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View Full Version : Crooked young horse... Experiences or advice? EDIT: NEW VIDEO FROM LESSON TODAY! #26



Sonichorse
Oct. 20, 2011, 09:57 PM
Hey Everyone,

I am having a really difficult time deciding what to do with my four year old Hanoverian mare and was hoping someone here has seen a similar problem. I am stuck between a rock and a hard place financially so cutting down on diagnostic costs if at all possible is really important to me.

She seems sounds and comfortable 99% of the time, but she really does not want to track straight with her right hind leg, especially when going to the right. The problem seems a little bit better when I ride slightly shoulder fore to the left, but it is still present. You can see what I mean in these photos where her right hind leg is clearly inside of her right front.

http://imgur.com/Z0uCw

http://imgur.com/TeX7N

And here is a video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71HFpirKVKA

Obviously, she is a pretty big mover and I am hoping it is just a compensation for not having enough room to figure out what to do with her hind end. I am worried though that it may be a very subtle unsoundness. Would you look at a horse like this to buy as a prospect?

A huge part of my problem is that I have not been able to get good help with her because of my location. Can anyone recommend a trainer on the west coast who may be looking for a working student? I really need to progress with this mare while I still can and I am horrified by the thought that I might be ruining her or riding her through a bigger problem. Am I just neurotic?

I will try to get a video from behind if anyone would thing that would help.

Thanks!

Petstorejunkie
Oct. 20, 2011, 10:10 PM
Am I just neurotic?

Maybe a little :winkgrin: , but I do see some locking and blocking in that right lumbar/sacrum area in a few moments in the video.


ETA: THANK YOU for posting pics and video so that we can all have a very clear picture of what you are experiencing.

Sonichorse
Oct. 20, 2011, 10:20 PM
Maybe a little :winkgrin:

Riding by myself is so hard. I know if looks pretty minor because she still moves pretty fancily, but she is so resistant to going truly straight that I've gotten myself all concerned and frustrated. She does it at liberty and on the longe, too. I need some eyes on the ground and bad!

Petstorejunkie
Oct. 20, 2011, 10:24 PM
good instructors are hard to find! I travel 5 hours one way for lessons
Hopefully someone can offer some suggestions for eyes in your area.

LaraNSpeedy
Oct. 20, 2011, 10:24 PM
She is young and my guess is you just need to make sure you are not asking too much and focus on developing her strength. My 4 year old WB (5 years ago) was very strong physically but had some straightness issues too and as he developed and I took my time with him - he has straightened out and works very through and correct.

Carol Ames
Oct. 20, 2011, 10:56 PM
I suggest finding a chiro who has dealt with hind end lameness; many will tell you there is not much to be done for hind ends ; that just means that THEY don't:no: know what to do; There are at least two holistic vets this area , o. va. . who have had good success dealing with rotated pelvises; do NOT go for expensive Xrays; definitely NOT:no: joint injections especially hocks and stifles:no: this is something much higher:yes:.

Carol Ames
Oct. 20, 2011, 10:59 PM
the Tellington Touch body wrap can be helpful;):yes: in such cases:cool:

Sonichorse
Oct. 20, 2011, 11:03 PM
Thanks for the advice so far! I don't think there are any chiros in this area (central Oregon) unfortunately.

Things are extra compounded by the fact that I am recently out of college and working in food service right now so I don't have much money. I want to sell this horse but don't think she will be marketable if I can't get her moving straight. She is so fun and sweet, wish I was in a position to really get the most out of having such a nice girl! This is why I am looking for a working student position.

Anyways, sorry if this is all rather whiney! I really appreciate everyone's input a lot.

mbm
Oct. 21, 2011, 12:07 AM
this is very interesting...... she is really tracking off to the left with both hinds... you can see it very clearly in the video. at first i thought it was only the right hind, but both do it.

she seems to have a ginormous overstep...

but here is the thing... my guess is that this is how she is compensating and is getting out of her own way - ie: i dont think she can physically get her fronts off the ground fast enough so her hinds wont clip.. so she puts her hinds to the left.

my quick non pro guestimate is that she is being ridden over tempo and way to low in front. if she were mine and i was riding i would get her more up in front - more in horizontal balance, so her muzzle was about even with her hip or thereabouts and i would slow her down, closer to her own natural tempo.... so she can learn to balance better. i would also be very careful with my inside rein and not unbalance her, and i would not do too tight of turns etc while she learns to rebalance herself.

this is a nice mare. i would find help. where are you located?

mbm
Oct. 21, 2011, 12:19 AM
btw: does she do this without the rider? on the lunge?

