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Hi! I've actually seen many posts on this subject, but none of them seem to really fit my situation so I decided to make my own.

So last summer I bought a beautiful Hanoverian gelding. He was from a HORRIBLE home and at first my intention was just to save him from that life. He was 'trained' but seeing the bloody marks on his side from spurs and poor behaviour on ground I knew that their definition of 'trained' was very different from mine. So after a long summer of gaining his trust and teaching him some manners, I decided to ride him. Me and my trainer started teaching him from the basics and he's done a great job.He is a bit of a slow learner, so me and my trainer decided that it's best to take things calm and slow, give him time to think and adjust to new things etc. He picks up the left lead pretty well now, but whenever we change the direction and I ask him for a right lead, he just won't pick up. Usually he doesn't even want to canter to the right, but whenever he does it's always the wrong lead. During the time I've ridden and cantered on him he has only once cantered on a right lead and that was on accident. We were riding to the left and he spooked so he changed the lead... but changed it immediately back after realising. I've tried methods I could find on YouTube and on this forum but nothing seems to help.

The vet and farrier visit the stables regularly and they say everything is fine. I have also had a chiropractor and a physical therapist come and have a look and they see nothing wrong either, so the problem seems to be psychological. If so, how can I help my horse? I don't want to be too harsh on him and push him too much.. :frown_color:
 

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Elle, 1997 Oldenburg mare
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Does he ever take the right lead when he's out on his own in the field?
Will he pick it up with no rider if he's being lunged?

I had a one-lead-wonder of a horse myself, so I understand the frustration!
 

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Have you observed him in the pasture? Worked him on a line or in a round pen? ^^^^


Your trainer needs to be on him and if he can't get him on the correct lead you need a new trainer if all you say has been done has been and there is no reason for it.


Some horses (most) favor one side or the other but they will work from both if handled/cued correctly. Some may be more work to convince this but if there is no physical reason you should be able to work past anything else.
 

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I'm not 100% convinced that it is not pain somewhere. A lot of times horses can have back pain or pain in the pelvis area but not be visually lame. It is quite natural for a horse to be on the correct lead as that is how they have the best balance. If the horse counter canters on his own out in a field I would be 100% convinced that it is pain. But, just because they will canter on the correct lead on their own doesn't rule out pain either. They may be able to do it without weight on their back but with added weight it causes discomfort that they will protect themselves from.

Usually, refusing to go on a correct lead stems from discomfort in the back (lumbar region), pelvis or the hocks.
 
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My daughter's mare Moonshine wouldn't pick up the right lead. Turned out to be significant problems in her stifle.

Now Teddy is having problems (like 90% of the time) with his left lead. My trainer has suggested round penning or lunging him in that direction to try to build up muscles and confidence in going that way.

Just some thoughts that might help.
 

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How's your lateral work? I'm guessing not great. Forget the canter for a while and focus on improving your lateral work. Shoulder in, leg yield, traveres. Particularly at the walk, the walk and canter are related.

When you start cantering again, walk-canter transitions give you more control over their position. Often what happens during the transition through the trot, the rider isn't as secure in the tack and during the last step before the canter the horse will switch their balance before the rider can correct them.

When you do get the lead, only hold it for 4-5 strides then give them a break. Don't let them fall out of it. If they switch on their own, bring them down and immediatly pick up the desired lead.
 
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