working extra hard in right lead - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-25-2009, 07:02 AM Thread Starter
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working extra hard in right lead

So when cantering April she has a hard time keeping her frame for the right lead- seems like she has to work extra hard (I have to work hard to help her as well). The left lead is really easy for her.When in the right she tends to pick up speed (rush herself), and if Im holding her in pretty good she really seems to round her body and continue to rush. I want a lengthy stride but not a rushed stride.

what are some things I can do to try to make it easier for her? When asking for the lead I had to slightly turn her body for her to lead out with it but she straightens out after that (I dont want her tracking sideways). I have been doing:

-rollovers (well attempts at them... they are getting better)
-circles at a walk and trot
-stop back ask again

Thanks everyone in advance- and if it helps I have been riding english in a smooth snaffle with a dogbone piece in the middle.

It's not the will to win, but the will to prepare to win that makes the difference.
- Paul "Bear" Bryant (Former college football coach)
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post #2 of 6 Old 06-25-2009, 08:45 AM
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Trot/Lope in circles over ground poles. She will have to stretch forward and down. If she starts to jump or gets trippy - she is getting leg weary.

In hand flex work is great too. I recommend the Linda Tellington-Jones methods!
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post #3 of 6 Old 06-25-2009, 12:23 PM Thread Starter
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how far apart do you do the ground poles? like the length of stride you want starting out closer and then moving them out? I have been thinking about ground poles cause she gets lazy when even walking and it causes her feet to square over the 6 weeks between trims.

With leg weary are you meaning that she is just getting tired?

It's not the will to win, but the will to prepare to win that makes the difference.
- Paul "Bear" Bryant (Former college football coach)
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post #4 of 6 Old 06-25-2009, 01:04 PM
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For trot poles start with a couple of feet and adjust as needed. If she is trotting correctly, you will feel her 'lift' into you. VERY cool. I love watching my students face when they feel the total collection for the first time.

For lope/canter work - they will be a bit further - again depending on your horses stride. Some horses are more closed coupled at the canter than at the trot!

Leg weary - hesitation in stride or starting to really knock on the poles.
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post #5 of 6 Old 06-26-2009, 06:38 AM
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It sounds like she may be picking up momentum to keep her balance to the right. Does she fall in on her right shoulder? Which way is her head wanting to go? If she is falling in and wanting to pull her head to the outside, then come back to walk work and focus on putting more weight in your right stirrup, you want to block the barrel from shifting to that side, use light right rein until you feel her release to that side. Make sure you are not dropping your weight onto your left seat bone to push with your leg, try to keep balanced and work on weight shift. Do this at the walk for a while and your canter will improve. When I say a while, I'm usually talking about weeks + to change the holding pattern, but make sure that you aren't moving everything too much to the other side, be very aware when she starts holding the change on her own.

If she is very down hill and almost falling with her head to the inside, work on keeping weight in the left stirrup, but place the seat bone further back in the saddle, like you are trying to push her barrel forward and to the right.

Balance is very tricky with horses, and something a lot of people take forgranted. The faster you go, the more balance is compromised. A simple weight shift/seat change in the rider can do wonders for how the horses weight is distributed. Without seeing the mare travel, its kind of hard to figure out why exactly she is having trouble going to the right and exactly where the weakness is. I gave you two very opposite solutions that would vary depending on where the issue actually lies.
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-27-2009, 11:18 AM
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Maybe try strengthening her left hind leg by riding shoulder-fore while tracking left. Worked great for my OTTB. Now he's better on his right lead than left.
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