Sonichorse
Oct. 21, 2011, 12:21 AM
I am in central Oregon, and I agree; I am running her off her feet a little in this video and I have wondered about that, too. Rewatching the video, I think it is worth mentioning that it was taken pretty soon after I broke my right leg so if it looks a little hyper active, that is a big part of it. Unfortunately she does it at liberty somewhat as well. I will focus on riding her in a slower tempo and more uphill balance tomorrow and see if it helps. Thanks for the input and advice!

Perfect Pony
Oct. 21, 2011, 12:34 AM
Whatever you do, make sure you use a vet who knows how to do proper neurological tests, and knows how to interpret them, along with other general lameness exams.

PolestarFarm
Oct. 21, 2011, 01:21 AM
Check your messages. I sent you one regarding a working student position.

besthorsever
Oct. 21, 2011, 01:50 AM
FWIW....A friend's very nice quality young mare had tight, hard muscles and an extremely difficult time with straightness--Ridden, on the lunge, or at liberty. She also liked to lean on the bit and motor around too fast. She lived in bell boots for chronic over-reaching. Turned out that she had EPSM/PSSM. Diet changes were the answer. She now gets good grass hay, soaked alfalfa pellets, beet pulp, rice bran and a vit e and selenium supplement. Absolutely no grain or sugar.
You may want to do some research on it.

Sonichorse
Oct. 21, 2011, 02:06 AM
Very good point about the diet, and I will look into it.

The thing is, I am riding her over tempo because she is naturally quite lazy to a little bit balky. She would much rather stand still or trot around like a pony. The video was taken around 60 days under saddle and so I was maybe a little over zealous about forward and running her off her feet. Now, six months later, I have definitely been letting her slow down since I've been confident in the forward command and feel like she is, for the most part, in front of my leg. She still isn't tracking straight behind though unless I severely over correct.

She is also now living in bell boots.

mbm
Oct. 21, 2011, 02:25 AM
i watched another video where she did it intermittently. when she was going at more slow tempo she didnt but when she was being pushed or a little more on teh forehand you could really see it.

i think, and this is no reflection on you as a rider because you appear competent enough - that i would not want to mess around with this mare until i had someone VERY good to help you undo some of what she is doing. If this is a habit then unlearning it might prove to be very difficult.

if she is sound and healthy then she needs to learn how to manage herself so she can walk.trot canter and not step on herself or go wide/sideways behind.

you will need a really really good person at training thru issues like this.

Sonichorse
Oct. 21, 2011, 02:44 AM
mbm, can you recommend any dressage trainers who you know might take working students? I don't know that I have the resources in my area.

LaraNSpeedy
Oct. 21, 2011, 11:22 AM
Again, I do want to reiterate, I have known a lot of horses this age who do not track straight and it straightens with correct training and physical development.

THAT SAID OF COURSE have a vet/chiro/massage/saddle fit etc etc always double check. There is sort of a staple list to go down and sometimes you have to go down that list 2-3 times with different professionals.

Case in point, we have a paint who looks like a WB cross and is solid bay - no one believes he is a paint - he is 2 degrees uphill and his neck sticks up out of his shoulders high - he doesnt have a smidge of typical QH in him AT ALL.

The girl got him cheap because he had a lot of quirks and was very very green. We figured out he'd been started in an ill fitted saddle - and he has an ego so he gets really mental (and hot) if he doesnt feel confident about something. Which at that point was everything. Including standing in crossties. But he is a real handsome mover and incredible jumper. BUT VERY CROOKED.

IT WAS ALL IN HIS BACK from the ill fitted saddle. BUT once we remedied this, he had residual MEMORY and anticipated the back hurting so with a good saddle, two massage therapists, a vet-chiro visit and full lameness exam etc - he was still crooked.

I went back to dressage 101 and started his training at the start to DEVELOP his body muscles STRAIGHT. After 6 months of patient good development of his back and hind - he is now straight.

Truth is, none of the vet, chiro, etc did anything but eliminate things but that is ok. I think that is responsible! What did the trick for him was - 1. good fitted saddle plus 2. correct physical development training.

esdressage
Oct. 21, 2011, 11:58 AM
There are good dressage barns in the Eugene and Portland areas (as well as others, I'm sure). Are you not able to haul in for lessons?

It does look like you need to sloooow down so she can balance herself better, go in a more relaxed way, work in a steadier rhythm, stay out of her own way. Even though you're seeing it on the longe, that could be because she's going too fast on a circle on which she can't ballance at that speed without getting out of whack. I'd really focus on relaxing her and finding the natural rhythm at which she can be balanced, and really try to take your time to get her set up for transitions, changes of direction, etc. so she doesn't get all cattywhompus through them. Teach her that you will create the situation in which she can feel safe and confident that she won't get thrown out of balance, that she CAN do whatever you ask of her, so that she'll relax and all that positivity will recycle itself into steadier, more balanced work, and only that work for which she's ready at this point.

