I own a quarter horse mare (she's 14.1). I ride her in English Hunter (I used to do long stirrup hunter for one season - i'm not showing anymore). Well, when I got her she was completely trained. Of course not to how I ride her, but she's like my soul horse so she learns really well with me. The problem is that she has kind of gotten into the bad habit of cutting the ring. She gives a FIT about going into the corners. The reason I don't fix it all the time is that I don't have the strongest leg and she knows that... so she knows to test me with it and see if i'll push her in the corners. I USUALLY do but every now and then I don't so she has issues with it. I cannot use spurs because my legs aren't totally sturdy (I got bucked off because of them and broke my arm once). They're more sturdy now but I have an illness where it's hard for me to keep my heals down so every now and then they jiggle around (I keep them as still as I possibly can).
So my question is that do you guys have any tips on forcing her to bend and go into the corner?
Thanks for the help if you do.
she could just be being stubborn, or she could be really crooked. My vote is shes being stubborn...my advice is carry a crop. but i think you will have to be the judge if shes trying to be bad or if shes trying and she just cant go into the corners (maybe she hurt hurself or something) :)
yeah I believe she's stubborn. I do carry a crop and I make her go, but she gives this little fit every time. and I keep going around the ring until she does it. we have the same attitude so it's easy to understand each other. she actually gets mad at everyone when i don't see her and when i do she's in the BEST mood. like the other day my friend was riding her and she made her work (i do but she has a stronger leg than me) so she made her go into the corners. she was like IM NOT DOING THIS! and it was funny. she would give these lil wimpy bucks. both my friend and I have been working on it, but she's still giving us an attitude. idk i think she just doesn't respond to the left leg. i wonder if something hurts her there for she puts her ears back every time i squeeze the tiniest bit. i guess i should just keep working on it..
Depending on how she was trained, she may just still be figuring out what you are asking her to do, when you do cue her; you stated that she was completely trained, but not to the way you ride her; she could be confused.
I would start stopping her IN the corners, so she learns that the corners are a 'good thing'; if she is indeed clausterphobic and that is why she's avoiding them, getting her to work off the rail, and then stopping to rest in a corner can help her understand that they are not a place in the ring to be afraid of, but a place she can 'rest'.
Also, if all you do is ring work, you may try to do more interesting things, like setting up an obstacle course, doing different cone patterns, going over ground poles, etc...switch things up so she isn't so bored with the ring work; some horses DO try to make things more interesting themselves, and that could be what she is trying to do by drifting away from the rail\corners. Go on some trail rides, or just do ground work some days.
yeah, i go out into the field quite alot and i make my rides interesting. and i bet you she is claustrophobic because i believe we are soul horse mates... we have EVERYTHING in common. I bet you because i'm claustrophobic, she is....
and thanks for answering both of mine :D
I have a mare with attitude issues. She believes winter=no work and enjoys trying to kick me while I'm on her back. I smack her with the crop, give her a good loud no, and move one. You may need to to this with your mare and do it consistanly so that way she learns that bucking isn't the solution and that she will just have to go into the corners more. You may also want to look into getting a ciropractor. Her back maybe out and that could cause her pain while going around corners. It probably wouldn't to look into that. I also agree with having her stand in the corners. If you do any ground work like lounging you could work her in the corner of the arena which may help.
There is a possibility that she may have stifle/ hip/ back issues and may need some chiropractic work. My percheron/ thoroughbred mare used to have a tough time bending and getting into corners with dressage. However, she has weak stifles and needed to develop more muscle in order to push off well with her inside hind leg. I'm looking into getting her messaged and adjusted soon after the holidays as well to really make sure she is fully comfortable before increasing the intensity of our workouts.
Before addressing any training or attitude issues, ALWAYS look into a possible health issue instead. Most comfortable horses will do what you ask them to as long as they understand. It takes a very tolerant horse to do what you ask if they are hurting somewhere.
(Random tangent, but this exercise will also work for barn/ pasture sour horses. Work them in their favorite place and then let them relax in the place they don't normally enjoy- like the arena for some horses. Soon the horse will think of the arena as a good place since they get to relax there, and the barn as being not as much fun place. Note, the horse will still naturally like being in the barn, but he won't associate it so much with not working and being a bum!)
Anyway, good luck and let us know how it goes!
oops double post...
Most Horses are afraid of tight spaces and such--that flight instinct thing (limiting where they can go). There are lots of methods to help with this--I personally like CA squeeze game and I do it with all the horses.
Corner shying usually is a test and lots of arena horses learn it. Quickest way to fix it is to start with the squeeze game then only let them rest in the corner. Make sure that you work them until they want to rest and push them deep in the corner before you let them rest. The down side is that they will want to slow and stop in the corners so keep them moving until you let them rest.
If you don't see improvement you are not working them hard enought before you let them rest.
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