Why am I having trouble?

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Why am I having trouble?

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        05-19-2009, 06:31 PM
    Why am I having trouble?

    I'm still working with my "new" Paint. I've had him for a year and a half. It took the first year to figure out that my old tack didn't fit him and he was protesting with unsavory behaviors. That's solved and he's a love! He was fairly green at the canter and we've been working at that and it's coming along. All with help! I'm not a trainer but can ride. I'm 58 years old and need support from a professional. During out last lesson I got so frustrated. Tracking to the left we do great together. But to the right he bulges his body and turns his head to the outside so that he's facing the rail and is all cockeyed. I can't seem to coordinate my hands enough to hold my outside steady and reach out with my right (we're riding western). My trainer says he's only doing what I'm asking him to do. But with my previous horse, tracking to the right was our best way and it felt very coordinated and easy. I just don't know where to go from here. I guess we're back at the walk until I can get this mastered but it all feels so awkward. She says I twist my body but I don't know what to do to correct it. I just know it isn't right and not the way I want to be riding. And I want to help him come along. Is this a training issue? Is it
    Something I can correct? This horse is awesome - super sweet, halter gorgeous, cute as a button, (my artist friend keeps painting him) extremely smart but I don't think he's had consistent work until now and he's 11. He wants to be a good boy but I don't know enough to correct this issue. Any ideas? Em
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        05-19-2009, 06:38 PM
    Green Broke
    Keep in mind that all horses are "left" or "right" sided much like humans are, and some can display it a lot more extremely then others. I honestly don't think it's anything you're doing when you're riding, because I'd expect it to be a consistant result, not just on one side. It's moreso that you just don't know how to correct him, and while you continueing riding "normally", it's not what he requires for his stiff side.

    I'd say just a lot of practice. Work on a lot of flexing before your rides, get him nice and supple in the neck. I've owned my Arab mare since she was born, and she's 10 years old now and STILL goes all wonky when we track left. She stiffens up her neck, resists bending for me, and would gladly wing her nose to the outside if I let her. I've had her checked out, and it's just a personal thing of hers! Again, this could very well be my fault, since I'm also right handed, I'm better co-ordinated when tracking right.

    It can always get better, but just keep in mind that it IS a common occurance in horses and he very well may need a lot more work on that side as opposed to his "easy" side.
        05-19-2009, 06:56 PM
    Thanks so much for your immediate reply to my post. I've been feeling dreadful, that it's all my fault, I don't know what I'm doing and my instructor even said that I don't ride enough to correct my faults. (I have a full time, demanding job and try to ride 4 to 5 times a week!) And I'm very concerned and contientious, wanting to do the best by him. It helped to hear that your Arab still has issues. Thanks! I didn't quite buy that it was ALL my fault. Yes, I know - "No problem horses - only riders!" But I'd correct the issue in a heartbeat if I could. I guess I'll go slow, supple him as you said and try to get the walk worked out. Em
        05-19-2009, 07:45 PM
    I think that the majority of the problem sounds like its the horse. When you lunge him does he have issues going forward to the right? If you don't lunge him I think it may be beneficial to lunge your horse a lot cantering to the right. This may help with some of the issues you are having on his back.
        05-19-2009, 09:32 PM
    I agree, more a horse quirk than yours. Like Macabre said, a lot of bending his neck and getting him supple. While you're walking to warm up, try using your reins and guiding his neck to the inside [while still walking straight] for several steps, let him straighten for several steps, and then guide his neck to the outside. Then repeat. Do it in both directions. The idea is he will relax into the bend, and as long as you give him a break he shouldn't stress. Good luck!

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