He's absolutely crooked!
 
 

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He's absolutely crooked!

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  • Inwards bent nose
  • How to smooth out a crooked canter

 
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    10-19-2010, 10:32 PM
  #1
Started
Unhappy He's absolutely crooked!

Well, I've had about 10 rides on my gelding Vinnie so far. I've spent the last 4 trying to straighten him out! He walks/trots with his hindquarters about 45 degrees inward from the fence when his shoulders are almost parallel. It's worse counter-clockwise, but it's still pretty bad clockwise.

What I've been doing is tilting his head inward, and moving his hindquarters into the fence. It works for about, oh, a moment, then he's back to where he was. Normally I wouldn't be so frustrated, but my patience is wearing thing. He has made litterally NO progress even after 4 rides of me correcting him. He didn't do this in the round pen, but I bet it's because it's a small circle.

I've given up cantering him because every time I do he gets the wrong lead (obviously because he's crooked). I tried pulling his nose inward and lifting his shoulder and pushing him over before I canter him off, which works sometimes, but some of the time my cue (outside heel) pushes him back inward.

I'm thinking that it's not my riding. I've been known to have a stronger left arm/hand and keep the reins shorter on that side, but I've been very conscience of it as of late. Anyway, that would move his nose inward, not his hindquarters. If anyone thinks it is my riding, though, I won't be mad ;)

So, do you think I'm correcting it the right way? Any suggestions of excersizes to do that will discourage that? I was thinking theoretically that small circles might help since he has to move his his hindquarters outwards from his nose.
Thanks for reading, and any input you can give me. :)
     
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    10-19-2010, 10:52 PM
  #2
Trained
If he's riding with his hanches in, ride either hauches-out or shoulder-in to try to cancel it out.
     
    10-19-2010, 10:54 PM
  #3
Started
Yeah, that's what I've been doing. I keep having to correct him, but it's only been about four rides? Maybe it'll get better...
     
    10-19-2010, 10:56 PM
  #4
Trained
Over time it will strengthen his weak parts and it should even out. Be patient.
     
    10-19-2010, 10:58 PM
  #5
Trained
I think with only ten rides I wouldn't be trying to correct anything. Just let him canter and don't try to manage everything. Don't worry about a smooth transition or how fast the canter is. Work on getting him relaxed and moving comfortably.
     
    10-19-2010, 11:20 PM
  #6
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eliz    
I've given up cantering him because every time I do he gets the wrong lead (obviously because he's crooked). I tried pulling his nose inward and lifting his shoulder and pushing him over before I canter him off, which works sometimes, but some of the time my cue (outside heel) pushes him back inward.
Exactly why I NEVER teach the horse to canter off the outside leg.

The reason he is better in the round pen is because the correction for crookedness is to ride FORWARD. All the correction you are doing now is like putting a tiny band aid over a major wound.
     
    10-19-2010, 11:32 PM
  #7
Super Moderator
build suppleness via counter bend

Yes , you could just work him at a brisk canter , using as Kevin says forwardness. Obviously he has been going that way for a long time and it may be hard for him to change. Along with just giving him so good, brisk and free canters from time to time, I would also do a lot of work at the walk. Do circles bent correctly, the make it a figure 8 but don't change the bend so that one circle he is normal bend, one he is counter bent. Again and again, on both sides.
Shoulder in on the long side, then shoulder in on a circle. If you are ok, do counter canter (cantering on the wrong lead) .
When you do ask for the canter , say on the right lead, when he starts letting his hind Qs drift inside the circle, pick up the outside rein and ben him to the outside of the circle just enought to be almost counter bent. Hopefully he will move his shoulder over to track in front of his hindq's. IMO better to move shoulders over to match Hq;s then reverse.
     
    10-19-2010, 11:34 PM
  #8
Weanling
[QUOTE=Spyder;787814]Exactly why I NEVER teach the horse to canter off the outside leg.

How do you teach them then? I am curious as I am teaching my mare right now and would love an alternate way.
     
    10-20-2010, 12:32 AM
  #9
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyder    
Exactly why I NEVER teach the horse to canter off the outside leg.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SidMit    
How do you teach them then? I am curious as I am teaching my mare right now and would love an alternate way.
Horse is taught to canter off the inside leg but more off the insidehip/thigh.

So to canter ...you would half halt, outside leg would be at the girth and ONLY go back if the outside haunch drifts outside so the outside leg becomes a guard...not a direct aid. If the horse is not consistant I would employ a slight shoulder fore position and increase the pressure of my inside hip and extend that pressure/aid all the way down the inside leg if necessary. The outside rein will prevent the outside shoulder from popping out and should be able to maintain straightness throughout.

Eventually just the slight increase pressure of the requesting leg will result in a canter on the lead asked for..be it true canter or counter canter, and be it inside an arena or outside in a field. Flying changes will become easy to teach from this point.
     
    10-20-2010, 12:49 AM
  #10
Weanling
Can I just say my mustang had the same problem. He was the absolute easiest horse to ride and then suddenly I couldn't straighten him out for my life. I was always getting yelled at for having my butt crooked in the saddle. Then after a year of this strange, out of character behavior. Everyone finally believed me it was something off, not my fault, or his. He then had vets out, dentist out, everything. Duuuh - ended up being his back, a few plates put back in place and he's never ridden better!

* Edit. - it's worse in one direction probably because his back is off in that direction. They physically can't bend or circle, you'll feel it. No matter how many circles and leg yields you do.
     

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