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DappleGray 05-14-2012 01:05 AM

Mare canters sideways
 
I've been having an odd problem with my mare. Whenever I canter her down a road, or a trail, she goes sideways. I've had my friends observe this, and it is always the same. While at a canter, her hind quarters go to the left and her front end goes to the right, and she moves in a forward motion. It's the strangest thing! She is fine when cantering around an arena, but she cannot canter in a straight line without going sideways. And she isn't crossing her legs over like in a diagonal. I don't know how else to explain it. If anyone has any suggestions or ideas of why she is doing this and how to fix it I would really appreciate it. Thanks!

Skyseternalangel 05-14-2012 01:40 AM

Well it takes a lot of rider balance and self balance for the horse to go truly straight.

Do you canter her off the rail in the arena or stay on the rail? She was probably using that as a crutch, so now you discover her canter needs some work.

I would find a big open field and canter in straight lines. Also watch that you aren't cueing her with your collapsed hip or leg slightly tighter than the other.

Has anyone else ridden her at the canter.. is it the same?

smrobs 05-14-2012 01:46 AM

Is she, by chance, a fairly hot blooded horse; prone to prancing and usually really wanting to run?

Only reason I ask is because it's a fairly common thing to see in horses that are wanting to go faster than they are being allowed to go.

Army wife 05-14-2012 05:40 AM

Does she canter in a straight line when you turn her loose? Or when she is out in the field?

DappleGray 05-14-2012 08:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel (Post 1498887)
Well it takes a lot of rider balance and self balance for the horse to go truly straight.

Do you canter her off the rail in the arena or stay on the rail? She was probably using that as a crutch, so now you discover her canter needs some work.

I would find a big open field and canter in straight lines. Also watch that you aren't cueing her with your collapsed hip or leg slightly tighter than the other.

Has anyone else ridden her at the canter.. is it the same?

I usually stay on the rail, and I also ride with quite a bit of balance too. She does this in the field, thought only sometimes. It is the same when other people ride her. But thank you for the advice, I'll be more conscious about what I'm doing next time I'm riding her and do some drills : )

SlideStop 05-14-2012 10:59 AM

My mare did the same thing, only in the ring!! It's an annoying problem to fix and took a couple months. Make sure she is willing to move off your leg. We did a lot of circles pushing her hind end out. Also, a lot of flexing and bending. When we got the canter I would lift my inside rein (she can't canter with her butt and her head to the inside) over exaggerate my hip (if her butt is out left I stick out my right), use my inside leg and open up my right leg. If she really wasn't listening I would put a lot more weight in my outside stirrup to get her hips over. When she got the point I would ask, let her go until she turner her hip in and then just correct as often as needed. Now I rarely ever have to, only if she is feeling testy!
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