All that said, I agree with ruling out anything in her body that might be amiss through vet/chiro/tack fit/etc.

She's really lovely.

Carol Ames
Oct. 21, 2011, 12:52 PM
find a Tellington TOUCH practitioner better yet a clinic" training" to take her to They can teach you how to prepare her for the "body wrap" also use the "'rearning obtacles" to help her develop awareness of her hind end; as well as your awareness. It is worth the time and effort:yes:I do enjoy watching as they learn a way of going.:yes::cool:

alibi_18
Oct. 21, 2011, 01:06 PM
Farrier. I came across the same problem and it was the farrier 'fault'.

The horse used to be perfectly fine with farrier A. Change for farrier B for X reason. Horse started to interfere and move like yours sideways style, over a time of 3 shoeing sessions.

The vet came. Told me to remove the shoes and have another farrier. Came back with original farrier A. Everything came back to normal after 3-4 shoeing sessions. Damn!

Yes she needs not to rush. Yes she needs more muscles and working slower from behind and faster from the front. Massage therapist, vet, chiro and all but I would look first at her hooves.

Sonichorse
Oct. 21, 2011, 03:08 PM
So I just came in from my ride and it was still a little frustrating, but so much better! I slowed the tempo significantly and focused on riding her left hind up and under her.

Another effect of her consistent trailing of the hind-end to the left has been some stiffness when asked to move laterally with her left hind. Here is a picture that shows her tracking straighter and, resultantly, in a much more uphill carriage:

http://imgur.com/WguWS

The tempo was so much nicer and she started to carry herself a little bit more behind.

She is just such a sweet and fun horse. I am so lucky! Trying not to ruin her on such a TIGHT budget is making me kind of a nervous wreck. Hopefully I will find a mutually beneficial working student gig very soon.

nhwr
Oct. 22, 2011, 01:03 PM
I have a young mare (similar breeding btw), she is a big mover too. She injured herself in a turn out just about a year ago. She was laid up for several months and given the OK to return to work. She'd been fine for a few weeks then start shifting her weight similarly. We could not find any issue on xray or ultrasound. Finally, I had a chiro look at her. Within in 3 minutes of looking at her, he asked if I was a aware that she had torn her hamstring. He was able to feel it and after he showed me where, I could feel it too. She probably did it in her turn out adventure, but we didn't pick up on it. It had healed, but there was some scar tissue.

The chiro said it was important to get her to step under, through and straight to break up the scar tissue. This was virtually impossible to accomplish under saddle. She has been working in hand against a wall since the middle of August and seeing some progress. It was the only way to get her to stop swinging that leg.

just sayin' ...

alterhorse
Oct. 22, 2011, 01:29 PM
this is very interesting...... she is really tracking off to the left with both hinds... you can see it very clearly in the video. at first i thought it was only the right hind, but both do it.

she seems to have a ginormous overstep...

but here is the thing... my guess is that this is how she is compensating and is getting out of her own way - ie: i dont think she can physically get her fronts off the ground fast enough so her hinds wont clip.. so she puts her hinds to the left.

my quick non pro guestimate is that she is being ridden over tempo and way to low in front. if she were mine and i was riding i would get her more up in front - more in horizontal balance, so her muzzle was about even with her hip or thereabouts and i would slow her down, closer to her own natural tempo.... so she can learn to balance better. i would also be very careful with my inside rein and not unbalance her, and i would not do too tight of turns etc while she learns to rebalance herself.

this is a nice mare. i would find help. where are you located?

That could be true, at her current stage of growth she's built very down hill, and those long hind legs have a very long forward reach, she might be very well aligning her hind steps to prevent them from interfering and overstepping on the fronts.

I would like to see lunge line video of her going in both directions to compare how she travels without any influence from a rider.

Lafeyarabian
Oct. 24, 2011, 12:44 AM
Hi, I too have a huge moving young horse. When traveling on a circle his foot fall is relatively straight. On the straight however his hindend was anywhere but behind him. Two things really helped. First, for weeks we primarily rode transitions on a circle. Literally thousands of them. This really strengthened him a lot. Then I started adding straight lines. What I noticed is that whenever his gaits got too big his quarters would shift... So, the transitions kept that from happening. The other thing that helped was haunches in first at the walk and just recently at the trot. It allows me to reposition the haunches as needed.

