I need advice on improving the right rein
   

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I need advice on improving the right rein

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  • Horse only goimg on right rein
  • How to improve a horses right rein

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  • 1 Post By Skyseternalangel

 
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    04-16-2012, 03:50 AM
  #1
Weanling
I need advice on improving the right rein

I own an OTTB. He has been off the track 3 months now and I have just started some basic schooling with him.

He is picking up the left rein very well but really battles with the right rein. This is primarily due to the fact that when training for racing they only lunge them and work them on the left (at this particular training facility, perhaps others are different).

Even if cantering on an outride he will always be on the left leg. In the arena he is doing so well at a collected trot on the left but battles to even get a circle on the right.

It's the same on the lunge. I have not yet asked him to canter in the arena on either leg. I want him to perfect the halt, walk and trot transistions first. Any advice from people who have had this before? I don't want to confuse him. He seems to get anxious on the right rein and it's simply because he does not know how to do it.
     
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    04-16-2012, 04:10 AM
  #2
Green Broke
Work him, reward good behaviour and make the wrong thing difficult.
At this point in time he is unsure of what you are asking, so you need to give him clear direction.

I would start off left hand, get him relaxed, then ride a few figures on the right hand- 20m circles, one loop serpentines and three loop serpentines, then change back to the left BEFORE he has chance to get himself in to a tizzy. Give him plenty of vocal praise and give the rein fore etc.

Also, right now, IME, I would be working on forwards with him rather than asking him to collect anything. Just work on getting his rhythm consistant and supple through his body on both reins.

It sounds like you're taking things nice and steady for him, and in the end he'll appreciate it.. just don't forget he's bred to run, and cantering may loosen him up in the arena.

Another pointer may be saddle fit, if his muscles are changing, and or back stiffness which are preventing him bending to the right.

Also make sure that you are 'sat' to the inside on the right. Young horses can't balance straight away from outside rein and inside leg, use more inside rein to ask him to bend. Don't bring the rein back, lift it, and use only your outside leg to help direct him, take your inside leg off him and see if that helps.

Good luck!
     
    04-16-2012, 04:46 AM
  #3
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuffyDuck    
Work him, reward good behaviour and make the wrong thing difficult.
At this point in time he is unsure of what you are asking, so you need to give him clear direction.

I would start off left hand, get him relaxed, then ride a few figures on the right hand- 20m circles, one loop serpentines and three loop serpentines, then change back to the left BEFORE he has chance to get himself in to a tizzy. Give him plenty of vocal praise and give the rein fore etc.

Also, right now, IME, I would be working on forwards with him rather than asking him to collect anything. Just work on getting his rhythm consistant and supple through his body on both reins.

It sounds like you're taking things nice and steady for him, and in the end he'll appreciate it.. just don't forget he's bred to run, and cantering may loosen him up in the arena.

Another pointer may be saddle fit, if his muscles are changing, and or back stiffness which are preventing him bending to the right.

Also make sure that you are 'sat' to the inside on the right. Young horses can't balance straight away from outside rein and inside leg, use more inside rein to ask him to bend. Don't bring the rein back, lift it, and use only your outside leg to help direct him, take your inside leg off him and see if that helps.

Good luck!
Thanks for the advice :)

The main reason why I have not insisted on the canter is that we have been waiting for our arena sand to arrive (they started delivering yesterday!) and the ground is hard. I have been paying to use a neighbours arena that is open to the public on donation for our local horse care unit. I have tried a canter or 2 but I found he rushed it and lost balance. Remember he is born to run on open spaces not tight arena corners ;) ha ha! So I took him back down to working at trot mainly. And he does a very good job at it on the left! My walk / halt transitions have been simply to ask him for a little bend before moving forward.

He is a very supple horse, and I find he purposefully bends himself too much and pulls his head down which of course pulls me off balance and it's as if he does it to avoid something if he isnt understanding!

On saturday I started some figure 8's. I did them big and easy and you are right, they werent too bad. Will start the serpentines too.

I am going to be buying a new saddle in the near future. Right now mine fits well but he is going to fill out and then it wont. He has a narrow wither. I had it fitted and the lady told me I can have it broadened by one size temporarily as he grows. She suggested I wait for a while until he has filled out fully before buying a saddle. I would hate to buy it and then he changes again. But I know it is not causing him any discomfort.

