Wrong Lead

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Wrong Lead

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    07-11-2011, 12:28 AM
Wrong Lead

My 7 year old gelding got an 8 month break off for the winter. Now that I have been ridding him for about 3 weeks, I noticed on his left he is having difficulties getting the right lead. If I work on cantering small circles he will eventually get it, but rarely gets it on the rail. He gets frustrated and confused from me asking to canter then stop, canter, stop because he always is on the wrong lead. When on the lunge he gets the right lead about 80% of the time. He is sound and everything just must of forgotten some things while being on break. Does anyone have any advice to help him pick up the correct lead? I ask him to canter by raising my inside hand a little, putting my outside leg behind the cinch and my inside at or ahead the cinch and swing my hips with his inside leg.
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    07-11-2011, 12:42 AM
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If the horse is sound (not in pain somewhere), it is something you are doing.

Sound horses just do not have lead problems -- riders do. I would guess that you do not have real good shoulder, body and hip control. When you get a horse to ride in proper alignment and you have hip control, you ask a horse to bring his hip to the inside and you will get the correct lead 100% of the time. When you bring a horse's hind end to the inside of the direction you are asking for a lead on, the horse will begin the canter with his hind foot. This not only assures you of getting the correct lead, it eliminates a horse 'hopping' into a canter with his front end which also causes a horse to raise his head at the start of the canter and drag his arse along behind instead of driving from behind.
    07-11-2011, 12:46 AM
When you say raising your inside hand, are you tipping his nose to the right when trying to get the right lead? If so you can try to bump his face to the left to free up the right side, almost forcing him to get it right. That just works for me most of the time. Also it sounds like you're cuing correctly with the leg, but is the horse responding and framing up properly? (moving his hip to the inside)Hope this helps
    07-11-2011, 01:42 AM
If I can remember this correctly (not ridden in 8 months, lol)

Before you ask for canter, sit, inside hip forward, outside leg on the girth, inside leg behind the girth and (I would) 'kiss' and he'd pop straight into canter!
Going to the right my old horse had A LOT of issues with, regardless if we where on the circle, straight or out on a trail, he'd never go onto that lead, never! No health issues nothing, he was fine!
I used this and it worked a treat, trot to canter, walk to canter.
    07-11-2011, 08:14 AM
It may be not even about your asking incorrectly (although that can be an issue too). Personally I wouldn't canter after 8 months break-off till nice trot and walk/trot transition are established, all muscles are built back after such a long "vacation" (which may take up to couple months), and horse can balance itself with the rider on. I doubt he can carry himself and rider properly right now (at least how it sounds from your description), therefore issues on canter.

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