Hello! So just a little background. I take lessons regularly (hunter/jumper) and I leased a horse for a few months and I was asked by a few owners who saw me working with the leased horse (he was a mess!) to work with their out of shape horses.
One of the horses I work with is a 17 year old, 17hh saddlebred mare named gray lady. She hasn't been ridden in a long time, and the owner told me she hadn't ever even lunged her (she's owned her for some time now). I lunged her and it went well, I can definitely tell she's had a lot of training -- she even will free lunge in a circle around me in an arena!
But now my problem is she isn't picking up the correct lead when we track right. She will canter when you ask, but picks it up wrong every time.
So what do I do when she picks up the wrong lead when I'm lunging her? To encourage the correct lead, I mean? I give her a fairly big circle -- she's a real leggy girl -- and I know she's pretty out of shape so I try not to put unnecessary strain on her. And she cannot canter long (which is understandable).
I'll bring her down to a trot, ask her to canter again... rinse and repeat the same thing happens until she's puffing too hard for me to comfortably push her forward anymore.
Under saddle, I plan to work on spiraling circles and serpentines at the trot with her as well. I just want to make sure there's not something else I could be doing!
And obviously I know getting a vet or chiropractor out would be a solution... But she isn't my horse and she doesn't show any signs of pain. I want to try everything I can to get her to pick up the correct lead before I tell the owner that I think she needs to be checked out by a vet! Thanks