Horse resists turning left please help.

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Horse resists turning left please help.

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  • My horse has a problem turning left, how can i work on it?
  • Bit to help turn horse

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    10-18-2011, 08:46 PM
Horse resists turning left please help.

Okay so my horse Ringo is partially blind in his left eye and he's 12 completely broke only direct reins and works off of leg pressure. He is considerably stubborn. When at a walk he does pretty well with turning left unless he just is grumpy and particullary stubborn that day. But at a jog or lope its a completely different story he fights me going left almost every single time. As soon as I put pressure on the reinse he fights me back lowering his head and trying to pull through the bit and he just wont do it. He occassionaly does this even to the right when he's cranky and not wanting to work. This is not a pain issure I've had him all checked out no teeth problems or tack fitting issues. He is just stubborn and not cooperating and I don't know how to fix this problem. That is pretty much his only problem and if I could just get this problem fixed id be pretty happy, so hoping someone has ideas and advice? Thanks so much guys.
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    10-18-2011, 11:11 PM
Super Moderator
I think it IS a pain issue, or the residue of one. There must be something about turning that is or was uncomfortable. OR, is he resisting this becasue he is wanting to go somewhere else.? You may need to do a bit of careful observation as to when he does this and what might be goin on in his head at those times. Could it just be plain old barn sourness? I wanna go home, now!

If so, you have to get his mind changed up so that he thinks that he has no choice in direction but rather is available to your direction, and if so, then you need to be ready to direct him BEFORE he gets to thinking about choosing his own direction.
    10-19-2011, 12:56 AM
Its not pain related because he does fine with everything on the ground and the vet and chiropracter have looked at him and they said he's fine. He's stubborn and he wants to be done and does this to get by the gait to leave. I guess ill just have to keep being persistant
    10-19-2011, 04:47 PM
Hmm.. I'm still thinking it's pain as well. He's not just saying he doesn't want to go to the left, he most definitely has a reason for it =/ Is your barn to the left? Or are there buddies that he can hear to the left? You've just got to force him to go to the left, use your legs if you reins don't work. You've just go to be firm and show him that your in charge =) Good luck. Edit: Never mind then I see you've found that he does it by the gate.
    10-19-2011, 11:00 PM
You sure it's not 'cause he's blind in that eye and apprehensive?
    10-21-2011, 03:38 AM
Originally Posted by bubba13    
You sure it's not 'cause he's blind in that eye and apprehensive?
I actually do believe that this a huge factor in it and the other is stubborness, I know if I was mostly blind in one eye I would wanna turn the opossite way so I don't blame him but I still don't know how I should approach the issue. I worked with him lastnight and everytime he would fight me turning left I would get off and turn him on the ground in really fast tight circle to the left and then get right bak on after about 5 times he started doing alot better as long as I would put pressure on the inside leg and then on the reins and tap with my outside leg and cluck he would do it but still with an attitude so I'm hoping that that is the right direction to go with this issue.
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    10-21-2011, 02:16 PM
Sounds like he needs desensitation and conditioning. I suppose keep doing what you're doing.
    10-21-2011, 05:26 PM
Teen Forum Moderator
Our 27 year old mare Puddin' came to us partially blind in her left eye, as well, and for a while, I had a very hard time getting her to respond to me for a left turn. She neck reins (was a cow horse back in her day) so it wasn't hard for her to resist my directions.

What I did was work on softening her. Before I even asked her to walk forwards, I would have her flex her neck towards my boot- starting on the left, going to the right, and back. The first few times she would just angle her head a little bit, but after a few tries I had her stiffly pulling her neck in towards me. I continued until I felt her loosen her neck up and really flex into the pressure, then I stopped and praised her.

I would then angle my whole body to the left, apply pressure with my legs, and send her off to her left from a standstill. Not moving her forwards or right beforehand gave her less of a chance to argue with me. I'd ask her to trot diagnol across the arena, then half-circle left, then when she did what I wanted- I rewarded her by going forward. I would continue this exercise, sometimes doing full circles, sometimes half, sometimes just asking her to take a step to the right, until I felt her relax and really flex herself into her turn. I stopped for the day as soon as she had completed a full relaxed turn.

If she didn't turn when I asked, I would half, repeat the neck exercise, and try again. It only took two or three times before she calmed and really listened to me.

With her I think she was just nervouse about going somewhere that she couldn't see clearly, not that she was being lazy. When I had her relax completely and start again, she was fine. I'm also fairly sure that her previous owner didn't enforce turning to the left, since she knew that Puddin' couldn't see well, making Puddin' think she could get away with turning right instead.

If you're sure tha boy is lazy, you might want to think of a disciplining him differently than I did, and different than you're doing right now. If he's trying to get out of work, you stopping and dismounting is going to make him think he can stop if he doesn't listen.

Good luck!

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