Help with the left lead! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-19-2013, 12:19 AM Thread Starter
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Help with the left lead!

I just bought a 6 year old quarter / thoroughbred. His canter is super smooth, I love it, and he picks up his right lead all the time. For some reason, he has a lower percentage of getting the left lead. I've been lunging him, but he's not great on the lunge line going to the left, either.
; he pulls on the line (we don't have a round pen). We've been working on balance and flexibility excercises (if you have any let me know), i'm just looking for some helpful tricks to get the left lead. I know he knows it, he does it sometimes and he's a OOTB, but over the past few years he's been a trail horse, and I doubt they cared what lead he was on. Anyways, it would be great if you could help. We have a trainer come out every once in a while, but we cannot afford very many lessons, so I want something to try on my own. Thanks!
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post #2 of 7 Old 03-19-2013, 10:41 AM
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Did you have him checked over by a vet? There could be many underlining reasons a horse may not want to pick up a lead. My horse was the same way. Loved the right could not get him on left. I did a lot of leg yields, moving hind end. Turn on the forehand and hind end. I could also be has less muscle on one side as he does not want to use that lead. I would do a lot of trotting up and down. Slow the trot speed it up. Walk, trot, walk.....etc. You need to get the muscle on that one side stronger.
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-19-2013, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freemare View Post
Did you have him checked over by a vet? There could be many underlining reasons a horse may not want to pick up a lead. My horse was the same way. Loved the right could not get him on left. I did a lot of leg yields, moving hind end. Turn on the forehand and hind end. I could also be has less muscle on one side as he does not want to use that lead. I would do a lot of trotting up and down. Slow the trot speed it up. Walk, trot, walk.....etc. You need to get the muscle on that one side stronger.
No health issues. I will. Thanks. Any tips (my trainer said to pull their head to the other side and put weight on the left stirrup) like that? Like say circling tight and then asking them? Thx
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post #4 of 7 Old 03-19-2013, 10:54 AM
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Circling tight will just encourage him to throw his shoulder out and pick up the wrong lead. If he is having trouble with the left lead then you put your weight into the right stirrup. Keep your weight centered or more to the right, make sure to keep your shoulder up and back straight so you aren't the one throwing him off.
With what your saying I would go back to walk trot and work on moving him over with your legs. He should bend nicely and be able to move move over diagonally both ways. This will help teach him to pickup his shoulder and build muscle.
Hope this helps I'm sure there will be many tips for you
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post #5 of 7 Old 03-19-2013, 11:35 AM
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He is off balance on his left side and dropping his shoulder so he doesn't have to get that lead. When you are riding him, trot down the quarter line and leg yield to the left, your aids for the leg yield to push him over will be the aids you need to get his left lead as it makes him bend. Once you hit the fence then ask for the canter. Also, asking for the canter in a courner of the arena will help as he needs to be balanced in the corner. Do not let him run into the canter, if he starts running, re-organize and ask again.

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post #6 of 7 Old 03-20-2013, 10:33 PM
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It doesn't seem like a vet issue. I would guess that it has to do with him being OTTB. I suggest asking for the left lead around a left curve with your right leg and also turning his head to the right as you're doing this. He'll probably always prefer the right lead, but should be able to consistently pick up both.
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post #7 of 7 Old 03-20-2013, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by gambler2007 View Post
No health issues. I will. Thanks. Any tips (my trainer said to pull their head to the other side and put weight on the left stirrup) like that? Like say circling tight and then asking them? Thx
My boy is the same way (lately ) and what you mention above is what someone told me a long time ago. I have honestly had no success with it and end up feeling sloppy. My trainer today however told me to keep the inward bend around the curve (only enough to see his eye) or drive straight and actually apply both inside and outside leg, but with the outside behind the girth. Even though the stride starts from behind, she kind of thinks of it as pushing that inside "lead" leg out to "ask" and driving from the outside leg to "tell" which lead. It worked for my boy the first time I did it correctly!
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