Help landing on the right lead?
I might be going to a show on the 24th. My horse lands on the left lead just fine but it's the right lead that he can't seem to get lol. Help?
First, check for pain. Always always always check for pain first, in any situation. You don't want to push them if they are hurting. Make sure his tack fits, his back isn't sore, his legs are in good working order, teeth and feet are up to date, etc.
Once he is cleared, sound and safe, you can work on the issue at hand. I would work on his bending/flexing. Get him working off of your legs well. Tip his nose to the right, and push with your right leg to get him to move to the left. Make sure you can move him off your leg, and get him bending whichever way you need him to. That will help a lot. After that, I would probably work on circles. Circle him to the left on the left lead, let him get comfy. Then, try to canter to the right on the right lead. If he doesn't get it, let him canter a few steps on the wrong lead, then stop and back. Ask for the right lead again. If he misses it, circle tight to the right on the left lead for a few seconds, then stop and back. Make the wrong lead uncomfortable and hard.
When he does get it, loosen your rein, give him big pats, and go back to a straight line. Let him go where he wants (if you're in an arena) and make cantering to the right easy. Eventually he will be going just as easy both ways! This is how we got Cowboy from CONSTANTLY taking the left lead. Worked great, and very quickly! :) Best of luck, have a great time at your show!
Do you ASK him to change as you take off for the fence? Are yOU looking in the new direction?
Does he pick up the right lead when you ask for it on the flat?
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Besides what has been suggested you can set up a small jump within your lunge circle and school him over that.
Also make sure you are looking in the direction you want to go ( right) while you are over the jump. The tendency is that you tend to shift your weight automaticly and the horse will feel this.
IF the horse is not RELIABLE in departs on the flat, I would work on that. On proper positioning/flexion in the departs. Then he will likely offer it when you ask (change flexion) over a fence.
Oh man I know exactly where you are coming from. My mare was HORRIBLE with her right lead, no matter whattttttt we were doing. She is FINALLY getting better and I couldn't be more proud! ;.)
What we did is make sure she can pick up the right lead on the flat-always. To do this we would ask for the right lead, and if she didn't get it, we would stop and back up, then ask again. If that didn't work we would just let her canter on the left lead but take her in circles, smaller and smaller until she was more or less forced to fix it. This CANNOT be taught over night. This took months of consistency to get her to be really good about it. Both methods helped her learn to get it right.
With jumping it takes consistency. Keep asking your horse and make sure you are both asking him just before take off and looking in the right direction. He may get it wrong a few times, just ask for the proper on right away. Changing gaits and changing leads is work. Horses will take the easy way out. It is easier just to get it right then always fight for the wrong one. Best of luck!
At first start with an opening rein to the right and pressure from your left leg, like if your asking for it on the flat. Do this over a smallish jump, especially when starting. Also try to get it so that no matter what he picks up his lead on the ground. Maybe try doing a lot of tranistions to the canter from walk and trot.
My horse has the same issue. He's not a jumper, but we do team penning and sorting so he's use to changing his leads a lot. But for conditioning in the arena its pretty horrible when were doing a simple circle left and he only wants to use his right lead. Thanks for posting this! Very useful advice! Can't wait to try them out! :)
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