unable to move sideways and balance ? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 08-02-2012, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Question unable to move sideways and balance ?

My daughter's new lesson horse seems unable or unwilling to move sideways when asked. For example in the cross ties if he is too far over to one side to hook the opposite cross tie all her other lesson horses would move over sideways if you pushed a bit at their shoulder or hip. This guy just stands there and acts like he doesn't know what to do. Also he seems unable to pivot on his haunches when you try to turn him around in tight quarters. We haven't tried to ask for a turn on the forehand or haunches under saddle because we are pretty sure he doesn't know how to. He is also unbalanced at the canter and he falls in and out when trotting circles. (He was previously used mostly as a trail horse). I am wondering if the unbalancedness is connected to the inability to move sideways? My daughter's instructor says that he just needs to have more time trotting circles and cantering to get balanced, but I am wondering if teaching him to be able to move his hips or shoulders from the ground will help?
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post #2 of 3 Old 08-12-2012, 09:05 PM
Join Date: Jun 2012
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I'm most definitely no expert, but in most cases I have found that my trainers have always known how to fix a problem far better than I have

I too have come across stubborn horses that just refused to move over upon my request. Perhaps this is due to the fact that they are lesson horses, and some may just be so used to being ridden by different or inexperienced riders that they learn to ignore lesson riders (experienced or inexperienced). A stubborn horse I used to ride would ignore some of my commands, though be a perfect little pony when the trainer was the one asking again, I'm no expert; this is merely my opinion

Good luck!
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post #3 of 3 Old 08-12-2012, 09:44 PM
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Likely just needs more miles. If he was a trail horse he may not have learned to balance himself except for going forward in a fairly straight line, if no one schooled him in circles. Your daughter will benefit if she takes him out of the barn and asks him to move his hindquarters. She needs to look at his lower hind leg and ask by moving the tip of the lunge whip in the air near his hip. We ask gently first then gradually increase until he moves. She is to immediately turn the whip downward even if he so much as rocks his body sideways without taking a step. She then starts again, asking gently. He may not have a clue so she needs to be patient and help him. It is the release of pressure (her stopping with the tap and pointing the whip downward) that teaches. Have her work on this until she is proficient at moving both sides by just tilting her head and he moves his hiney. When she's leading him always make him turn away from her, not turn to the left, then he's turning her. The dominance thing. This is the preliminary to getting him to step his front over.
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