Showing a lesson horse who doesn't pick up one canter lead? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 08-08-2012, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: northeast Pennsylvania
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Showing a lesson horse who doesn't pick up one canter lead?

I'm considering taking one of the lesson horses to a small schooling show next month, the problem is it is nearly impossible to get her to pick up her canter lead going counter clockwise. It's not only me that has trouble, there are a few teenagers at the barn who have gotten on her to try also, sometimes we can get her to pick it up but it's a huge process and it doesn't always work.
I just saw an episode of Julie Goodnight last night that addressed this issue, so I'll try what she demonstrated but I'm not overly optimistic.

My question is, with this issue should I just stick to classes that are W/T. This will be my first time ever showing and I really don't care if I place, but I also don't want to be looked down on because the lesson horse doesn't pick up that lead.

What would you guys do in this situation? We've been trying for months to get her to pick up the lead consistently(or at all mostly) with no luck. She used to pick up both leads but then I started riding my horse instead of her for a few months and when I started riding her again due to issues with my horse she would no longer pick it up.
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post #2 of 4 Old 08-10-2012, 11:52 AM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Pennsylvania
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If you are to show her, just do the W/T classes. It will be a great experience for your first show.

The main problem I see here, is why hasn't the trainer done anything about this issue. A lesson horse that won't pick up the correct canter lead is a HUGE problem as it limits the types of students who can ride her. She could be getting sour and doesn't want to work anymore because she is sick of ring work. She could be sore and picking up the left lead could be uncomfortable. Maybe you can ask your instructor to help you and see where it goes from there. There's definitely an issue somewhere, and it's probably not something you are doing.
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post #3 of 4 Old 08-10-2012, 02:39 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: MD
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Looks like number of lesson horses have this issue (stiffness to one side). I usually just exaggerate the aids on that bad side to pick the correct one (I have own horses, but for jumping I go with the lesson ones).

I'd say W/T just to feel confident, but on other hand you can try the one with canter and just move it back to the trot and keep trying to get the correct one. Not the best scenario, but since it's a lesson horse you can't do much. I don't think anyone would look down at you for the attempts.

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass: it's about learning to dance in the rain..."

"When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves."

"How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours."
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post #4 of 4 Old 08-14-2012, 02:20 AM
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Washington D.C.
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IMO, be fully prepared for whatever division you are showing in! Whether it be a rated show, or a schooling show, you should be confident about you and your horses abilities to perform the required movements at the required times. If this means showing W/T your first time out, go for it! If it means the W/T/C classes, be prepared for the lead to not come, and what to do about it without making a huge scene in the class.
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