~ Leaning Toward Home -- Help?

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~ Leaning Toward Home -- Help?

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        07-07-2010, 07:13 PM
    Question ~ Leaning Toward Home -- Help?

    Well, as the title suggests, Night Heat does just this, whenever I ride her she always feels a pull between herself and the stable area.

    Just to sort of explain this, the dressage arena lies parallel to the stable area, and whenever I go along the side furtherest away from the stables, she leans to the inside and even as I try to push her back out with my inside leg, she still moves away from the side towards the middle of the arena, and eventually I end up trying to encourage her back to the outside with my outside rein, which leaves her body straight and her neck turned outside...

    I need a little advice on how to correct this, or if I must change something I am doing.

    Another thing she does is leaning in on circles, and speeding up as well. She is quite stiff and battles to bend in the neck, so she is very straight in the body and holds her head up quite high.

    Her circles are also affected by how they lie with the stable area (if that makes any sense?). She will work more to the outside on the part of the circle that is closest to the stables, and then get all straight and try to cut as it gets further.

    Any help with that?

    Thanks in advance!
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        07-07-2010, 08:39 PM
    How assertive are you being with her? I'm not for harsh correction, but in this case, I think a good tap of the crop to get her attention back on you would probably be in order. She needs to know you mean business. Sounds like you're being too nice which most of us are guilty of. She needs to know this will not be tolerated.

    If she persists on leaning towards home, make her work every time she does it, and reward her with rest when she walks calmly in that direction when she doesn't try to speed up. Make sure you don't anticipate her moving faster, or you'll end up accidentally creating it without knowing it. Expect the best from her, but let her make the mistake first before correcting it.
        07-07-2010, 09:24 PM
    I used to have a similar problem with my mare, it was very annoying..
    my trainer suggested just what MyBoyPuck said and that corrected the problem.
    If you can, remember to reward her when she doesn`t do it -I used to forget this-.
    Also, would it be possible for you to dismount in another place, not in the stable?, may be there is something you can do so she doen`t feel always so rewarded there, like loosening her girth right there in the arena after you are done woking with her..?.
    I am not expert, but that and being more assertive overall, solved my problem.
    I wish you good luck.
        07-08-2010, 03:08 AM
    I may be a bit of a victim of being too soft...

    What I have tried lately with her drifting away from the far wall is whenever she starts to drift away, I will turn her in a circle then halt next to to wall. If she moves her back end to the inside, I turn her in another circle and then as I come to the wall I put pressure behind the girth with my inside leg. It sometimes work and I reward her by letting her walk forward with a loose rein and a pat. But I don't know if this is an effective method?

    When I finish working her I always get off by the arena, so I don't think that's too much of a problem. I think her problem is that she hates being away from her friends, and usually when I ride in the afternoon they are by the stable area. In the mornings they are down at the bottom field, and she gets very restless when she can't see the others....
        07-08-2010, 10:25 PM
    It just needs to be a more immediate correction. From the time she makes the mistake, you have about 3 seconds to correct it before she forgets what she did. I would carry your crop on the outside and walk or trot her in large circles. The second she drifts, shut the door. Put the outside rein on her neck, be firm with that outside leg and smack her good with the crop behind your leg to get her back on the circle. You need to get a response as soon as you ask. If she responds to the rein and leg alone, great. But if she doesn't, whack her. Every time she repeats the mistake ask lightly first and only use the crop is necessary. Mares are stubborn but they're also smart. As soon as she understands what the deal is and that you're not going to put up with her drifting, it will stop and that will be it. Of course then she'll pick something else to throw at you in a few weeks to keep life interesting, but that's another post.
        07-09-2010, 08:07 AM
    Haha. Alright. I will give that a try, thanks.

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