Cross cantering/wrong lead .. only one way.. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 05-07-2010, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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Cross cantering/wrong lead .. only one way..

Novas finally starting to get into some canter work, and to the left she CANT pick up the correct lead. I dont believe its anything physical because she has picked up the right lead before, I think the cross fireing has just become a habit. GOing to teh right she never picks up teh wrong lead and will even self collect some.... even on lunge she cross fires.

I've tried everything from asking in a corner, going from a figure 8.. and a bunch of other things people have suggested.....

We still have a lot more trot work to do.. so if it turns out its because lack of muscle development or something.. then ill just do trot work.. but I'd like to break the habit.

Im taking a lesson saturday with my dressage instructor just to see what she says.

Other then this little mis hap shes been great and is learning VERY quickly. Layed down with me today as well!

So if anyone has any ideas let me know please! :)
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post #2 of 18 Old 05-07-2010, 10:06 PM
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I went through this with my guy at first.... what eventually worked was me getting in the round pen, asking and giving him a few minutes to figure it out. I let him canter on the wrong lead with me in the middle of the ring until he switched on his own, out of comfort I assume. Now he picks it up everytime.
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post #3 of 18 Old 05-09-2010, 12:03 AM
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Haha, my horse had the EXACT same problem! She could honestly canter a left circle on a right lead. It was the most uncomfortable thing I had ever felt haha. But, here is what helped me (and trust me! This will take some time.)

Okay, I first gave my horse a que to pick up the right lead. So every time I was cantering to the right, I would turn her head to the inside and squeeze my left leg right on the girth. She was taught with voice commands so all I had to do was kiss and she would canter. But with those two ques and the voice command, she would pick up the right canter. So once I did numerous transitions of cantering to the right like that, what I did was I tried the exact same thing on the left lead going to the left with the opposite foot and turning her head to the inside...she still didn't get it. Haha.

So I would trot her in tight (but not too tight) of circles, and then when she and I both felt comfortable, would try it again. Eventually, she felt so unbalanced of being pulled to the inside, with the outside foot squeeze her and being turned in a circle, that she finally got the que and picked up her left lead. Then! I just kept her going around and around so she felt comfortable cantering on that lead. The next time I asked her, she did it perfectly.

Hope this helps!!!
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post #4 of 18 Old 05-10-2010, 02:51 PM
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Is she cross-cantering or cross-firing? There's a difference. A cross-canter is picking up the incorrect lead. A cross-fire is when the front is on one lead, the hind is on the other.

In my experience, a cross-canter hints at a horse being unbalanced on that side, and a cross-fire is a weak hind end. Horses have a dominant side, as you know, and to fix it, you have to work a little more on that side. Seeing as she also does this on the lunge line suggest it is her balance more so than you're interefering.

To get my mare over cross-firing, we did LOTS of transitions within the trot, and lots of circles and serpentines and changes of directions. This will strengthen her hind end and/or her weaker side. If she does not have a steady, balanced trot, she will not have a steady, balanced canter. Period. It's also important to make sure you do not ask for a canter until her trot is good. The trot warm up is very important, and rushing through it will result in a less-than-ideal canter.

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post #5 of 18 Old 05-10-2010, 03:07 PM
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cross cantering and cross firing are the same thing. Counter canter is picking up the wrong lead. Ricci's explanation on how to fix it is good. I'm sure someone will chime in with more advanced ways of fixing the problem as well, but let's establish what the problem really is- the wrong lead entirely or the wrong lead on the hind? they are fixed in somewhat different ways
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post #6 of 18 Old 05-10-2010, 03:09 PM
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If she is cross cantering on her own (when loose or lunged) then I would guess there is a physical problem.
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post #7 of 18 Old 05-10-2010, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tealamutt View Post
cross cantering and cross firing are the same thing. Counter canter is picking up the wrong lead. Ricci's explanation on how to fix it is good. I'm sure someone will chime in with more advanced ways of fixing the problem as well, but let's establish what the problem really is- the wrong lead entirely or the wrong lead on the hind? they are fixed in somewhat different ways
I was taught a cross-canter was picking up the wrong lead, cross-fire is picking up both, and a counter-canter is picking up the incorrect lead on purpose, which is a very advanced exercise.

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post #8 of 18 Old 05-10-2010, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Alwaysbehind View Post
If she is cross cantering on her own (when loose or lunged) then I would guess there is a physical problem.
Agreed. Such as an out-of-place hip or vertebrae. To know for sure, you would need a chiropractor out.

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post #9 of 18 Old 05-10-2010, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riccil0ve View Post
Agreed. Such as an out-of-place hip or vertebrae. To know for sure, you would need a chiropractor out.
Yes, something like that.

It should be more comfortable for her to be on the correct lead so when at liberty she should, most of the time, be on the correct lead.

If she picks up the correct lead going to the right, and the correct lead in front going to the left but is only wrong in the back going to the left I would guess she is sore some where so being in this awkward gate is her best option.
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post #10 of 18 Old 05-10-2010, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riccil0ve View Post
I was taught a cross-canter was picking up the wrong lead, cross-fire is picking up both, and a counter-canter is picking up the incorrect lead on purpose, which is a very advanced exercise.
Hmm I was taught differently, and find varying opinions from different sources. I was always told a counter canter is a counter canter whether intentional or not but that could very well be completely wrong!

I guess the basic issue, terminology aside, is whether she is picking up the wrong lead entirely or having hind/fore disagreement. I definitely agree that making sure she is physically sound is a good starting point. If I am not mistaken she hasn't been properly vetted yet right? I'd add a good chiro work up to that as well!
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