Dropping the shoulder and on the forehand?? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #21 of 28 Old 10-09-2011, 04:11 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: australia
Posts: 2,510
• Horses: 3
Thanks a lot Spyder I do find when I ride him in smaller circles I feel more in control. I will do that more. I know my canter was awful I am not so bad when I ride other horses but since falling off of Sammy I stiffen up when I canter though I try not to. How can I keep my contact more consistent? I have tried to have contact but I was often told I was holding onto his mouth too much and looked like I was using it for balance.

With my posting it can get a bit out of wack but it is usually a lot better than that. While I was riding him in this video he kept making me lose my balance and I was continually trying to keep him at a consistent pace when trotting. When we got to corners he would try to slow right down then speed out of them.

It is good to know he isn't as on the forehand as I thought. I will try to work on my riding also so it isn't hindering him.

Yeah Tiny he definitely will be fun once we become more of a team. Though he is fun now too, he keeps me on my toes.

My two horse Apache and Sammy are my world
along with our dogs Patch and Bear.
But I will always love you Jimmy R.I.P
apachewhitesox is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #22 of 28 Old 10-09-2011, 07:25 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 4,045
• Horses: 0
If you have access to school horses that will maintain steady paces, I suggest you spend some time riding them and working on your riding. Time spent with your feet out of the stirrups MIGHT help if you have a good advisor or instructor.

One of the things we used to do is put the horse on a lunge line and have the rider ride with NO reins and NO stirrups. Some of this was walk work also with NO saddle (so the rider could feel evey nuance of the horse's movement).

Riding is partly a human conditioning program (just like running or biking or swimming). It involves a combination of work out and muscle memory (Hmm.. just like when you train a horse ). For that to happen you need to be able to isolate the riding from the training of the horse as it is much more difficult to do both at the same time!

It takes a lot of practice and a lot of hours actually riding. It may also require the human to do other, non riding, conditioning. This conditioning would be to simply strengthen and add stamina to the human body.

I recall giving lessons and having a student sign up for an hour.. and 20 minutes into the lesson all was lost because the muscles needed for riding and the stamina needed for riding were gone. They were simply too exhausted to stay with the horse.. to sit deeper.. and to be consistant in contact (seat, hands or legs).

I am not saying this is YOUR particular problem as a video does not relay this (too short). It is simply something for you to consider (and any other person who runs across this thread).

You have a nice horse and an opportunity to make things happen. You are not afroad to ask questions and try things to make it happen. With your "stick to it" attitude, you can make it happen. No doubt in my mind.

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. ~Winston Churchill
(or woman!!!! ) Dinosaur Horse Trainer
Elana is offline  
post #23 of 28 Old 10-09-2011, 07:39 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: australia
Posts: 2,510
• Horses: 3
Yeah I don't have access to school horses as such but I do know someone who I can ride their horses and get lessons in exchange for work. Their horses are well trained trick horses who will show up all you faults lol because they do what they are told. She has offered for me to come out sometime and have a go. I just need to find the time to do it. Other then that I just work with what I have. The only horse I have who keeps a consistent pace when ridden is my old girl but she can't be ridden at the moment.

I also do ride stirrupless and bareback sometimes. I can walk, trot and canter bareback/stirrupless. I just can't on him, I have trouble keeping my balance when trotting and haven't tried cantering on him.

