Horribly rough left lead lope-help! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 05-08-2012, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
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Horribly rough left lead lope-help!

I was not sure where to put this. I really feel that much od this may be the need for a chiro, which will be scheduled once I know exactly when my guy will be home, but it will be the end of the month. Here is the issue. As many of you know, my guy has been in true reining training now since last october. Not much time at all, in the big picture, I know, but he has made huge progress. His lope has always been really nice and comfy. However-he is now, after loping more circles than I would ever imagine possible......HORRIBLE to the left. His gait is SO rough it is absolutely killing my back. Trainer says it doesn't look bad, which it doesn't when I watch, but to ride-it is a killer. It feels like he is crossfiring. That is the only way to describe it. It is sort of a twisting motion and is really hard to sit. Makes no difference if we go fast or slow. Horrible either way. Right lead is fine and still really comfortable. Any ideas what I can do in the meantime until I can get the chiro there? Seems to just be getting worse. I am not sure what to do, but I will guarantee that if this continues I won;t be able to ride him long at all, as it will ruin MY back.

He is somewhat reluctant to start off, but frankly it is hard to tell if that is just his testing, pissy-at-times attitude or that it bothers him. Once going he seems comfortable enough, just rough.

Anyone ever experience this? Suggestions? THanks!

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post #2 of 19 Old 05-11-2012, 12:30 AM
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Ugh, never ran into this one! Have to ask around the barn when I go back up there this weekend, see if any of the trainers have run into this....
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post #3 of 19 Old 05-11-2012, 02:03 AM
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Yes, and eventually your horse might start switching to his more "comfortable" lead after 5 or 6 strides. Sometimes the hip is out, or the back or the neck, or the atlas. If your chiro doesn't do massage therapy after an adjustment, you might want to check out equine message therapists for immediate aftercare. Sounds very familiar to a problem someone close to me is having with a horse what was recently in training to rein. The horse is not visibly lame at all, however they are performance hindered.
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post #4 of 19 Old 05-11-2012, 07:50 AM Thread Starter
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My trainer just says I will have to get used to it, and, naturally, just do more of it. UGH.. He looks fine, and actually stops better going in that direction, spins better that way too.

Here is a video of both leads, just so you can see, it really isn't visible, more something I can feel. Remember-we are still beginner reiners.....very much "wanna-be's", and for what he is-he is doing ok at it. I do not have the ability to trim the video, so the y are a bit longer than I wanted.....sorry.http://s746.photobucket.com/albums/xx102/flaglermom/Gotchur%20Six/?action=viewĄt=MVI_1038.mp4


I have also only ridden him about 10 times in the last 6 months of training......and am still trying to get used to the whole western thing.....too many years of hunter/jumpers.

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Last edited by franknbeans; 05-11-2012 at 07:56 AM.
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post #5 of 19 Old 05-11-2012, 08:32 AM
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Okay don't shoot me if I'm wrong, but honestly the left lead one looks like he's not lifting that leading leg high enough. He's kind of dragging it a bit. Could be it's harder for him so that's what it feels jarring.

The right lead one is more fluid. Only reason I notice is because I have been schooling and teaching Sky his canter, and the diagonal pairs need to be in harmony.. not delayed or one trying harder than the other.

It could be a case of not being on his hind enough, or it could be that it's a bit stiff.. or maybe your position is blocking that shoulder from moving as freely.

But there's like a tinsy winsy fraction off.
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post #6 of 19 Old 05-11-2012, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
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Just glad someone sees it......

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post #7 of 19 Old 05-11-2012, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by franknbeans View Post
Just glad someone sees it......
Have you tried asking him to go bigger, it may be counter intuitive since you're working on the lope but I think if you get him moving really forward then bring him back down (shorten his stride) then he SHOULD technically keep the impulsion and get them going at the same time.

Or (this is really English) put lay down some ground poles and have him lope over a few.

I don't like the whole "get used to it" thing.. it probably isn't too comfortable for your horse either!

He looks so floaty to the right, though. Very nice lope!

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"

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post #8 of 19 Old 05-11-2012, 09:25 AM
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It's so hard to tell from a vid (I'm much, much better with feel and seeing in person) but I can see a bit of what Sky is seeing. It's almost like he doesn't have the same reach in the left fore as the right. I'd wonder if it's shoulder or if it's stemming from the hind end not getting up under himself enough to get that reach. I also noticed when going left, he tips his nose to the outside more than when going right. My old sorrel mare does that when she is off in her atlas/axis, it causes her to "drift" and everything else starts to fall apart as a result.

I'd definitely consider a consult with a chiro.
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post #9 of 19 Old 05-11-2012, 09:30 AM
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I have Hell trying to watch videos, they are always choppy from the buffering so I couldn't really watch his stride.
However I think I noticed that he wants to hold his head out to the right slightly. And he is more comfortable going to the right. If he has his head tipped to the outside he may be compensating for something going on behind.

Otherwise he looks like he is coming along!
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post #10 of 19 Old 05-11-2012, 09:51 AM
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I can't see the video from here but your description sounds like an issue I was having with Riley (actually we are still working on it). His came from incorrect training and a poor saddle fit which caused back pain. Without seeing the video my thought is that the roughness is caused by him not fully using his hind end and adding an extra beat into it with one of his back feet, which could be caused by a weak stifle, a sore back, a hock issue, etc.

If it were my horse I'd definitely jump on the chiro band-wagon. I have seen huge improvements with it in my guy and your chiro will be able to tell you what his trouble areas are. My chiro is actually my vet as well...

Good luck.

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