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Weak on the RH rein (RH haunch not supple) Any advice appreciated.

Discussion in 'Training of the Horse and Rider' started by Taffie, Sep 5, 2017.

  1. Taffie

    Taffie New Member

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    Having had our older (24 years) loan Welsh/Shire 14.2 mare with us for the summer hols: mostly hacking, social rides and also schooling up our bridleway; we've started going back to more schooling at her home yard as we do in the winter and I have noticed in the last couple of weeks that it's much more difficult to trot on the RH rein diagonal. She's not popping me up off her back as she trots, which feels wrong and difficult. I'm thinking that on our summer jaunts me and my daughter as relative novices (2-3 years riding) have perhaps not realised she has been favouring the LH rein when trotting and cantering in a straight line. I have been doing plenty of transitions between paces up and down the bridleway and leg yields etc but perhaps my 13 year old daughter hasn't been changing diagonal when she is out.
    My RI has given me exercises to do in the school, but just wondering if anyone has any advice about how to get her to trot / canter on both sides when out.
    I usually do a long ride 5-10 miles at the weekend. Thanks :( It's worrying me loads.
     
  2. newforest

    newforest Opinion, a view not always based on knowledge.

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    I was always leg to believe that it didn't matter which leg leads on the straight, it's only when you circle.
    I ride in fields and I do a large arc on either rein. Can you do this?
    I change my diagonal though when hacking as she will put me on her easiest.
     
  3. carthorse

    carthorse Well-Known Member

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    I'd start by getting her checked over by a vet, at her age there may be physical reasons why she finds one rein harder & it would be unfair to try & work her through it if that's the case.
     
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  5. Jessey

    Jessey Well-Known Member

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    I'd have to agree with @carthorse , I would want to know there wasn't something else going on before trying to work through it.

    In terms of getting her to use both leads when out, you just ask for the different canter leads exactly as you would in the school (getting a specific lead on the straight is more challenging than using the school wall/fence to help you but is a good thing to practice anyway) and change diagonals in trot.
     
  6. Skib

    Skib Well-Known Member

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    I do agree about not asking older horses to change their ways or stress them. Maisie the horse I hacked for years found the left lead in canter hard and eventually we stopped asking her for it. Most horses are one sided even when young, just as we are right or left handed.
    However out hacking - I ride always (trying to remember) altering my trotting diagonal - all horses tend to throw one on a particular diagonal. And once I am cantering a horse safely out in the open I will teach it to give the requested lead - only this is not just a physical issue. A horse that is hacked most of the time and sometimes for years without being asked for a particular lead, may not understand the new demand. And it may take repeated schooling and repeats of the transition over several weeks to show the horse that you are asking for a right or left lead.
    Beyond that it is easy to supple a horse out hacking by riding leg yield from side to side of the track, starting in walk and later in trot. And if we are not on a fast ride with time limits, I often stop at a suitable wide place to ride various turns -just as if one is in the school.
    This for me is just normal riding. It isnt to cure anything. I like compliance from the horses I hack. And the purpose of dressage was to produce a good riding horse.
     
  7. Taffie

    Taffie New Member

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    Thanks folks. She has been checked over, no issues other than being a senior! She's having some tailored supplements now and careful exercise. Daughter hasn't been using both diagonals trotting when out, so the horse has obvs been favouring her left rein diagonal, because the RH quarter is a bit lazy/stiff. We've been working on that side and it is a lot better now. RI (owner) says she has always had the tendency to canter on the wrong leg on the RH rein as well, so that's an issue not age-linked!
    It's a bit of lazy slipping into the easier way from her I suppose, as at her age arthritis is there. Understandable, I favour my left side as I have crumbling joints too. Well, the saying 'use it or lose it' goes for horses as well as us, so we'll both keep going as long as we enjoy it :)
     
    Jessey likes this.
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