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dreamrideredc 06-30-2011 03:45 PM

Establishing a Good Outside Contact
Hey there everyone!

Right now we are currently working on getting my horse moving properly...especially in the straightness department. Here's the problem - ME!

I have an incredibly strong left hand. I'm left handed, so naturally it's my dominant hand, but regardless I have to stop riding off of it so much. There is no hope of my horse going straight if I'm pulling left. I know what you're thinking - "stop pulling on the left rein then," but it's not that easy. I need to get my horse listening to my leg more because when I release pressure on the left rein, he immediately falls right. So, it's a big mental thing - I'm having to go against my instict. Ugh! I have a great left outside contact (obviously :lol:), but I need to find a better right one.

Sooo, any advice? Thanks!

Beling 07-02-2011 04:32 PM

I'm not sure, but I think I have a similar problem. One thing: check your seat. Is one leg usually a little ahead of the other? I found I was riding skewed, not a lot, but enough that one rein was always a little shorter than the other.

Second, work on developing the right rein contact, drop the left. If your horse goes right, fine, for a while just keep the contact soft but honest. I'm right-handed, so I had a problem of my horse wanting to fall left. I began to do more flexing that way, soft and slow, and it actually only took a few days before she started stretching into the contact. Use only 1 rein for awhile, so as not to confuse your horse.

Riding plenty of different-sized circles, changing direction a lot, and mixing in with leg-yields, helps to develop balance and symmetry.

Also, if you don't, I recommend your always wear gloves. It helps stablilize the hands. Hope this helps!

waresbear 07-02-2011 06:36 PM

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I was the same way, I am so left handed, in past years I noticed my horses were going way better to the left, I was making every horse I worked with left side dominant. It was kickboxing exercises off the horse that strengthened my right side and got me thinking about leading with my right. The above post looks like it could help on the horse. Anyways, I am over the left dominant cues now, I hope!

EmilyandNikki 07-02-2011 06:38 PM

Do the exercise I did in my last lesson. My instructor told us we had to do upward, downward, and moving off the leg without useing our hands. It was hard but it got us to figure out our seat. After that, ride on the rein where you need to keep most pressure on your right hand, and barely use your left.

dreamrideredc 07-03-2011 10:55 AM

Thanks for the great advice guys!

In my last ride we definitely had some improvment, but I found I was riding off my hands wayyy too much. My horse was really pinching back and getting irritated, so I'm really going to have to focus on adding a lot of leg along with the right rein. A big problem we have is that he doesn't really listen to my leg as far as steering goes, so I'll just have to be consistent with it.

Thanks again! :D

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