The Horse Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 10 year old mare, who raced and has difficulties picking up and maintaining her left lead canter. She has an established right hand and a beautiful canter.
I am after any advice on how could encourage it on the lunge before under the saddle. Would it be recommended to softly use aids/gadgets such asside reins or a chambon etc, as she tends to become uncontrollable and resist any pressure (I also do not have an accessible enclosed arena/roundpen atm).
Any help would be greatly appreciated :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi & welcome,
Before I tried to push it trainingwise, I'd want to get her seen by a good chiropractic vet or such, to make sure she CAN do it.
Hi, thanks for the reply. Shes been cleared by vets and chiros, so no issues in that perspective:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,469 Posts
I don't care for gadgets anymore because they can force a horse to do things they are not physically ready for. This causes them to compensate in other areas, leading to imbalances.

If a horse has difficulty cantering in one direction, I first lunge on a huge circle, walking with the horse. You want it to be large enough there is hardly any bend. Once the horse can stay in the lead for several circles during a session, you can gradually decrease the size.

Consider resistance as the horse saying the circle needs to go larger again. Creating the new muscles and flexibility will take time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Are you comfortable long lining? I'd prefer that over something like side reins or chambons or pessoas, ect. Better able to control the give and take of pressure for rein aids.
I'm guessing she raced on the pace? I would get her a pair of ribbed rubber bell boots a size too large. When you are going to work on this, put them both on the left side. They will help her be a little more of a lefty
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49,439 Posts
I'm guessing she raced on the pace? I would get her a pair of ribbed rubber bell boots a size too large. When you are going to work on this, put them both on the left side. They will help her be a little more of a lefty
Could you explain more on this? Are you saying the added weight of the rubber bell boots, on the front and rear left side feet will affect a change?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Could you explain more on this? Are you saying the added weight of the rubber bell boots, on the front and rear left side feet will affect a change?
I didn't make it clear but both boots would go on the left front.The added weight plus the "floppiness" from them being a size to big will give her a little more action on that corner. It might be just the little extra she needs to find that lead easier. It's an old technique from the days when Standardbreds needed more help than they do now. I would give it a try because it doesn't involve her mind or her mouth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
692 Posts
I kind of wonder if the "out of control" part may be because she is precariously unbalanced to the right and perhaps it frightens her. I have a 19 year old Tennessee Walker that I got two years ago. She's had lots of physical issues, so lots of careful re-conditioning, but that being said, she used to move "like an octopus on roller skates" (H. Jackson Brown, Jr.). I have never seen her canter successfully at liberty. Canter on the lunge made her very angry! And I have a feeling it's because her body was in such bad need of structured conditioning. Her legs were all over the place, leads totally disunited, having to continually break into some gawky gait to stay upright, it seemed. I discontinued lungeing for awhile because it wasn't serving my purpose, however I've recently resumed it. I have placed a single pole across the lunge track, about 8" high, and we do a low impact warmup (ordinary walk/flat walk), passing over the pole each circuit. When I ask her to canter, she has to jump the pole and I was thrilled yesterday to see her canter united on the right lead for two full circuits! I stopped her and praised her before she could switch behind. (We just started this exercise recently.) The small jump caused her to re-establish her balance and switch to the correct lead behind. This took several tries over a few days. The low key exercise on the lunge and her huge success at the canter have also given her a bit of an attitude shift for the better. I think her growing dexterity (nothing short of amazing) is giving her a tremendous amount of confidence.

I also see her going from a bit of a stiff stepping pace at the beginning of the lunge work, to a nice relaxed flat walk (or very close) when we're about halfway through our 20 minutes on the lunge.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top