I just don't have a trainer to tell me these things and i'd never made the connection myself. So if I got his right rear leg & hip stronger he might be able to straighten up?

I'm sure i'm crooked because I have to keep adjusting the position of the saddle by shifting my weight around. He's like a barrel with no withers so his saddle slides. At least this I can work on.
     

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