One sided - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 01-30-2020, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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One sided

I have a nine-year-old Mare that offers great difficulty obtaining a left lead. When in the left lead she doesn’t seem comfortable and holds her head high. In the right lead she’s more relaxed. She has had recent acupuncture and chiropractic care and no issues were found. Her way of escape when scared is always to the right. When nervous and anticipating a lope she will cock her head to the right. Any suggestions on getting her into the left lead and relaxing there?
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post #2 of 7 Old 01-30-2020, 09:18 PM
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All horses have a dominant side same as humans...
So, do you work her extra on her weaker side so she builds conditioning to her muscle, muscle memory, muscle mass and better coordination? It will take longer to equal ability to the recessive side...

I would also be checking her build for symmetry in joint height, hooves shaped and trimmed so they are level and of equal height to each other...if that makes sense.
She needs to be balanced so she can move correctly.
Are her legs of the same height, same shoulder build and height, same hip height...again balance through the body.
Does her body build cause a restriction to her movements.
For me these are some things I would be searching for answers before going further.

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post #3 of 7 Old 01-30-2020, 09:24 PM
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Also don't forget that we too are sided, and that the sidedness of the rider will affect the sidedness of the horse. So we too have to work on our sidedness off-horse (and on-horse), so that we become less interfering with the horse's sidedness.

SueC is time travelling.
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post #4 of 7 Old 02-02-2020, 09:58 PM
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Great start that you have had a chiro see to her, as it does sound like a physical problem is likely. Or, as suggested, you/the rider could be making it difficult for her, be that due to your own assymetry or a physical problem. I will leave others who are better able to instruct you as to training-wise, but I think you need to properly rule out/address any physical issues first.
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post #5 of 7 Old 02-03-2020, 02:01 PM
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When you trot her down a straight away, does she prefer to have you always on one posting diagonal over the other?

When you back her up, does she lift some feet, but drag others? consistently.

Can she reach around to her side pretty far for a carrot on one side, but not the other?

when she grazes, does she stand almost always with one front foot forward, and not the other?

Watch her in these ways to observe one-sidedness and stiffness.
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post #6 of 7 Old 02-03-2020, 02:17 PM
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Have you tried lunging or round penning her to see if it's the same thing there? If she gets the correct lead in the round pen, then you might start thinking rider error.

"Saddle fit -- it's a no brainer!"" - random person
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post #7 of 7 Old 02-03-2020, 02:26 PM
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On top of everything else, get her eyesight checked out. If she has trouble on one side she will avoid moving into it. Speaking from experience here - my mare is blind in one eye. The avoidance is especially obvious in canter and canter departure.
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