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GunSmoke 11-08-2011 07:21 PM

Turns In On Me in Round Pen
My family recently bought an 8 year old Quarter Horse gelding. I know very little about his past other than he was a 4H project for a young girl and did western pleasure. He's now been turned into a hunter. He does a little bit of everything from trail riding to being a beautiful jumper. He's a very quiet guy and I've never had any problems with him on the ground. I have noticed that he's a little stiff and less willing to bend tracking to the right. I was injured a few months ago and in order to keep him moving I started working with him in the round pen. Every time I asked him to go to the right he would spin and come running right at me bucking and kicking. Obviously this is dangerous so I stopped working in the round pen because I wasn't physically able to get after him. I left for college so I have not worked with him since and my mom has been riding him with no problems.
I'm looking for some input as to what this may mean. The fact that he is stiff to the right under saddle makes me think this may be him responding to pain. But his stiffness is nothing more than what I've felt in most horses who have a favorite direction or lead and my mom says he has gotten much better. Is it something I should have a chiropractor look at? Or is this a training issue. The horse can be lazy and at first I thought it was just him trying to get out of work. Any input would be much appreciated.

SarahAnn 11-08-2011 07:44 PM

My friends horse does the same thing, for some reason he HATES right turns. So when she first takes him out for exercise or to ride him, she makes him take a few right turns FIRST. After she wins the battle in the beginning, he doesn't argue about right turns anymore. I don't know why he does it... I thought his mouth might be sore and it hurts when the bit touches his mouth just right... But then she said he does it in a hackamore too. He is in his 20s though... maybe they just don't like right turns. I'd say a trainer could tell you best if it's a training issue or not.
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usandpets 11-08-2011 08:25 PM

Does he do anything like that to go left? What happens if you have him stop then go right? I think he's figured out that if he acts up he doesn't have to do it.
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SarahAnn 11-08-2011 08:30 PM

He's perfectly fine with left turns. Its right turns he doesn't like... With Rusty, she always makes him do it first thing, so he never gets away with it. But he still doesn't like right turns for some reason. He's a weirdo.
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thequarterhorseguy 11-08-2011 09:04 PM

My old QH had a similar problem, hed never want to turn right, so I would just turn a full circle left and loop around. Once they learn that they are gonna end up going that way anyways they`ll just do it. Ive never dealt with something like your problem before though.

GunSmoke 11-08-2011 10:13 PM

No matter what I do he'll ALWAYS find a way to turn back around, and usually it's by charging me. Every once in a while he'll do half a lap to the right but then it's right back to the left. I'm going to have a friend work with him and see what happens since I'm not physically fit and I don't want him to learn that it's ok to run at me. I'm just not sure if I should also have him checked out in case he's in pain because the horse is dead quiet and has perfect manners otherwise.

SarahAnn 11-08-2011 10:16 PM

It never hurts to have a vet check. But its the same with my friend's horse. He's used as a lesson horse- he's THAT good. He just doesn't like his right turns. But its not hard to make him do them, he WILL do it if you want him to, but if you didn't ask him to, he never would.
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Dreamcatcher Arabians 11-08-2011 10:18 PM

I'd have a chiropractor adjust him. If he's not out and not in pain, the chiro will tell you and if he is and gets adjusted, then either way you take away his excuse to not go to the right. I would also have someone who's really good at lunging work with him in the round pen and fix his tendency to run at you or charge you. That's not acceptable, pain or no pain.

Joe4d 11-10-2011 08:30 AM

Mine doesnt like right either, Its a common problem caused by us.
We mounbt on the left, lead from the left, interact from the left. Horses brains arnt connected like ours, It is almost like they have two brains a right and a left. Frequently we never train the right brain. Also we lunge and just go round and round to the left because it is easier. You should work on what is hard. My horse originally wouldnt lunge either direction and was afraid of carriage sticks or lead lines sometimes he would strike out with his front fee. Eventually I got him moving and going where I point. I stand with lead line in my left hand about 4 feet of slack, raise my left hand and point. I then tap him on the withers till he goes, each tap gettingharder. Then repeat going to the right. Admittedly I had to get on him a bit to get him moving to the right but once he figured it out he was fine. Now he moves when I just point lead line or not. Going left still isnt perfect though.
For about a month start handling him on his right side, every thing from feeding to grooming, lead him from the right, put his saddle on from the right, mount from the right, and MAKE him go where you point either left or right.

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