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Arab_Mare
May. 13, 2012, 09:39 PM
I have been having issues turning right on my mare. My trainer can turn her right, her tack fits, her mouth is fine, but I can't turn right. She surges sideways and I can only spiral her inside to stop her. Turning left is a breeze, I can turn with no rein, inside rein, outside rein, whatever. But I cannot turn right.

First off, how do you turn right? Inside leg back, inside leg forwards, inside leg on hard, inside leg on gentle? Outside leg back, outside leg forwards, outside leg on hard, outside leg on soft, outside leg not on? I want to know what you do to turn, and what you do if your horse won't turn and runs sideways.

I first open my inside rein. Then I use my inside leg while my outside leg goes back and I push gently and then hard with it. I lay my outside rein across the side of her neck to the center of her withers, and look across the arena. She then pulls her head up, and surges sideways.

Do you have other techniques for turning? I'm stuck, and I know it's something I'm doing. Should my outside rein be opening? Closing? Across the neck?

I don't have this issue in the walk, but I have it sometimes in the canter.


Please help. :(

paulaedwina
May. 13, 2012, 09:43 PM
It's you. We have dominant and weak sides like any other creature. On my weak side I collapse my torso so instead of bending in that direction I end up pushing the horse into a counter bend in order to stay under my crooked a$$ :no:

Are you riding with someone who can look at you, or riding with mirrors? I end up having to do scarecrow exercises on the horse (arms straight out and turning left and right in the saddle to try to develop more symmetry). Lunge sessions work well here too.

Paula

angel
May. 13, 2012, 09:50 PM
You say you are pushing hard with one of your legs??? Which leg? Why are you pushing? When you say your horse surges sideways...is this sideways toward the left, or sideways toward the right? What is your left elbow and hand doing?

hollynanne
May. 13, 2012, 09:52 PM
I was convinced my mare was some sort of stroke victim... sadly, it's me...

Lots of circles and spiral-in/out at the trot. Start at 20m, spiral in to as tight as you can without losing rhythm and bend. It'll be like 10m over 5 circles. If you feel yourself losing it, go back out to 20m until you get the bend back. I worked on this all.last.summer. The reward paid off!

Now, we go back to our spirals this month...

Don't get frustrated! You are not alone!
:)

quietann
May. 13, 2012, 10:04 PM
Also -- turn your torso in the direction you want to go, and drop your right shoulderblade down and back. This is one of my big issues with turning right on my mare; my left side is so stiff that it is actually hard for me to turn my body to the right, so instead I was using an indirect inside rein -- pulling my right hand toward my bellybutton.

fairtheewell
May. 13, 2012, 11:04 PM
Sounds like the dreaded fall through the outside shoulder black ice skid that some horses are expert at.... The first thing you have to do is steer out of the skid by using your left rein to straighten out the horse (sort of like turning into the skid to straighten out a car) lol. Then, there are a myriad of ways of dealing with this...sit up straight..don't lean, don't twist, not too much leg...with your inside rein (without throwing away your outside rein), you can turn your inside hand like you are turning a key in a lock (to the outside)...don't open the rein..stay connected but steady and light...just turn your wrist. You can also bring your inside hand in the direction of your belly button...it is the angle that is important and don't pull (your shoulders are parallel with the horses shoulders) so that means that when a horse turns right at the canter, if you twist your body to the right so that your left shoulder advances ahead of your right shoulder your horse will pop out on the left, so you have to keep your left elbow back at the waist but following and your right elbow, hip, and hand which will be slightly ahead and leading the diagonal (just like the horse on the right lead) with you following with the movement. When a horse is cantering to the right, the right side is the forward part of the diagonal of your shoulders and the horse's shoulders. Remember to look in the direction you are going. You can try this on the ground by yourself, i.e., canter around in circles with a right or left lead yourself (no horse) and see what position your body needs to be in when you are on the horse. I'm sure someone will immediately contradict what I have just said...lol

Arab_Mare
May. 13, 2012, 11:12 PM
I can't really turn..at all. Let' say I'm heading down the long side towards the right, and I want to turn. I turn, and then she heads sideways. All I can do is spiral the the halt to stop. I can't even do a circle.

