problems with the right lead - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 11-22-2008, 12:55 AM Thread Starter
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problems with the right lead

my horse basically favors his left lead. he'll pick up a lope on it and h'll go in a circle forever!!!!. theni try to get him up on his right lead and he wont do it. he fights me the whole time. i've tried so many things. any suggestions?
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post #2 of 8 Old 11-22-2008, 07:59 AM
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Lotsa horses are like that. I had an arab mare that I called 'southpaw' cuz she didn't know she could go on the right lead.

If you have a 60 ft round pen, you can force him to go on his right lead, and get him used to it without the added distraction of your weight. When he is going around, and you get him into a canter (and if you know the basics of roundpenning you don't hafta worry about halter or rope!) he has no choice but to take the right lead. Get him used to it, horses require different muscles from one lead to the next, and he must be built up first. (But please don't mindlessly make him run round and round and round the pen, common mistake but it teaches them nothing but not to get trapped in a pen with you again.) Then, when he has been properly 'built up', then when you ride try doing figure 8s with him (at a canter) at first, if he doesn't change leads he will fall down. You may need to work on your horses 'bend' as well, how well he responds to pressure, leg and bit.

Hope this helps, and good luck!

Know thyself, know thy horse.
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post #3 of 8 Old 11-22-2008, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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i have tried round pen work and i even took him to my friend's house because they have a quarter mile round track and i totted him round it a few times then i started to lope him to the right and he picked it up but he wouldn't hold it. he would be on his right lead and i would praise him and he would keep going then out of nowhere he switches to the left lead and the way the track is set we can't go left so we end up with his body crooked and me fighting to ask for the lead again. i have even walked him, trotted him, and loped him around a barrel to the right but it wont work.
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post #4 of 8 Old 11-23-2008, 02:33 PM
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Obviously first, eliminate any medical issues... yadda yadda... :)

But to fix it, know where the problem starts. Cantering on the right lead starts from the left hind, called the "strike off" leg. Most times a problem with a lead comes from a weak hind leg. You can palpate the hip and stifle areas (or have someone show you how) and check for signs of soreness or tenderness.

Also a good exercise is to move the hind quarters around, each directions, before picking up the canter. trot a circle to the LEFT, and really work on pressing yours horse off of your inside leg. Use your inside leg slightly behind the girth, and sit tall and back, encouraging the LEFT hind leg to track underneath instead of slightly to the inside. Also do some leg yeilds off your left leg, which will really loosen up the hind leg.

When you ask for the canter to the RIGHT... start out on a trot circle to the left (do the same as described above when trotting left). HALT. Use your LEFT leg, and ask for a turn on the forehand. (horses hiney will spin to the outside of the circle you just made). From the HALT (or if not possible, ask your horses for just a FEW walk steps first) cue the canter with your left leg aid slightly behind the girth.

The idea is that you have the horse moving off that leg which becomes the canter aid, so he is already responsive to it. He has also loosened up that hind leg and can more easily pick up the lead.

Also do not overbend him in either direction, rather keep him pretty straight while you ask. Sit and slide your inside hip to your outside rein, so to speak, so that you are not riding on the inside shoulder (which also needs to be freed up in order to take the lead.

good luck :)


"The white horse moved like a dancer, which is not surprising: a horse is a beautiful animal, but it is perhaps most remarkable because it moves as if it always hears music."
-Mark Helprin-
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post #5 of 8 Old 11-23-2008, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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yeah we already had a vet look at him he's cleared but thanks for the advice that sounds great ill try that when i get a chance

~ Hope is never light years away ~
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post #6 of 8 Old 11-23-2008, 08:06 PM
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When you look at his front feet, is his LF lower in the heel than his RF? If so, is the difference minimal or screamingly obvious? In his normal/preferred stance, does he stand with his RF back and his LF forward? If you stand behind him and look down his back, do his withers match from side to side, or does his scapula look developed on one side and "slabby" and flat on the other side?
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post #7 of 8 Old 11-23-2008, 08:50 PM
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i would trot him to the right, a slow trot, and if you can feel it, make him acelerate when his wieght is on his left front leg, meaning he is using his right back leg. then he will the start the canter on his left rear, giving you the correct lead, keep doing circles till he gets the general idea
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post #8 of 8 Old 11-25-2008, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
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Yay!!! he finally did it!!!!!!!! and he held it!!!!!Consistantly

~ Hope is never light years away ~
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