At a loss

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At a loss

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    02-13-2011, 08:42 PM
At a loss

Ok I've tried a chiro,had the vet and dentist out,bought a new bridle,tried a different bit, and I am still a loss...for some reason Riley just completely balks at turning right...he sticks his neck out supper far,tries to rip the reins out of my hand and is just a monster. Once I ruled out medical issues I went with the fine you only want to go left we are going left til you can't stand it method to no avail. He came to me with an eggbutt snaffle, I tried changing to a full cheek snaffle and that didnt make any difference. I was trying not to go with any harsher of a bit cause im trying to get him used to soft hand cues since he was so hardmouthed in the beginning....any ideas?
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    02-13-2011, 09:54 PM
Does he do it only under saddle or if you try it from the ground too?
    02-13-2011, 10:35 PM
I would maybe lunge him in a round pen if available, with side reins, and slowly help him start to bend more in both directions, do some stretching exercises on the ground, and once he starts doing those well, start doing the stretches, bends, and encouraging the giving while in the saddle.
    02-13-2011, 11:43 PM
Super Moderator
Well, I want to know if he has ever been OK to the right? But, it sure could just be behavioral; He could have made up his mind that he WILL NOT go that direction as I have seen that many times before.

But, I would want to do one more thing before I started schooling on him. I would take a handful of grain and 'lure' him to the right with no pressure on his lead. You should try this first to the left so you can observe any difference. I do this any time I suspect a physical problem with turning. A horse should follow a handful of grain or alfalfa around all the way to his ribs. After all, they are made to be able to bite at a fly or other bother on their ribs. If your horse cannot do this or tilts his head at a odd angle, then find a better Chiro.

If he has no trouble following a goody around to his side, then start re-schooling.

The first thing I will do is take a 12 - 14 foot lead. I will stand to the horse's left side and bring the lead around his right side, (with my arm up over his back), place it behind his hip and then stand on the left and pull it. He should unwind himself by following his nose to the right. I will do this 3 or 4 times before I go to the next step.

The next step is to saddle one with an old stock saddle, preferably with a back girth. It is not unheard of to have one fight it and fall down, but that can usually be avoided by doing it this way. Take a ring cut out of an old tire inner-tube. You just cut across the whole inner-tube to make a big rubber band. The narrower the ring is, the weaker the band is. Start out with one that is pretty narrow and work up to a wider, stiffer one.

Tie the rubber band around the back girth (with a slip knot) just above the buckle on the right side. Then, pull his head just slightly to the right and tie off a rein to that rubber band. I use a full cheek snaffle so that it cannot pull through the horse's mouth.

You do not want to tie it too short. You want the horse to be able to give a little more than is asked so that he can get relief.

You will need to make the horse move forward after he has decided it is OK to just stand with his head off to the right. Some horses will just tuck their chin to avoid circling to the right. That is OK; Just have patience and it will outlast and out-pull him. I have not seen one yet that did not go to following his nose to the right. Some get really mad, but they all give it up.

I really like to do this in a round-pen. After the horse has given in to that rein, I will move the horse around the pen along the rail until he trots and lopes with his head slightly to the inside. Then, I will step in front of him, make him stop, make him make a 360 degree tight circle to the right and then continue on to the right until I step in front of him again. DO NOT let his go the wrong way with his head to the outside. You can get a real good 'follow his nose' thing done when you do this maneuver. It teaches a horse to gather himself up, do a pretty nice 360 while giving to the inside rein and then continue with his nose where it should be.

If you use a rubber link in your rein, your horse should not throw a fit and fall over like they will if you just tie their head around. I have never had this method fail and have had horses that people swore there was no way to make them go that one direction.
    02-13-2011, 11:51 PM
Do you think it could be a flexibility/pain issue?? My mare is very stiff to the right so I have to do a lot of flexing and bending to keep her willing and able to turn that way when I ask for it.
    02-14-2011, 12:17 AM
Super Moderator
That is why you ask a horse to follow a handful of grain before you start schooling on the problem.
    02-14-2011, 06:42 AM
Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck    
Does he do it only under saddle or if you try it from the ground too?
He will turn right on the ground its just when im in the saddle. I've had it fitted and checked so I know its not that. I know he used to try to pull one over on his old owner all the time maybe this is just another habit he learned would keep her off....hes too smart for his own good sometimes.
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    02-14-2011, 06:59 AM
Lateral flexion at a standstill perhaps. If you can't do that, and you can rule out medical problems, then try leading your horse from the far side. So many horses I retrain that have problems going one way vs another are caused by the handler only ever leading the horse from the near side and only ever holding the horse while leading without much slack. Which causes muscle stiffness and looseness in opposing sides of the neck and shoulder, and psychologically the horse is only submissive laterally on one side (as the horse learns to bend around the person leading it to escape the pressure caused by holding the horse on a short lead)

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