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Lateral Flexion-Help!

This is a discussion on Lateral Flexion-Help! within the Reining forums, part of the Western Riding category

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        03-14-2014, 08:38 AM
      #11
    Weanling
    I would also start building any new skill and the required muscle training at a walk, then the trot then the canter. Starting with the canter (as you are finding out) tends to encourage bad habits in both the horse and the rider. Baby steps, perfect them, then advance to the next gait. It will seem so much easier!
         
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        03-14-2014, 11:03 AM
      #12
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DanielDauphin    
    You asked about lateral flexion, but what you describe her doing sounds more like a shoulder yielding problem to me. I'm still not 100% sure about what you are describing.
    If you mean that you bend her left and apply inside (left) leg and she doesn't turn left, but instead wants to go right, and does so when you release her, you need less left leg and some right leg introduced to hold her shoulder from leaking out.

    Yes, that's what she's doing. So would I bring my outside leg forward to keep her shoulder in?

    I'm also not clear on one other thing. Is this horse doing this exercise pretty darn well at the walk and trot, but going nuts at the canter, or did you skip the walk and trot, and "start" at the canter. I'd sure be doing the majority of this work at the trot. It is the most underutilized gait IMO.
    Since DancingArabian hasn't chimed back in, I'll suggest that they probably mean using your pelvis position to ask her to slow down and come to you rather than over pulling on the reins. You certainly can, and indeed most people do, pull way too hard and way too much for way too long.
    We worked at the walk and trot for quite awhile before trying at the canter. After we had trouble I went back to the walk and trot.

    I lose control of her at the canter. She just shoves her shoulder out and goes where she wants. I've been thinking about this though, and we do drift at the walk and trot towards where she wants to go, but never have trouble getting her to complete the circle. Maybe we just need to work on the "drifting" for a while?

    Sorry, I'm very much a novice, I can use all the help I can get.
         
        03-14-2014, 12:02 PM
      #13
    Foal
    Take your time. If you were to lunge her, would she drift as well, or stay soft and on YOUR circle?
    IMO she's doing this for one of two reasons:
    1) She is testing your leadership and seeing if you really are capable of running things. Or
    2) She is still not 100% comfortable with you up there and bending her around at speed is just a bit too much. Sort of fear related basically.
    More trotting. Canter lastly and only if the trot got really soft. Just ask her to canter and relax first. Don't end her for a few circles then gradually ask for a bend. Spend 10 seconds, count it aloud, taking up the slack so she sees you coming a mile away. The microsecond she softens, release. Count out another 10 for her to relax and think while cantering. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
    I also like to only let them rest while flexed to their bad side making that bad side a GOOD place to be.
    DIYHorsemanship likes this.
         
        03-14-2014, 12:06 PM
      #14
    Foal
    You have to be able to get the bend easily before you start to ask them to maintain it. And at first you just maintain bend for a stride, then 2, then 5, etc.

    Slow is fast and fast is slow. As long as she makes some improvement each day, you're doing fine. If she stops making progress, slow down and real it down. Expect her to need slowing down and breaking down. Nbd
    bsms and DIYHorsemanship like this.
         
        03-14-2014, 01:00 PM
      #15
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DanielDauphin    
    Take your time. If you were to lunge her, would she drift as well, or stay soft and on YOUR circle?

    She does on the longe line, but had gotten a bit better, but I'm sure it still needs some work.

    IMO she's doing this for one of two reasons:
    1) She is testing your leadership and seeing if you really are capable of running things. Or
    2) She is still not 100% comfortable with you up there and bending her around at speed is just a bit too much. Sort of fear related basically.

    I have a feeling from what your saying it's a bit of both. She's 8yrs old, but we haven't done much canter work. So I don't think she's comfortable at the canter.

    More trotting. Canter lastly and only if the trot got really soft. Just ask her to canter and relax first. Don't end her for a few circles then gradually ask for a bend. Spend 10 seconds, count it aloud, taking up the slack so she sees you coming a mile away. The microsecond she softens, release. Count out another 10 for her to relax and think while cantering. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
    I also like to only let them rest while flexed to their bad side making that bad side a GOOD place to be.
    Thanks so much!
    DanielDauphin likes this.
         
        03-14-2014, 11:28 PM
      #16
    Trained
    We can only do so much for advice, because we're not seeing the full picture of what your horse is doing.

    If your horse is just falling into the circle, you need to use more outside rein and inside leg. The horse should be bending around that inside leg. You need to make sure you are straight and not leaning into the turn.

    If the horse's rear is falling out (like a car fishtailing), then what DanielDauphin suggested is spot on.


    If she's drifting, it's because you're allowing her to. You need to use your aids to keep her as straight as possible between your aids. If she's a wiggly horse, it will be tough because it may mean that YOU have to be uneven to keep her even (for example if her butt tends to swing to one side then you always have to be pushing it back over to keep her straight). If she's doing it on the lunge, she's invading your space and being lazy and should be chased right back out to the edge of the circle.

    If you're able to get lessons, even if it's just once a month, it will help you. Ask for homework in between sessions.
    DIYHorsemanship likes this.
         
        03-15-2014, 01:25 AM
      #17
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DancingArabian    
    We can only do so much for advice, because we're not seeing the full picture of what your horse is doing.

    If your horse is just falling into the circle, you need to use more outside rein and inside leg. The horse should be bending around that inside leg. You need to make sure you are straight and not leaning into the turn.

    If the horse's rear is falling out (like a car fishtailing), then what DanielDauphin suggested is spot on.


    If she's drifting, it's because you're allowing her to. You need to use your aids to keep her as straight as possible between your aids. If she's a wiggly horse, it will be tough because it may mean that YOU have to be uneven to keep her even (for example if her butt tends to swing to one side then you always have to be pushing it back over to keep her straight). If she's doing it on the lunge, she's invading your space and being lazy and should be chased right back out to the edge of the circle.

    If you're able to get lessons, even if it's just once a month, it will help you. Ask for homework in between sessions.
    I know it's hard to give advice when you can't see what she what she's actually doing. If it were possible I would be taking lessons. Hopefully, maybe sometime it will work out.

    I think everyone has given me alot to work and think on and will keep me busy for awhile.

    I can have one of my siblings spot me on the ground so I know what we're actually doing.

    I'll probably be back asking more questions soon.

    BTW I had Baby cantering today a few strides and she did very well.
         

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