finally figured out the problem! - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 13 Old 09-30-2013, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
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finally figured out the problem!

so for a while now that I have been cantering (and galloping!) on the trails. I have noticed that sometimes Angels canter is smooth and other times it not. At first I thought it was me having a bad seat, but I was confused that other times I would sit really nice to it. Then I thought it was because she would slightly (really slightly) bend her neck to one side. Then I learned half seat on the trails over 2 days (i am sometimes able to not rest my hands on her neck, now) and so I was watching her legs as she cantered and I was in half seat. The first time I did this she was in the left lead. Then on saturday, when I rode again I noticed the uneven gait again so I went into half seat again and she was in the right lead. I tried a few more times of cantering and sure enough, the left lead was smooth and the right lead seems off. It makes sense though, because if we were to 'canter' we would pick one foot to always lead with, and if we used the other it would be a weird rhythm. Anyways, I am just glad I found out why her canter was sometimes smoother

You may be out of my sight, but never out of my mind. ~RIP Angel
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post #2 of 13 Old 09-30-2013, 07:01 PM
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Bravo for being observant! The answer has yet to be found, though, as to why her right-lead canter is rough compared to her left; there should be no difference.
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post #3 of 13 Old 09-30-2013, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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maybe its just me, seeming that my friend has rode her more and she has never said anything

You may be out of my sight, but never out of my mind. ~RIP Angel
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post #4 of 13 Old 09-30-2013, 07:50 PM
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Next thing to do is ask your friend if she's noticed same thing.
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post #5 of 13 Old 09-30-2013, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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I will next time I ride, though I have told her about it throughout the course of me trying to, and figuring out what it was :/

You may be out of my sight, but never out of my mind. ~RIP Angel
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post #6 of 13 Old 09-30-2013, 11:59 PM
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Nice observation. Try lunging her to see if you can pin point the problem from the ground and figure out what it is.
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post #7 of 13 Old 10-01-2013, 12:08 AM
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Try to get a video. Most horses are weaker on one side or the other. The weaker side tends to be "rougher" because the muscles aren't as strong to support the body on that side with that lead. That being said, I almost wonder if she isn't counter-cantering on the one lead. I know my horse has a bad habit of doing that especially the further into a session we get. That's also a muscle issue we're dealing with.
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post #8 of 13 Old 10-01-2013, 12:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SEAmom View Post
I almost wonder if she isn't counter-cantering on the one lead. Posted via Mobile Device
agreed, it will feel really disjointed compared to a proper canter.
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post #9 of 13 Old 10-01-2013, 06:00 PM
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It is rare to find a horse truly even and balanced in their gait...
Most horses have a dominant and weaker side...weaker side is probably her rougher riding side.
She could also be leading with the right in front and following with her left lead behind or vice versa...called cross-firing.
If you are riding her on a straight not on a bend on the trails then I don't think you would feel a counter-canter...
Counter-canter, that is when you travel say right shoulder inside but she leads her canter stride with her outside leg. In an arena especially on a bend...you would really feel this and it isn't always comfortable a feeling.

Videoing her is a great idea and then you will also see if you are leaning and emphasizing the roughness...most of us lean some...we as humans also have our dominant and weaker side.

Try working her to her good side and direction first, then to the weaker direction more. Switch back and forth between gaits and leads so she works her muscles actually more in the weaker gait and lead to build and develop that side more.
By slowly increasing the work load on her rougher or weaker side you should see and feel a difference in her gait becoming steadier and smoother as she gets better muscle coordination happening.

Go slowly and don't exhaust her muscles.. make sure you walk her down really well after the ride or when returning to the barn as she will build up excess lactic acid in her muscles...
You need to increase her stamina & endurance as you also increase her muscle mass on her weaker side...it takes time and effort on the part of the human too...

Good luck and happy trails...be safe and ENJOY!!

Last edited by horselovinguy; 10-01-2013 at 06:06 PM.
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post #10 of 13 Old 10-02-2013, 11:08 AM
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What is a half seat? I assume an English term? I am still trying to figure out how to comfortably, for me and for my horse, sit a canter that I asked for, so I wasn't sure if this tidbit is needed to know. :) Oddly enough, if I allow her to get to the canter alone, or I just do it because I have a goal in mind- catch a person at the gate before they leave my house, when I was in the field, for instance; I can ask and get it and sit it with no major issues either. But when I am trying to do arena style schooling with it, man I suck at getting going well, and it drives her nuts, to the point that she won't hold it, since I am bouncing all over her back. Poor girl. Lol
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