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apachewhitesox 09-30-2011 06:48 AM

Dropping the shoulder and on the forehand??
I wasn't sure what section to put this in and I know there is stuff on this on here but I couldn't find it.

I have a few questions.

The first one is about being on the forehand. Sammy is always on the forehand. I just can't seem to get him to use himself properly. What exactly can I do to encourage him to use himself properly? I also know rider error can contribute to this. What sort of things could I be doing to encourage him to be on the forehand? What are some things I can work on to discourage this? I do try to get him doing a lot of transitions (just started including cantering into this today) and circles and figure eights etc.

I also noticed he drops his shoulder and cuts into circles especially when he is going faster. As I said above what sort of riding can encourage these habits and what helps to discourage it? When we are walking I can make sure he doesn't do it but as we go up in the gaits he does it a lot more. I keep my inside leg on him which helps a bit. I also read or heard somewhere about lifting your inside hand a bit, I can't remember the deatails exactly but I have been trying that and it also helps a bit.

I try really hard to ride the best I can and keep my position as good as possible. I try not to blame sammy but he really can be hard to ride, most people hate riding him. Anyway I did already know these habits existed but today when I cantered him a bit they really stood out.

He was at his worst when I was cantering and trying to get him to do a circle. He was very heavily on his forehand and kept cutting into the circle so it was extrememly tight. This and him constantly fighting with me and changing direction on the forehand was throwing me off balance and a couple of times I only just managed to stay on. He is also worse when working on his left side. Everyone just says says well he is an ex barrel racer. I don't think this should be an excuse but with these habits I'm not suprised he didn't make it as a barrel racer.

So if that made sense to anyone I would love some tips. Thanks!

Elana 09-30-2011 01:06 PM

Go back to basics. Go back to the trot. If he is not balanced at the trot.. not able to transistion from extension to collection and back to extension in the trot, he will be worse in the canter. Do serpentines. Do figure 8's. Do cirles and spiral in and then back out. Use the half halt to resist forward movement and your legs to drive him forward to reach under himself. Get him transistioning from halts to walk to trot and from trot to walk to halt and do so balanced. Eventually work to get a smooth halt from the trot and a smooth trot out from the halt.

Go back to basics and get him doing what you want in the trot and the walk. When you have that, move up to the canter on the straightaway only.. transition to the trot from the canter before you make a turn. From what you are saying your are weeks.. maybe months.. away from canter work on a circle.

Get him operating as you want him to at the trot and walk.

apachewhitesox 09-30-2011 04:01 PM

Thanks. I will work on that more. I thought I would have a go at cantering yesterday to see how we were going because had been doing pretty good at the walk and trot.

JumpersRule 09-30-2011 06:59 PM

With the forehand issue:

Try "wiggling" the reins. Alternate with the inside rein and outside rein. For instance, while keeping the outside rein steady, wiggle the inside rein. Then wiggle with the outside rein while keeping the inside rein steady. You can't do this for very long periods of time because the horse will begin to bend the wrong way, etc. It's just a lot of give and take, back and forth. Also, keeping your hands higher might help. Is your horse in a noseband bridle? If so, he could be taking hold of the bit and taking advantage of it. If your discipline allows this, I'd maybe try a flash noseband bridle on him. But first, try to correct your riding before changing tack.

With the shoulder falling in:
You are on the right track! Use LOTS of inside leg, with your leg position toward the girth. If he doesn't respond well enough to that, try moving your weight to the outside. It's possible you could be leaning with him and not even knowing it. Just like Elana said, go back to basics. These problems are a LOT easier to fix at the trot. Good luck! :)

Spyder 09-30-2011 07:58 PM

As Elana said..go back to basics.

Your horse is crooked.

Wiggling the reins will not solve this problem as it has nothing to do with the reins but in the evenness of the action of the hind legs.

My guess is that your walk trot is NOT ok but if you have a video, posting it would give us a better ability to respond.

apachewhitesox 09-30-2011 10:25 PM

I will try and get a video today and post it. I have now realised the walk and trot is not ok, I could tell when we cantered because it emphasized everything that was wrong. I didn't think his slower gaits were great but I did think they had improved compared to the fast, bracey, barginess that they were before.

Also just a question what do you mean by my horse is crooked?

Spyder 09-30-2011 10:53 PM


Originally Posted by apachewhitesox (Post 1188382)
Also just a question what do you mean by my horse is crooked?

This is when the hind legs do not follow the imprints of the front legs.

In your case the outside hind leg is travelling outside the body profile of the horse. This grounds the inside hind and it cannot do its job as it is bearing too much weight while the outside hind is not holding up its end and you could say it is shirking its duty.

You need to get them aligned behind the front legs ( or get the front legs aligned in front of the hind) so the horse travels straight.

So the correcting is to the hind legs ( assuming there is no physical reason why the horse is saving the outside hind leg).

apachewhitesox 09-30-2011 11:29 PM

Ok thanks, I am pretty sure there would be no physical reason why he would be doing this. He saw a cyropractor (sp?) recently and he is fine. I can not thin of any other reasons.

Spyder 09-30-2011 11:48 PM


Originally Posted by apachewhitesox (Post 1188505)
Ok thanks, I am pretty sure there would be no physical reason why he would be doing this. He saw a cyropractor (sp?) recently and he is fine. I can not thin of any other reasons.

A crooked rider will create a crooked horse. That is why a video would help.

apachewhitesox 10-01-2011 12:43 AM

Ok I have got a video of the best quality I am capable of with no help, so sorry in advance if it isn't good enough. I will post it a bit later when I have more time.

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