Horse wont pick up the right lead?

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Horse wont pick up the right lead?

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  • Horse wont pick up leads
  • My horse wont pick up the right lead

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    02-06-2013, 04:07 PM
Horse wont pick up the right lead?

So ill ask her to canter and she'll pick it up but the wrong lead!
She picks up the canter really strong for the wrong lead.
I've tried raising my inside rein more to support her to pick up the right lead but when she does get it right she'll do two steps of it and back off from it.
Even if I keep kicking to keep her in the right lead she stops it, any tips to fix this?
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    02-06-2013, 04:20 PM
Assuming the horse is in good health... lifting your outside rein to tip the nose to the outside, cueing with your outside leg, and picking up the canter while bent into a corner or while going in a circle should do the trick.

However, it sounds like your horse might have some discomfort on her right lead. Is she less flexible in a circle on that side? Does she have any signs of lameness? I would contact a chiropractor to come take a look at her, as that can frequently sort out issues like picking up the wrong lead due to discomfort.
    02-06-2013, 06:10 PM
Just a side note, sometimes kicking the horse puts them off balance so when she gets the correct lead, leave her be to continue.

But assuming she's healthy and sound, maybe practice it on the ground first via lunging a few minutes each day?
    02-07-2013, 01:33 AM
My trainer has been teaching me and my horse to canter on the correct leads and things lately. (My TWH is just now learning how to canter on cue; she wasn't trained to canter before.) I have learned quite a few handy ways to set her up to successfully strike off in the correct lead. I'll see if I can explain it to you a little bit.

1. It helps big time to practice this on the ground first.
2. Remember to give the horse her face. She will keep thinking she's done the wrong thing if there is never a release.
3. It also helps very, very much if your horse knows how to two-track, and you know how to cue for it.
4. I don't know exactly how you're asking for the canter, but try to cue it from a collected walk, not a trot. And make sure you have specific cues you only use for asking for the canter, not anything else. (i.e. Don't just kick harder to go into a lope.)
5. You can walk in a somewhat small circle and cue the horse to lope before you finish the circle.
6. Or you can walk a half circle, turn back into it like you going to walk a half moon shape, but then yield into the half circle you just made, then before you reach the outside edge of your circle ask for the canter to the inside.
7. Or you can walk along the rail, ask for a rollback, and then cue right out of the rollback into a canter. (It's easier if you're in a roundpen and ask for a rollback to the outside.)
8. Or you can set up some poles in a T shape--so you would be riding in between two poles the whole time--and ask for a lope right before you get to the end of the stem of the T. Turn either to the right or left out of the T. (Geez, I hope that made sense!)
9. Instead of constantly kicking to keep her in a lope, you could try giving a verbal cue along with a nudge with your boot every three strides or so. Keep it controlled and coordinated as best you can.

So, there's a few different things to try out, and there are many more, but I hope this will help you!
    02-07-2013, 08:02 AM
My horse used to NEVER pick up his right lead under saddle either! He just favored his left lead and was a pasture puff when I got him and extremely out of shape. I did a lot of lunging to get him into shape to canter on the right lead. I would ask him to canter and if he didn't pick up his right lead I would slow him to a walk a ask again until he picked up the right. I would praise him and allow him to canter on the right lead for as long as he could. Over time he was able to keep cantering on his right lead for more strides but still wasn't very willing to pick up his right lead in the first place.
When I started asking for it under saddle, I had to teach him to move his hindquarters away from my leg in both directions. I started asking him to take a step over with his hindquarters at the walk as I was asking him to canter so that he would strike off with the inside hind. If he didn't get it I would keep my outside leg behind the girth while I asked him to walk and then pick up the canter again. I only took my outside leg off when he picked up the correct lead. That was his release to let him know he did it right. At first, his right lead canter felt like driving down a washboard road but now that he's in shape it very comfortable to ride and he picks it up consistently. Good luck with your guy!

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