Running me into the wall
For a few months now I have been riding a 12yr old 15.3hh Mustang mare (who has some noticeable draft in her). I would not consider her green, she is a very intelligent horse, but so much so that she likes to test her riders.
This is why my riding instructor put me on her...
She had a lot of training when she was younger but had not been ridden consistently since then because of her sheer power. She is VERY forward and always wants to go, go, go. She also knows when she has someone on her back that she can take advantage of, and she will do just that.
Since I have been riding her, we have made a lot of progress at slowing her paces down. She has her bad days where she just does not want to listen, but then she has her good days when we can actually do some crossrails.
She is normally pretty good going to the left at w/t/c, but her biggest issue is going to the right at a canter. She is constantly trying to run me into the walls around the corners. Even when I try to take the corner early, she just completely ignores me. I don't think she is trying to be mean, or hurt me in any way because she has never actually ran me into the wall... she just gets really close. The ferrier and vet have both looked at her, and agree she does not have any lameness issues.
Any advice about how I can stop this bad habit?
Have you tried to canter in smaller circles to the right with her instead of going around the whole arena?
Yes, we have tried to canter in circle, but she still seems to drift outward...
She used to try to run me into the mounting block, and she seems to have gotten past that. I'm hoping she just decides that it is not worth it anymore like she did with the mounting block.
It cannot be comfortable for her to fight the bit like that.
I've been riding for about 7 years.
One of the trainers has ridden her a few times, and she seems to have the same problem.
Hm. My gelding has his bad steering days sometimes. I've been run into the wall several times. I know that it sounds mean, but if you've tried EVERYTHNIG else (tight outside leg, closed outside rein, open inside rein,) let her run into the wall. She'll get the point that if you turn, you dont get hurt by running into the wall. Also, make sure that she is strong enough physically to canter on the right lead. She may have a weak left hind pastern which is causing her to not be able to turn as well or do tight turns. Lots of left rein trotting and hill work will help to strengthen her left hind.
Hope I helped!
My gelding used to run me into the wall also, mostly a dominate thing though when I started riding him with him testing me. So what did I do? I pushed him into the wall if he started to move that way and was heading for it. Basicly it was telling him "Hey if you wana run into the wall... we are going to go right ahead and do it... but harder!" No it won't hurt him... it will just make him realize that running into the wall will result in a temporary bump by himself off of it ;-).
After about two rounds of him trying it he stopped all together with me. The key is to keep him going at the same pace when you originally started.
The other day, I put my mum on my horse, who is schooling Prix. St. Georges dressage. My mum could not for the life of her get him to canter to the left, he just kept bringing his haunches in and drifting into the circle. Now we can argue about how well trained he is, but one thing is for sure, he can canter from a relatively small aid. The reason she couldn't get the canter is because her aids on the right side of her body were too strong, and on the left side of her body were too weak. As soon as she backed off on the right side, the horse cantered.
So instead of saying "my horse runs me into the wall", say "I ride my horse into the wall and he's so good natured and wants to do what I say that he runs me into it".
Soften your right leg, sit up straight, open your right rein to the inside, let go of your left rein and keep your elbows on your sides. If you are balanced and asking for the turn properly, the horse will turn.
Anabel has a very good point.
My left hip is very weak, this causes Soda and I issues because I am inadvertently pushing him left with my stronger right leg. He's really just doing what I'm telling him to do. To fix it I concentrate on USING my left leg and also backing off a little bit on my right leg.
Does the horse have an eyesight issue??? There are horses that are more left sided than right sided of course and vice versa. I would say start working more on the right and see if she comes around at all...and I would also say have her eyes checked out. Check the physical side first to see if there is a problem and then move over to the behavioral aspect of her showing less respect for the rider on the right.
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