Cross Firing worse in one direction? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 11-21-2012, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Cross Firing worse in one direction?

Hi,
I have a horse that is cross firing much worse to the left than the right. My guy has been having problems with arthritis, but a vet recently looked at him and he is in the clear. He is on a daily supplement and he is fine with that... knowing it is NOT pain related.

He loves to cross fire to the left, and when I make him go faster to get him out of it, he will just keep going and will not switch it. If I ask him to slow down he will transcanter (flicking legs back and forth) What should I do to get him to STOP doing this? I have tried poles in a round pen and pulling on the lounge line to get him to get into a smaller circle but with the poles he will go RIGHT over them even when he is on the left lead in the front and right in the back! *
His arthritis is mainly in the right hind--so why is he doing this??*

For those that know, he is a TWH and he has been getting alot better on his canter but I can't seem to fix this.
Thanks!


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post #2 of 23 Old 11-21-2012, 10:57 PM
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Are you talking about cross-firing in that he is not gaiting laterally (but is basically breaking to a trot) or cross-cantering where he is on one lead in the front and a different behind?

The terms mean different things, and since your horse is gaited, I'm not sure which you are referring to.
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post #3 of 23 Old 11-21-2012, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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Well, cross cantering, when going to the left, but when he breaks from that he will transcanter (be switching legs constantly)
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Originally Posted by spurstop View Post
Are you talking about cross-firing in that he is not gaiting laterally (but is basically breaking to a trot) or cross-cantering where he is on one lead in the front and a different behind?

The terms mean different things, and since your horse is gaited, I'm not sure which you are referring to.


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post #4 of 23 Old 11-21-2012, 11:06 PM
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Assuming your vet is right and it isn't pain related... has he had any chiropractic work done? He may be weak/tight in other areas that were created by the arthritis pain, so while his arthritis may not be causing him pain, something else could be.

You will not fix this at the canter. The weakness/tightness that is causing him to crossfire is better fixed at the trot. Feel free to ignore all the advice if he doesn't trot, I don't know anything about gaited horse. But at the trot, you need to get him on circles, serpentines, and transitions [walk, trot]. You need to strengthen his hind end so he can canter correctly. Get him stepping up underneath himself and bending nicely around your leg. Do some circles at the trot starting at 20m and spiraling in to 15m and then back out. When he can handle that, get down to 10m. Do not make him do small circles over and over; one 10m circle at a time. When you do ask him to canter, encourage him to lift his inside shoulder, do this by lifting your own shoulder. Think of it as lengthening your side. You may feel off-center or like your leaning too heavily to the outside but more than likely, you'll actually be more centered. Good luck!
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post #5 of 23 Old 11-21-2012, 11:09 PM
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My mare does this, but to the right.

She's gaited so cantering correctly is hard for her. What I found that works (for us) is that when she starts to slip up, I sit deep and ask for a trot, we trot 5/6 strides and then try the canter again.
Getting her up under herself and getting her to lift her front end requires a lot of "rolling" Where I sit very deep in my seat and use my seat AND legs to push her. (pretty much REALLY sitting while half halting)
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post #6 of 23 Old 11-21-2012, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much! Yeah- he does trot like any other horse too :)
Quote:
Originally Posted by riccil0ve View Post
Assuming your vet is right and it isn't pain related... has he had any chiropractic work done? He may be weak/tight in other areas that were created by the arthritis pain, so while his arthritis may not be causing him pain, something else could be.

You will not fix this at the canter. The weakness/tightness that is causing him to crossfire is better fixed at the trot. Feel free to ignore all the advice if he doesn't trot, I don't know anything about gaited horse. But at the trot, you need to get him on circles, serpentines, and transitions [walk, trot]. You need to strengthen his hind end so he can canter correctly. Get him stepping up underneath himself and bending nicely around your leg. Do some circles at the trot starting at 20m and spiraling in to 15m and then back out. When he can handle that, get down to 10m. Do not make him do small circles over and over; one 10m circle at a time. When you do ask him to canter, encourage him to lift his inside shoulder, do this by lifting your own shoulder. Think of it as lengthening your side. You may feel off-center or like your leaning too heavily to the outside but more than likely, you'll actually be more centered. Good luck!
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post #7 of 23 Old 11-21-2012, 11:11 PM
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Also, what Ricci said:

Before I started working on her canter, we spent lots of time trotting. Doing circles, getting her moving off my leg.
Also because we both get bored with ring work, I went out on the trails and when we had an incline, I would trot up it. (Her butt looked awesome )

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post #8 of 23 Old 11-21-2012, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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How can you tell when she does it when your riding... if she has the right lead in the back?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lexiie View Post
My mare does this, but to the right.

She's gaited so cantering correctly is hard for her. What I found that works (for us) is that when she starts to slip up, I sit deep and ask for a trot, we trot 5/6 strides and then try the canter again.
Getting her up under herself and getting her to lift her front end requires a lot of "rolling" Where I sit very deep in my seat and use my seat AND legs to push her. (pretty much REALLY sitting while half halting)


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post #9 of 23 Old 11-21-2012, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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Also, how long do you work on the trot to notice a difference in the canter?
Quote:
Originally Posted by riccil0ve View Post
Assuming your vet is right and it isn't pain related... has he had any chiropractic work done? He may be weak/tight in other areas that were created by the arthritis pain, so while his arthritis may not be causing him pain, something else could be.

You will not fix this at the canter. The weakness/tightness that is causing him to crossfire is better fixed at the trot. Feel free to ignore all the advice if he doesn't trot, I don't know anything about gaited horse. But at the trot, you need to get him on circles, serpentines, and transitions [walk, trot]. You need to strengthen his hind end so he can canter correctly. Get him stepping up underneath himself and bending nicely around your leg. Do some circles at the trot starting at 20m and spiraling in to 15m and then back out. When he can handle that, get down to 10m. Do not make him do small circles over and over; one 10m circle at a time. When you do ask him to canter, encourage him to lift his inside shoulder, do this by lifting your own shoulder. Think of it as lengthening your side. You may feel off-center or like your leaning too heavily to the outside but more than likely, you'll actually be more centered. Good luck!
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post #10 of 23 Old 11-21-2012, 11:15 PM
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Because when she's cross cantering, it's SO awkward. her canter is very smooth when she's doing it) I can feel her but come up as she switches her hind legs. Then it gets very choppy and I can't sit right.

When it's the right lead, it's VERY rhythmic
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