My two horse Apache and Sammy are my world
along with our dogs Patch and Bear.
But I will always love you Jimmy R.I.P
apachewhitesox is offline  
post #24 of 28 Old 10-09-2011, 07:44 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Arizona
Posts: 448
• Horses: 1
Hi, definitely some great advice here, and like Tiny said, thanks for the video! Just wanted to throw in my 2 cents, as an owner of a fomer barrel horse too. It took a LOT of training and schooling at the trot to get my horse some balance, as he was more comfortable working hollow. As we transitioned into canter work, he very much wants to do the barrel lean, and race around, rather than hold himself up in the turns. He too had that piston-like quick trot. He's getting more fit, but every ride is a training session if we canter. No cantering around for the sake of it, he needs to make properly carrying himself muscle memory! Good luck, enjoy the ride!
Posted via Mobile Device
MicKey73 is offline  
post #25 of 28 Old 10-09-2011, 11:32 AM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Eventing Country
Posts: 8,220
• Horses: 0
We need to stop blaming our horses for the results we are obtaining when we ride. Our horses are not to blame for being unbalanced, our horses are not to blame for going around hollow, nor are they to blame for wanting to lean into turns or for popping out shoulders or being uneven. They aren't to blame for casuing you to become unbalanced - it's not the horse! It's you, us, myself, the rider.

Our horses reflect 100% of what we do in the saddle, or do not do in the saddle.....so stop and look at yourself first, before you choose to lay blame on the animal who goes around perfectly fine without us on their backs. They are compensating for our unbalance, they are compensating for our miscommunication while in the saddle.

It is our job, as the rider, to ensure that we are balanced and in the saddle correctly, to ensure that our aids are coming across clearly for our horses to understand what it is that we are asking. It isn't our horses job - it is ours.

Spyder gave out some exceptional and very helpful advice.
Elana likes this.

MIEventer is offline  
post #26 of 28 Old 10-09-2011, 12:26 PM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Posts: 16,405
• Horses: 0
Your horse is exhibiting one of the most common stumbling blocks riders come across.

Picture this;
A bicycle. A bike can't bend. So, when it goes around a corner, it has to lean in because it can't bend. When the bike leans in, it forces the rider to lean in too.

This is what is happening to you and your horse. Horses, like people, are either "right or left handed". That means they have a stronger side that they prefer to put their weight on. Like us most horses are "right handed". They will prefer to put their weight onto that right shoulder. On a bend/circle, this is what usually occurs;

The horse tries to go clockwise, but doesn't bend.
All his weight tries to drop onto that right shoulder
This makes it impossible to bend now.
He counter flexes(bends to the outside)
Even MORE weight it now dropped onto the inside shoulder
He starts collapsing onto the shoulder causing the circle to get smaller and smaller

Since he is leaning in, he causes YOU to also lean in dropping all of YOUR weight onto the inside shoulder even further complicating matters.

Sound familiar? I bet it does.

To start fixing this, you need to start at the walk. when you ask the horse to circle clockwise, keep your outside rein to stay dead steady. You want your horse to learn to trust that rein and desire to move their weight into it. Any unnecessary jerking or pulling on it will keep your horse from wanting to use it constructively.

Use your inside leg to push push push the horse into the outside shoulder while using the inside rein to finish the bend, bringing the head inward. If you just use only the rein and no leg, you will only pull the horse back onto that inside shoulder. Occasionally, you might half halt with the inside hand to keep the horse from leaning on the inside rein.

When the horse can maintain this bend at the walk, start all over again at the trot. As the horse leans in, you can help him lighten the inside shoulder by taking your own weight out of the equation. Shift onto your outside seatbone/stirrup and put extra weight there. this will help him a LOT. Later, as he gets better at bending and arrying your weight, this will not be necessary.

Start with an energetic but SHORT trot stride. It is much easier for the horse to balance with a shorter trot stride. Energetic though, not like a western jog. Later, as the horse can maintain the bend and stay balanced, you can start lengthening the stride, but not too soon.

The bend always starts with the leg.

When he can carry himself well at the trot, both short and longer, then start all over with the canter. Again, keep the stride short, it helps. At the canter, the horse will really want to lean in. You will have to shift your weight heavily to the outside seatbone/stirrup at first, just to help him. Ask the canter depart from a SHORT trot stride. Every other stride, perform a half halt to keep his stride short enough that he can balance himself.

