She wont round up!
I need some tips on getting my horse to be more balanced and even. She is round and soft when she is going clockwise, but when going in the opposite direction her nose is alway pointed towards the outside of the circle and pulling that way, her gait is choppy and she can't pick up the right lead unless I chase her.
I've been lunging her in a surcingle and side reins to help her stay in form but is there anything else or do I just wait for her to get it?
How old is she? If she hasn't been started undersaddle, or not solid undersaddle yet, her frame should be the least of corcerns. Side reins should also never be used to hold a horse in frame either. They are there to balance the horse or simulate the riders hands. If shes inverting her body (not rounded into the inside of the ring) and her stride shortens, than this can only be fixed by lots of flexing and bending undersaddle. She is likely very stiff on that side.
I agree with Crimson; lots of flexing under saddle, both directions. lots of work at the walk bent and counterbent doing circles.
Also, there may be a physical issue. If she doesnn't want to canter to the right, then she wants to avoid weighting the outside lateral pair , in this case the left lateral pair. So, you are saying that though she is bent correctly for a counterclockwise circle (to the right), she won't canter in that direction? Odd.
When she canters left, she keeps her head to the outside (RIGHT) and leans with her shoulder to the inside? When you look at her neck from above, from in the saddle, do you see a difference in each side of the neck (move the mane so you can see them) Is one side kind of "bulgy"? That would indicate the muscle is tight and contracted there (probably the right side). So, you have to gently encourage her to strethch that side by bending to the left, and might need to be pretty strong bends, such that you actually disengage her hind quarters.
One last question, is this evident for all persons riding her? IF another rider doesn't have this issue, then it might be a crookedness in YOUR body.
Agree with above. First & foremost get her THOROUGHLY checked out physically, because especially when it's one-sided, it's likely that she physically CAN'T do what you're asking. Also consider the stage of training you're at, that perhaps it's more than she's ready for ATM. Also I too disagree with sidereins as a rule & forcing a horse into 'shape' with whatever equipment, instead of proper training will generally cause them to strengthen the wrong muscles as they resist it & can ultimately work against your aims anyway.
Crimson, she's a 4 year old. Started under saddle this summer. She did mostly trot work up until now. Cantering wasn't introduced (on the lunge) for long periods of time until this summer either.
She's also lazy, and very heavy on the front end and doesn't lift her shoulders so I think that is another reason she might be having problems.
I'll try what everyone's suggested under saddle, but is there anything else I can do on the ground?
On the ground, as with on her back, good exercises to help her balance & build back muscles are hill work, going over poles, backing up, obstacles, etc. Forget about her 'frame' and get her good & well practiced at that lot and assuming there are no physical problems preventing it, you'll probably find that the 'correct frame' just happens of it's own accord.
How unbalanced are you going in that direction?
Just as stated:
Just to add - your horse is 4 slow down!
Do not worry about a headset! As already stated, that will come on its' own accord when you are doing everything else right first.
You need to make sure, you are using yourself correctly - because remember, our horses reflect 100% of what we are doing in the saddle.
If you have video footage of you riding, that would be very benefitial to beable to see what you are doing while in the tack, and to beable to see exactly what is going on to create the outcome you are getting.
Most of my questions were brought up while I was lunging her. I lunge her in a counter clockwise circle and her nose points more outside of the circle than straight into it and when I ask for the canter she either doesn't get it, or crossfires. That could just because she doesn't understand that gait yet.
I am most definitely taking it slow, she was allowed to be a horse and play up until this summer. We did ground work and basic lunging. No cantering up until this year because I didn't want her to have issues later on. Right now under saddle we've just been doing walk/trot, circles and trail rides. (she will just be a trail horse, no showing for me!)
I really appreciate everyones input :)
I do have a short video of mercedes first canter under saddle...but I'm not sure if you'll get much out of it? You can see she is slow and I have to nag her to get her up there.
Oh, and by round I mean she's fluid, she's going into the circle. She's following the circle with her nose. When she isn't, her nose points out. I don't how else to describe it.
Loosie, thanks so much! I'll put your advice to good use.
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