Sonichorse
Oct. 24, 2011, 07:31 PM
So I got a recommendation for a trainer in my area from this thread and took Roquelle to a real dressage lesson!

Or course the weather went crazy as soon as I got on, but she was such a good girl. I have been working on slowing down and beginning lateral work to get her more aware of her hind end since I posted the original question and I think she looks a lot straighter/ more supple. What do you think? The new video is here:

http://youtu.be/XTdY3EW4YtQ

I am still considering taking a working student position so I can get continual help since I certainly can't afford regular lessons right now. I was really pleased with her behavior and her progress!

I am also trying a new saddle in this video - it was really hard to post in. Any recommendations for a wide horse and a tall rider with a very long thigh? The saddle in the video is a Schleese Canterbury.

Thanks a lot for all of the comments and advice! I think things are improving a lot thanks to your help!

Petstorejunkie
Oct. 24, 2011, 08:12 PM
1. she looks much straighter
2. much better tempo
3. I HATE that saddle for you with a capital H. Tell me what you hated about the feel of it and I'll make some suggestions
4. she's ready for her poll to come up

Calhoun
Oct. 24, 2011, 09:13 PM
Interesting thread, glad you posted your problem. I think she looks better in the video w/ the instruction.

lovey1121
Oct. 24, 2011, 10:39 PM
1. she looks much straighter
2. much better tempo
3. I HATE that saddle for you with a capital H. Tell me what you hated about the feel of it and I'll make some suggestions
4. she's ready for her poll to come up

Seconded. She's loverley. I hate the saddle for you.

naturalequus
Oct. 24, 2011, 10:54 PM
Ooooooh that was lovely, OP!!!! Is it possible to work out a deal with this instructor whereby you exchange lessons/reduced lessons for rides or stall mucking or whatnot????

Sonichorse
Oct. 25, 2011, 01:38 AM
3. I HATE that saddle for you with a capital H. Tell me what you hated about the feel of it and I'll make some suggestions


Yup, I was in a terrible chair position in that saddle - I think the stirrup bars were too far forward for me. I think it also had kind of a wide twist which made my leg hang really awkwardly and hard to keep on. Posting was terrible and sitting was only slightly better.

I also know my hands were way too far back in my lap and I need to carry them up and in front of me much more.

I would prefer if a saddle helped me keep my leg in a better alignment - I have not always ridden in such a chair seat and I am disappointed at the way I seem to be absorbing the sitting trot through my shoulders and almost assuming the "water skiing" position.

Luckily, I have a very tolerant horse! Any saddle suggestions are very appreciated. She is quite wide and I am quite long in the thigh.

mbm
Oct. 25, 2011, 10:16 AM
i dont have time to watch it all but will say - that saddle does not fit your mare at all which is why it doenst work for you, and it would of been helpful for the trainer to say "now" "now" "now" at the appropriate time so you could get the timing of the leg aids for the TOF- and if she had you open your inside rein there would of been a lightbulb go on quicker i think.

i'll try to watch more later. but agree like the tempo better but still the mare is tight in teh back and that has to be job #1, forward tempo that relaxes teh horse, and the horse coming forwards/downwards as a result.

Petstorejunkie
Oct. 25, 2011, 10:22 AM
Bates isabell has a narrower twist but a WIDER seat than what you were sitting in, and is great for horses with well sprung ribs and riders with LONG legs. If you are interested in one, I know where you can get one at a great price :winkgrin:

Can you post some pictures of your mare's back? like a side confo and then a withers from the back, with camera resting on the croup shot? That would help a ton. I can make endless suggestions for you (because I've got LONG legs too and prefer a narrower twist) but that's only half the battle.

Sonichorse
Oct. 25, 2011, 11:42 AM
Bates isabell has a narrower twist but a WIDER seat than what you were sitting in, and is great for horses with well sprung ribs and riders with LONG legs. If you are interested in one, I know where you can get one at a great price :winkgrin:


I just sold my Isabell - it was the saddle in the first video. I couldn't get it to fit my horse. I really liked it on a couple of horses I rode in it, and despised it on others.

I have a medium wide Schleese JES advanced at home that I am going to try today. I will try to take some pictures.

shawneeAcres
Oct. 25, 2011, 01:14 PM
In looking at the video, your right stirrup looks a lot longer than the left. Just curious if you ride that way all the time, which will unbalance you and cause crookedness in the horse.

Carol Ames
Oct. 25, 2011, 10:37 PM
Can you stand on a chair behind her:eek: and take a picture/ video of her spine///////?:confused: That would be a tremendous help:cool:!