Lead Issues! Agghh!

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Lead Issues! Agghh!

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        04-16-2009, 11:39 PM
    Lead Issues! Agghh!

    I just bought this cute little Red Dun Paint Filly. She is 3 years old and hasn't had much cantering work. The problem I'm having is she really doesn't like to take her right lead. My trainer has been having me drive her into a corner and then asking. She also had me turning her into a small circle and turning her head to the inside. She does the lead when I longe her. Sometimes she cross fires which I know is common for young horses to do while longing. I'm working on getting more hip control right now so that I might be able to set her up better to pick up the correct lead.

    So I was wondering if anyone had any others that I might want to try. She is a pleasure horse and will probably go on to be an all around amatuer horse because she has a lot of potential.

    Any tips would be great! Thanks in advanced! :)
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        04-16-2009, 11:55 PM
    Sounds to me like you are on the right track. :) Just give her some time, most horses have one lead that is stronger than the other and she may have to build up the proper muscles to use her right lead consistently. I would love some pix of her, she sounds beautiful. The filly I am working right now is just the opposite, she loves her right lead and hates her left. :)
        04-17-2009, 12:18 AM
    Thanks Smrobs! I just got her last week so I don't have any good pics yet. Here is one I took of her from my phone. I'm taking her to a show this weekend just to get her use to the environment so I'll take some there while she is all cleaned up and groomed :)

        04-17-2009, 01:59 AM
    She is a very pretty horse! It does sound like you are on the right track... I know that you want to show her, but try just going around some barrels.. make a right hand circle and walk to the barrel and turn it and then the next pass trot, but make the circle and then lope, and repeat. The fence trick is a great way to get them to pick up leads... my horse had a hard time picking up her left lead, which for a barrel racer isn't such a great thing But she eventually picked it up using barrels and the fence and even just riding around in a circle. SMrobs is right though.. it takes time... and it sounds like you are doing a great job!!
        04-17-2009, 07:40 AM
    Wow, what a beautiful horse!
        04-17-2009, 08:06 AM
    Green Broke
    She's not balanced enough yet with you up there. She's only 3 and built quite downhill. Her conformation is going to make it hard for her to do anything that she's not 100% balanced and ready for. All horses have a preferred lead and their other one can be a struggle.

    I would go back and do more trot work. Work her on patterns and over poles at a good working trot. Drive her forward so she's "marching" and you feel her back come up under your seat. When turning or circling to the right, lift up your right rein and sit a bit more to the left, to help her balance and not drop her inside shoulder.

    Working on the trail over varied terrain will also greatly help her balance and strength. Go through ditches, over logs, and up hills, all at a walk and trot.

    Plus just give her time, she's still a baby! 3yrs old is quite young, no matter how mature she looks physcially. She still has 2 more years of growing and filling out to do, even if she doesn't get any taller. Her mind is also young, so don't drill her too hard or too long. Keep lessons short and routines varied, so she doesn't become bored or sour to ring work. Break it up with trails rides or even just little jaunts in the field.

    When you do go back to canter work, make sure your position is helping her as much as possible. LOOK UP, shoulders back and relaxed, back soft, legs well under you, hands a tad high with arms relaxed. Start on a big circle at the trot. Get a nice marching trot. Sink your weight into your outside seat bone or step a little into your outside stirrup. Let your inside leg relax and your inside (right) hip drift forward a tad. Lift up your inside rein (not back, just up). Cue with your outside (left) leg when you feel her outside hind leg reach and step forward (her outside hip will drop). That is the best time to cue to get the proper lead.

    If she picks up the wrong lead or cross-canters, bring her right back down to a trot, let her relax into the trot, then ask again. Once she does pick up the correct lead, praise her heavily, lots of rubs and pats on the neck, and quit for the day to let her "think" about the lesson.
        04-17-2009, 08:31 AM
    Originally Posted by cowgirlfitzy    
    Thanks Smrobs! I just got her last week so I don't have any good pics yet. Here is one I took of her from my phone. I'm taking her to a show this weekend just to get her use to the environment so I'll take some there while she is all cleaned up and groomed :)
    She is incredibily down hill and if the right is her weak side she will have trouble until she becomes balanced within herself.

    You will need patience with this one. Only time will fix your problem from what I can see.
        04-17-2009, 09:13 AM
    Thanks everyone. I know she will get it. It just takes time.

    About her being downhill. She is downhill slighty but not as bad as what it shows in the pic. The ground is not level at all. She is growing like a weed too! The string test said she should mature around 16 hands and she is only like 15hh right now so she she still has a lot of catching up to do.

    Thanks luv2ride. I already do most of those things with her. I don't drill her or anything. Once she picks up the correct lead and goes around a couple of times, we usually call that good. I cool her off.
        04-17-2009, 01:19 PM
    She is very pretty. I love her coloring and what are you talking about getting her cleaned up. She is cleaner in that pic than most of my horses have every been. LOL
        04-17-2009, 07:15 PM
    First off, congrats on the new horse! I love showing the all-around events, so I hope it works out. Now for a couple of ideas about that lead.

    Is she dropping her shoulder? When you do tight circles, that is a very common thing to have happen and then ending up on the outside lead. Personally, I would put her in a large circle, lift up the right rein and take it a little diaganolly (sp?) across towards your left hip/shoulder. Then ask for the canter. This will help keep her from dropping that shoulder.

    Another is a skill that you will need for pleaseure/all-around anyways. Work on leg yields, and tipping the hips in both directions. Then you can try to leg yield her over to the right or just push her hips right and keep her shoulders upright, and she should go off on the right lead.

    Let me know if that doesn't make any sense or if you have any questions.

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