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Discussion Starter #1
Hi.
When I ride my horse I usually walk and trot in both directions, then canter in both directions, then do whatever I want to work on.
My horse walk trots fine in both directions,
But when I canter him to the right, quoth my mother, he looks like a totally different horse.

His canter to the left is smooth, balanced, forward. Very nice.
But when I canter him to the right it's stiff, uncomfortable, every stride feels like I'm pulling on his mouth, I ask him to step out with my leg but it's still an uncomfortable canter all together! It almost feels like he's on the wrong lead, but he isn't.
It's so strange, and it just feels so uncomfortable, for me and probably for him to, because with the rockiness that I experience in that canter, it's very hard to stay soft on his mouth.

I'm searching for a video that shows it as I post this, if I find one I'll post it up. But I have no clue what causes this, he's perfect to the right!
Any ideas? While I look for the video?
 

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He's 12, and no signs of discomfort, it just feels stiff, but it's 100000% balanced and smooth going to the left, so it's strange.
 

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Never had an official back check but we've never seemed to have had a saddle fitting problem. When we bought him we inherited his old saddle, and when we get new saddles we stick with the size of his old one and we never seem to have a problem.
 

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I would have his back looked at, it may not even be that or anything..it could simply be he is a left sided horse and no one has worked him much on the right because he feels different. He could just need more work going to the right but I would have a physical exam done on him to rule that out and a saddle fitting check as well.
 

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Yeah usually when I ride him I spend a TON of time on the right cantering him and by the end of the ride the canter will feel a bit better! But it takes a bit of time and circling and even then he's rocky.
 

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ya its like us learning to write with our left hand when we have been using our right forever...it gets better with practise lol.. work him on the "bad" side first every ride and then the left. Does he look goofy and uncoordinated when you longe to the right? Or normal? It could be your seat as well...all it takes is for us to be "out" somewhere to throw off our horses balance
 

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I don't usually bother to lunge him, unless I absolutely can't ride him, he prefers me on his back. I always work him on his "bad" side first :]
 

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i would put on him a good joint supplment with glucosomine, chondrotin msm and HA. that probubly would help a little too. try cantering him in your half seat or jumping position first for a couple minutes, then sit to it so he has some time before your really on him to get his canter going and situated. that might help make it more balenced and confortable. work his right lead canter in 20 meter circles every time you ride him, and try to get him to bend into the circle.

this is all what i did when i first got my horse, because his right side canter was awful, and now his left and right lead canters are the same.

also, id double check your saddle fitting too
 

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One of the horses I ride does the same exact thing. The only thing different is that he is missing a chunk of muscle from his left foreleg from an accident when he was very young. All his life he has had to compensate for that. His left lead canter is beautiful, the perfect western lope, while his right lead canter is gimpy and discombobulated. When I first started riding him, he wouldn't even pick up the right lead. That was in spring 2009. Now he is much more willing and his right lead is not so stiff and horrible. It will never be as nice as his left lead, but it has improved. The problem was mostly me because I did not know how to prepare him for the canter. He needed to be supple and going correctly. And then the rest of it was just getting him into shape.

I would canter him on his easier side first so that he knows what you're asking. It's also good for you to get a feel for what you want his right lead canter to feel like. After working on his hard side, I would end with another left lead canter so that you can end on a good note with him. Working on a large circle is a good idea because you will be able to have a constant bend. Think of doing a little shoulder-fore, even while on the circle. That will help his balance. Try changes within the gait. With the horse I ride, it helped when I asked him to lengthen his canter stride. Then when I came back to a more collected canter his was still pushing with his hind quarters. Once you are pretty solid on the circle you acn try to introduce some straight lines and different figures. Remember to have a good riding position throughout this! I know I tend to forget about my body and think only about the horse, but my body is what influences the horse. ;)
 
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