She canters sideways!? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 06-24-2008, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
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She canters sideways!?

I've been working with an ottb mare for some time now. She's very smart and is learning how to be a ridden horse very quickly. She has a lovely canter to the right. She's learned to pick up the right lead and bends perfectly. Shes even pretty calm. But when we go to the left, it's like she's on a racetrack again. She'll pick up the lead, but that's the only good thing she does at the moment. She blows around there like she has a bat under her tail and forget about bending, I can't even keep her straight. She puts her towards the rail and her butt to the inside and canters around on a 45 degree angle. She never did this before, this is more recent.

My question is, how do I straighten her out? If I take her in circles she'll straighten out. But as soon as I take her back on the rail she goes back to cantering sideways. This is the only issue she has that's preventing me from trying her in an english saddle. Can anybody help me?
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post #2 of 5 Old 06-24-2008, 10:05 AM
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post #3 of 5 Old 06-24-2008, 12:41 PM
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My TB mare did the same thing. I found that there were a few things that helped her to straighten out:
1) Don't use as much outside leg
2) Make her counterbend slightly
3) Bring her shoulders off the track to match her hindquarters, once you have both even you can start asking her to go back on the track
4) Canter 1 to 2 metres off the track, and make her shoulders match her hindquarters, again once she gets the idea you can start leg-yielding back to the track, but don't let her shoulders drift first, do a solid leg-yield with hind and forequarters matching.

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post #4 of 5 Old 06-24-2008, 03:11 PM
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I would have a chiropractor come out and look at her. Sometimes the more sensitive horses will really freak when there is pain/stiffness/unbalance. That's what I would do first.

I also know a QH mare who cantered sideways on her own.....the most bizarre thing I've ever seen. Turned out it was a combination of teeth and chiro. issues. Now she's fine.
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post #5 of 5 Old 06-24-2008, 07:37 PM
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a lot of race horses have problems cantering on one rein or this case..horses race in an anticlockwise direction (clockwise depending on where you are) and so one one rein more than another they hype up and become reminded of the racetrack.
It also sounds just like her trying to evade you and see what she can get away with. Try like someone said, bringing her shoulders in, if she doesnt improve i'd have a chiro out or a vet to have hip/stifle x-rays
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