It's just a lack of understanding. I must say, many people told me OTTBs are clueless to leg aids, I find him very receptive. I do a lot of hacking out where I try and get him to work properly even though it's pleasure riding and use my aids in an environment where he is relaxed. I then try and take that back to the arena.

Patience is not my biggest virtue in life, but with him I am in no rush and I always end on a good note. If he gets it right once im happy and I leave it there. I set his time as this entire year before trying some training shows. I wont go on to starting jumping until he has a decent groundwork knowledge.

He is very willing to work. The next few months I have budgeted for some lessons with a very good instructor because I am humble enough to admit I cannot do this alone!
     
    04-16-2012, 04:57 AM
  #4
Green Broke
Ah, well I can completely understand ;)

Yours sounds just like my mare did.. she had no canter under saddle, and canter was great if we could get it, even better if we could keep it.
We didn't even attempt corners, just a big, over 20m, circle whereever we could, using the outside rein lifted to help with the outside leg in case of trying to bow out of it.

The trotting will help, its just a time matter. I also found cantering on the lunge helps build them up, and you can use vocals which will help under saddle if anything should happen.

Have you looked in to wintec saddles, as you can change the gullets? Might be worth checking out so you have your monies worth.. or WoW, but they're expensive!

Just think on the right side you really have to discipline yourself to ride every step correctly.Think inside, think fowards, where your weight is on the seatbones etc.

It does take time.. when I got Duffy she couldn'tr trot whole school, circles were a nightmare... figure 8's are brilliant to help with balance and bend.

I'm glad he's responsive to your legs, it'll help you a lot later on!

Do you have any way of getting a video?
     
    04-16-2012, 05:16 AM
  #5
Weanling
I will have to try and rope someone into meeting me there to video soon!

Once our arena is complete his lunging will improve as well im sure. He is very happy to lunge in the open arena on a lunge rein (I have been lucky with him learning very quickly).

I actually Am looking at Wintecs! Im happy to go second hand if need be...they are pricey. But light in weight as well which I think he will prefer. He didnt like going from racing saddle to a heavy JC!

Oh when I asked for canter he managed about 1/3 of a circle before giving up
     
    04-16-2012, 05:21 AM
  #6
Green Broke
1/3 of a circle is better than nothing though ;)

Just take your time and build it up. Treat him like a youngster- forwards all the time from behind and it'll help him to srop his head in to a soft contact.
     
    04-16-2012, 05:42 AM
  #7
Weanling
Truth is he IS a younster (only 4 1/2 Y/O) and he is doing very well but I just don't want to mess anything up. Growing up and having riding lessons I always rode my instructors horses. My own 2 horses were farm horses never competition horses so I never had all this on my shoulders. In between I leased so the responsibility was bever 100% mine. Im so excited to one day be able to turn around and say I got him somewhere but I need guidance so I really appreciate your help :)

His contact is usually lovely and soft. It's when he wants to avoid something out of not understanding what to do that he is heavy on the forehand.

Actually I am going to get someone to come do videos and pictures because it might help me to see where I am going wrong.
     
    04-16-2012, 06:17 AM
  #8
Showing
I agree with Duffy :)

Every horse has a stronger/better side than the other. Since your horse is OTTB he may be much better to the left.. so I'd spend time lunging on the ground to the right.

How I did it was I'd lunge in 3 turns. The first w/t/c in the not-so-good direction. For you it is the right. Then I'd switch directions and l'd lunge for a few minutes in the good direction. Then I'd go once more to the bad direction and lunge for a few minutes.

This workout should be a full 15 mins. 5 minutes spent on each turn. Giving the horse a large enough space to lunge at.

The reason I do it twice is because the horse knows the good side well, and has trouble with the other direction. I've found that it helps the horse to work with that bad direction twice as much. Under saddle it's the same thing, spend more time on the bad direction (in short bursts of a few strides) and then break on the good direction.

It'll just take some work but I'm sure you'll get there. I also wouldn't worry about collected right now.. just forwards and correct foot falling order is your best bet.

Good luck :) He'll get there! Mine has
MysticL likes this.
     
    04-16-2012, 09:22 AM
  #9
Foal
Check out his front end thoroughly to make sure he isnt pinned up in that right shoulder too.Just in case.

Its pretty common.
     
    04-17-2012, 08:23 AM
  #10
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanne    
Check out his front end thoroughly to make sure he isnt pinned up in that right shoulder too.Just in case.

Its pretty common.
That is a term I have never come across before I may sound stupid but I would rather not pretend to know what "pinned up" means. Can you explain more to me please?
     

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