So my work with Allegra has been going really well recently while my instructor has been out of town. She's finally accepting the bit and collecting up her head for me. But as she does this we're getting into a new problem...
When I started riding her she hadn't been ridden for about half a year. But, lucky for me, she gets in shape crazy fast. For a while we put off canter work but now we're getting into it I can tell that she really enjoys it.
Anyways, we're starting to have an issue. When we're going to the left, which is her better way, she leans like crazy and it kills my outside leg. But only when we're on a circle. I know that my instructor warned me of this because she's still pretty young and rather green but it's really starting to bug me. She'll do it walk, trot, or canter, it doesn't matter. And nothing I do seems to help. Any ideas for that?
Going right she also tends to lean but not too badly. She'll just try to cut off some of the circle but if I remind her most of the time I can get her back to normal.
My instructor isn't going to be back for a while and I decided that I needed to do something about it even while she's gone. Any help will be loved! She's amazing with her head and you can tell that she's very happy being ridden but the fact that she leans drives me crazy.
take a look at this thread which references some othet threads.
I would suggest that a chiropractor have a look at her.
I have all my guys looked over at least once a year, with ideal being every 4 to 6 months barring no issues.
I had all of mine done once a week for 3 weeks in Feb. My barrel horse was out all over - he was 12. My 3 yr old filly was out right hip. She has been under saddle a year. My 2 yr old colt that had not be started under saddle was out in the hip, 2 ribs, and shoulder.
Past experience with other horses has taught me to always keep them on a maintenance chiropractic schedule and have them checked when they aren't quite right under saddle. AKA - cutting circles, not quite responding like I want or know they are capable of, etc.... Usually they are not lame, but I am not getting everything out of them either.
After that is addressed, I would work on nice steady conditioning to build up the muslces necessary to do what you are asking.
Make sure too that the feet are properly balanced - that ended up being my barrel horses issue (and his feet LOOKED great). I got my chiro and farrier together and had him at 100% in one day with shoes and chiro. Should have done that 2 yrs ago.
Well she just got her feet done on friday and I rode her a few hours after that and she was still the same.
I'm pretty sure that she's already been looked at before but I do know that our chiro. is coming out sometime this month.
As far as I've known she's always been leaning like this...
So, on her left lead is she falling 'into' the circle, or 'out of' the circle? I'm not understanding what you mean by 'leaning' and then you saying 'it's killing my outside leg'.
From what I am gathering the OP is using her outside leg to push the haunches over but that can be a fruitless endevour unless you know exactly what you really want.
So inside lean and haunches drifting outside....or in simple terms, goes crooked.
Okay, then make the circle bigger for starters.
Have someone double check your position as I suspect you lean as well and are not weighting the seatbones equally.
Also, have someone check the horse when travelling on a straight line to see which way the horse is carrying its haunches.
Then get back to us.
Anyways. Spyder is indeed pretty much correct. When going left she tends to almost cross her back feet, I think. It's hard to do a circle without her running into the wall since she's just...everywhere.
She's done this her whole life and since I'm asking the most that's every been asked from her I did kind of expect it to get worse and have to work through it with her.
My position seems decent, I just tend to lean forward a bit when I'm trying to help her correct it and now that my friend made me aware of it I'm doing a bit better. I'm not sure about the whole haunches thing, but I do know that her actual owner was commenting she walks almost like putting one foot in front of the other rather than just putting them down somewhere?
Today I kind of messed around with it, doing the right side first and...No idea how to explain it. Almost like a leg yield on a circle, I guess. Anyways, by the end my ride she was much, much better and we were able to trot going to the left with me just tapping her with my outside leg to remind her every once in a while. We just walked and trotted today, I think I might lay off the canter work for a bit.
She recently started almost doing a shoulder in when we're just walking but I'm asking for her to collect up or anything. I'm hoping I can fix it with the same thing I've been doing for the circles but I'll let you know if I have any problems, I guess. I should be riding tomorrow again - want to keep working on the whole circle thing constantly.
I'll keep you updated and let you know if I can't find out about the haunches.
It sounds like you've got a conformation issue, or a physical (unwilling to bear weight on the inside hind...particularly the left hind) issue, or a strength issue, or all of the above or some combination.
I'll lay money she doesn't travel straight behind on a straight line and carries her haunches to one side.
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