The mystery of the one sided mare.

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The mystery of the one sided mare.

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    07-16-2011, 07:58 PM
The mystery of the one sided mare.

About five years ago, I bought a 14.2 mare out of a farmer's field, mainly for fun and because I liked her temperament. She was broke, it seemed, and I continued to train her for small jumping classes and pleasure riding. No matter what I did, I couldn't get her to stay on her left lead for more than 3 strides without her tossing her head and breaking to a trot.

I called out a chiropractor, assuming it was her back left hip because of a slight raise in her left flank, and had her treated multiple times. The chiropractor told me that it was quite possible that I was right. Still, it never solved the problem. I figured I didn't want to force her on her left lead if it was causing her discomfort and pain, so I just left the situation alone. When I moved countries, I did have to sell her. I've always just had this curiosity about what it might have been or what I could have done to help her. Any ideas?
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    03-06-2012, 01:31 PM
I'm so sorry, but no! :( I have no ideas.I'm no horsey-health expert but.. maybe in the past she had hurt the left side of her mouth, maybe someone used a way to strong bit on her without knowing what it could do?
    03-06-2012, 02:10 PM
It could be a health issue, but I wouldn't be as too sure from what, but I have observed that a lot of horses have a preferred lead. They may spend all their time going on that one lead their entire lives, building up muscles to only support that lead at the canter. So when a person tries to get them to pick up the opposite lead, they find it hard and the person on their back adds to the struggle. Why do it the hard way when it makes you tired, when you could do it the easy way?

I would have worked on lunging on the bad side, making a small circle so even the easy way would be hard, trying a lot of trot-canter transitions, giving a lot of praise when the correct is picked up and let the horse move on a big circle. While making a small circle if it is incorrect while shaking the lunge line until a trot is achieved and then ask again.

When the horse can efficiently canter on the lunge, I would do the same undersaddle. Trot on a small circle in the direction of the bad lead, ask for canter, if the correct lead is picked up, encourage the horse to go for a few strides while verbal praising, then slow to trot and praise again. If the wrong is picked up, do a small circle on the incorrect lead to let the horse struggle, then ask for the trot and ask again.

Eventually you hope to build the muscles needed to maintain that lead. Its like working out one arm and expecting the other to get in shape too. Its different muscles.
    03-08-2012, 01:35 PM
You say there was a slight raise on the flank?

It's hard to say without seeing but if a bone was broken at some point and it healed incorrectly and causes her pain when asked to take that lead. A chiropractor would not be able to solve a bone issue. A vet would of probably needed to be seen to x-ray, do a bone density scan or ultrasound to check ligaments.

But who knows it could of also been training/behavior issue. But from the sound of it, it was a discomfort thing.

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