This is what I do with the countless horses I have had with this problem. It has worked every time. Good luck. I hope this helps you.
Elana likes this.
Allison Finch is offline  
post #27 of 28 Old 10-09-2011, 02:12 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 5,995
• Horses: 0
I agree with Spyder, but I would like to expand on the things you can do to 'fix' both your riding problems and his problem of 'falling into his circles'. Falling into a circle is just a symptom of the problem caused by lack of impulsion and lack of having a strong seat and strong legs.

He is falling into his circles because you are not sitting back, keeping your seat in the saddle where is should be to follow the movement of the horse's back and you are not using your legs -- particularly your inside leg.

It is difficult to see exactly how this horse is using himself, but I can see that his is not being 'pushed' into the corners. I can see that you are using the outside rein to 'hold' him out instead of your inside leg to 'push' him out. Any time you take a horse's head to the outside to keep him from cutting a corner or falling into a smaller circle than you want, you put that horse in the position to drop his inside shoulder. You not only enable him but encourage him to drop a shoulder.

This is true of a barrel horse (which can literally fall) that cuts in too close to a barrel and the rider tries to pull him wider with the reins to keep him from knocking over the barrel. It is true of the hunter that drops a shoulder on a tight turn.

So ----
Sit deeper into your seat.

Get your upper body back where it can help to 'drive' your horse forward.

Learn to 'follow' the movement of your horse's back so your seat stays securely in the middle of your saddle.

Learn to 'push' your horse's body out with your inside leg. Keep your inside leg at the girth or just behind it. Keep your outside legs back slightly farther to keep his hind quarters in. You literally 'wrap' your horse around your inside leg by keeping the horse's 'shape' bent slightly from nose to tail. Your inside rein keeps his nose to the inside just enough where you can barely see the corner of his inside eye. Your inside leg keeps his ribs and shoulders out and your outside leg keeps his hind end in the same tracks his front end is making. It keeps his inside hind leg 'driving the engine' and this also keeps him connected and in proper shape.

As you learn to sit your horse better and use your legs more, you need to start making circles starting with a small circle and making the circle bigger WITHOUT USING YOUR OUTSIDE REIN -- at all. You need to learn to push your circles out in a 'spiral' pattern while you keep your horse's nose nicely to the inside of that circle.

Start at the walk and sitting trot. When you can push your horse out into larger circles at these gaits, begin to do spirals at the canter.

Your horse will continue to fall into his circles and drop his inside shoulder until you can successfully do this exercise at all gaits.

When you ride in a square pen, push your horse into the corners with his nose to the inside. Your inside leg has to do this.

Teach your horse to do 'leg yielding' exercises. I particularly like a 'half circle and leg yield to the rail. I start doing this from about the 3rd ride on riding a green colt.

All of these exercises teach a horse to respond to 'lateral aids'. These lateral aids (and the more advanced 'diagonal aids') teach your horse to stay 'between the reins' and 'between your legs'. This should be the goal of every rider that strives for better performance from both their horse and themselves.
Cherie is offline  
post #28 of 28 Old 10-11-2011, 04:41 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: australia
Posts: 2,510
• Horses: 3
Thanks for the tips everyone when I get time I will work on all of this.

Also I did not mean to come across as blaming my horse. I know it is my fault I lost my balance. I am still working on making my seat good, I just meant I find him a challange to ride in the fact that I know he slows down for the corners then speeds up a lot when asked to keep the pace up due to this and him catching me nearly everytime I get a little unbalanced. I am working on it though.

My two horse Apache and Sammy are my world
along with our dogs Patch and Bear.
But I will always love you Jimmy R.I.P
apachewhitesox is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Horse Dropping Shoulder midnighthighway Western Pleasure 6 06-30-2011 10:44 AM
dropping the inside shoulder dashforcache Horse Training 13 05-31-2011 05:46 PM
On the forehand mistysangel0 Horse Riding 2 03-04-2011 09:12 PM
On the forehand, off the forehand. eventerwannabe Horse Riding 27 12-02-2009 06:48 PM
help keeps dropping his right shoulder! sonnysfirststar English Riding 6 03-29-2009 10:48 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome