Wrong canter lead??? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 04-06-2010, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
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Wrong canter lead???

My 17.2hh, 11y/o TB gelding has always had an issue with cantering on the right lead on the right rein. Thing is, he's incredibly well balanced on this wrong lead. He's always correct on the left rein, its just going this one way. I know a lot of horses have preferred leads, but he's always unbalanced when he's on the right lead on the left rein, if this makes sense?
I've had many different instructors try and help me with this, and it often takes over 20mins to get him on the correct lead, and even then he doesnt hold it.
Has anyone else had this problem? He's a sweet boy and he's not doing it to be naughty, and other than that, his natural paces are amazing.
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post #2 of 7 Old 04-06-2010, 08:55 PM
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I had the same thing when I first got my OTTB. I worked on strengthening his left hind leg, which is the leg that pushed off for the right lead canter. I strengthened it by using shoulder-in and haunches in at the walk. After a few months of strength training, I would work him on his right lead for as long and he could keep going with good quality steps and then stop. I always did half as much cantering on the left lead. If we cantered 4 circles on right, we did 2 on left in an effort to balance things back out. To get him on the right lead, I would leg yeild him off the centerline to the rail and then ask for the lead in the corner. With the leg yeild, you get the proper flexion and bend to ask for the lead.

Another thing you can try is what I'll call a flat figure 8. Canter a left lead circle, come straight across the middle of the ring at the trot. A stride before you're about to run into the railing, ask for the right lead. Do a right lead circle, etc. Keep repeating left/right/left. Never ask for the same lead twice. This exercise only works if you canter cues are very clean. If your cues are muddy, it will only confuse the horse and possibly run him into the railing which is not good.

Good luck.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #3 of 7 Old 04-07-2010, 02:07 AM Thread Starter
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thanks!! I'll try that tomorrow =]
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post #4 of 7 Old 04-07-2010, 02:26 AM
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Get off her back, get her neck slightly to the outside, stand on your right stirrup and put your right hip as far forward as you can, THEN ask for canter. It basically forces her onto the right lead ;) Once she figures out that she can actually canter on the right lead, you'll be able to go back to more subtle aids.
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post #5 of 7 Old 04-07-2010, 11:20 AM
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My 18 hand Mare has the SAME issue as your boy, just counter clock wise. she (my mare) needs eggbar shoes... its not always rider error. Its in-balance , some times they need help cosmetically or what have you. He could have a sore spot on the side he has the issues with. His poll may need to be adjusted by a chiro. Theres a few options that can be taken. Firstly i would , if you have not already, lunge him the way he has a problem , if he does not have a problem on the lunge with the correct lead, its rider error, if he has the same issue then its a balance issue. Is he rushy at all going the bad direction? Ginger would get rushy and she'd be very stiff going counter-clock wise. She has un-even heels though, hence the corrective shoeing. if the shoes don't work then he needs / may need to see the chrio. My best friends mare had same issue, chrio came, adjusted her poll , and viola, no problems. Let me know how you make out its interesting to hear im not the only one with this issue lol.
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post #6 of 7 Old 04-07-2010, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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Cool, thanks, I will look into that!
Its hard to lunge him at my pony club though. There's a rule that you're not allowed to lunge until you have your C+ certificate. I've been riding for 11 years now, but only joined pony club last year, so i dont have that certificate, meaning I have to get someone else to lunge him for me

He doesnt get rushy riding on the problem lead, and he doest slip or anything, which is annoying because he's so balanced on this wrong lead that he is not inclined to correct it

I'll talk to the physiotherapist next time she comes for my friend's horse and see what she thinks
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post #7 of 7 Old 04-07-2010, 11:06 PM
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I highly recommend figure eights and strength training, as myboypuck said. Not only will shoulder ins get your horse stronger, but he will will also become more flexible which will help with lead changes in general. Seeing as he picks up the lead and doesn't get really pissed about it he's just weaker on that side. The way I was taught was to separate a figure eight in the ring and walk it. When you're walking, try to make him change the bend when you change directions. Then, do the same thing at a trot for a while. Once you're ready, do this at a canter. I think myboypuck covered everything else I know.

Random note: Do NOT let him go cantering around on the wrong lead! If you notice its wrong stop him as soon as possible. They can learn that the wrong lead is an okay thing to be on (in addition to being unbalanced on turns).
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