On Right Rein CUTS Corners
Okay, this has been our challenge. Walk is fine. But in trot, its awful. I'm trying to not collapse my right torso/shoulder so that Ed doesn't fall in, use lots of inside leg, good outside rein contact (which then he points his head to the outside). If I release the outside rein a bit to get a slight inside bend by squeezing my inside rein he still goes through my leg, and drifts in. We end up transitioning down to a walk and leg yielding back to the rail.
I look where I'm going. I look right to the corner of the arena before I begin to apply turn aids but he's cut in before then. I then overcompensate by shifting both reins to the left - ugh- its such a BAD habit. My right rein forgets to stay direct and begins to go indirect. My left rein drifts out to the left. Ugh again. The only way it seems to stay on the rail to go deep into the corner is to go in with an outside bend! Not so pretty.
Not sure if i can be much help but i'll try. :)
Ok, if this was my horse i would be practising leg gilding him of the rail. Start in the middle at one end of the arena and go towards the other end. Work on freeing up his left and right shoulder by leg gilding him towards the track. Make sure he's crossing over and not leading with his front end.
Another thing you could try is bending him in a circle to the outside when the drops his shoulder in and either do a few more and halt, then continue. Or go the other way. Repeating the change of direction will get him thinking. What he's doing this because he's anticipating the turn.
Remember to sit up tall and not to lean either way when turning, where you place your weight can change everything. Also work off the rail more maybe do some serpentines.
Hope i helped!
I ride a big-part draft who used to have this problem as well. She would cut halfway across the arena, drift inwards... and this was just on the flat. Add jumping to the mix and it was a complete disaster. I used this exercise to train her to go into her corners and now she's near perfect with them (keep in mind it does take time and patience, but will pay off):
Walk him into the first corner. Half-halt when you're a few strides away and then stop him when his nose is almost touching the wall. Then turn and do the same in the next corner, and so on and so forth. Pick up a trot and repeat the exercise (ride to the corner, half halt a few strides away, and stop him when he's right in front of the wall). Then do it at a canter. Don't worry about the way he'll bending, just focus on getting him into those corners. Meaning if he drifts in, pull him to the corner, use tons of inside leg, whatever you need to get him there.
Eventually he'll learn to anticipate that a half halt when approaching a corner means he needs to go into it and wait for your cue to turn. Once he learns this, half halt as you approach the corner, but instead of stopping him apply leg pressure and a touch of inside rein to bend him around your leg and keep him going. Same goes for jumping. After you go over a jump, ride to the wall and stop him there until he learns to go into the corner.
There is another easier trick you can use, but it's short-term and not so pretty looking. When you get close to a corner, lift both reins a good few inches higher than normal off the neck and move both of your hands hands towards the outside. This creates a barrier with the inside rein while keeping your horse's nose pointing straight with the outside rein. Also move your inside leg back a few inches and apply pressure. Works like a charm to get horses right into their corners but again, not so pretty looking.
Hope that helps. :)
Emeraldstar- that worked really well, halting in the corner after a half halt.
He got to take a good long look at himself in the mirrors in that corner. I think he's decided the corner there is not a scary place afterall. My last ride in the arena was so good in walk and trot we ended the session early.
Tomorrow we will do the same exercise so that he remembers going into the corners not so bad after all. thank you!
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