NOMIOMI1
May. 13, 2012, 11:17 PM
Fairtheewell has it :)

My weak side the left ALSO shows up in the right turn (yay), and I usually end up with a counter bend as well for correction which really is only correcting a horse that is responding to my crooked seat so...

fairtheewell
May. 13, 2012, 11:19 PM
Sideways to the left? If so, you have to turn her to the left (make her straighten out) for a few strides, then...try the above if you can.

fairtheewell
May. 13, 2012, 11:21 PM
Yes, it is fairly common and maddening...lol

RedHorses
May. 13, 2012, 11:24 PM
Is she surging left or right? When you say you spiral to a halt which way are you turning?

It's definitely a rider issue, but one you can fix. When I have trouble doing something one way and not the other I set us up to do one side then the other in fairly rapid succession and I try to feel what I am doing differently in each direction. Then I try to do what I'm doing the good way when going the bad way and most of the time I get an instant improvement.

Arab_Mare
May. 13, 2012, 11:26 PM
So I shouldn't use much leg? So while I'm going down the longside, what should I do to prepare? What if my mare braces and throws her head up? (I ride in a double jointed snaffle with no noseband. Nothing complicated) Should I first use my legs? Or first use my reins? Or one rein? I know it seems like I'm asking you to describe every step, but I feel like I'm missing something. :no:

Arab_Mare
May. 13, 2012, 11:28 PM
**I spiral right. She surges left, outside. Sometimes she'll yank her head outside and raise it up high. Then all I can do it stop her to prevent her from careening into anyone.

fairtheewell
May. 13, 2012, 11:39 PM
Not too much inside rein pressure..just enough to direct her...think about guiding her to the right in the spiral...position your legs (outside leg slightly behind the girth, inside leg on the girth...but don't "apply" leg pressure. If she pops the shoulder out to the left and/or throws the head, etc., use your outside rein (left rein) to straighten her for a couple of strides to rebalance her and start again to the right...do it slowly but forward. Keep the turn big and gradual. Take time to decrease the circle..her body should be in the same arc as the circle as it gets smaller..when you "enlarge" the circle, apply a little inside leg, but keep her looking to the inside as you float gradually out to a larger circle. Take your time. Make small movements. When in doubt, make her go straight ahead....then try again. That exercise is sort of like us doing sidebends, and the outside muscles, etc., have to stretch...sometimes that is uncomfortable for the horse particularly on one side, so just take your time.

fairtheewell
May. 13, 2012, 11:56 PM
"Should I first use my legs? Or first use my reins? Or one rein? "

You always have to use leg (seat) first (i.e., apply gas to steer the car), then direct with rein(s). You can think..."apply a little leg AND then right rein, supported by steady elastic outside left rein (very important to learn not to throw away the outside rein...it is a counter-intuitive dressage thing, and it needs to be practiced). The horse has to "accept" contact on the outside rein on both sides by exercises such as changing direction...when your horse pops through the outside shoulder and throws its head, it is evading that outside rein.

drivingnewbie
May. 14, 2012, 12:18 AM
What I found that works is to push the horse foreward and just ride out any attitude and then to actually use my legs and prepare for turning in advance instead of using a lot of rein. That way this does not result in jerking. If she still does it quickly correct her and make her move out. Hard to explain but my evil Morgan mare is the queen of crabby attitude and doing this exact thing you describe and the thing that helped was to carry a crop and to move move move. And then just using gentle correction instead of jerking the horse's head the opposite way.
Also check your horses back and get the vet/chiro out as needed.

fairtheewell
May. 14, 2012, 12:36 AM
Just to be clear... no "jerking" suggested here...just sayin'.

drivingnewbie
May. 14, 2012, 01:07 AM
Just to be clear... no "jerking" suggested here...just sayin'.

Yep that's clear. I should have used a better choice of words. :) I basically suggest her not to over check on the reins constantly or fight heavily with the reins just incase that's what she's doing out of habit.

Keg-A-Bacchus
May. 14, 2012, 04:48 AM
I have nothing to add to these wonderful suggestions other than the title of your thread immediately made me think of Zoolander! LOL You're just like him!! Although he can't turn left! You're just not an ambi-turner! :-) Sorry I couldn't resist! Back to the good advice! :-D

angel
May. 14, 2012, 06:15 AM
First of all, you do not use your legs per se. What should be happening is that your stirrups need to be correctly weighted for the movement at hand. When the horse turns correctly, your leg will fall by gravity onto the correct side, if you and your horse are not crooked. If you know what correct weight aids are, then you can deliberately use a greater amount in order to better help straighten your horse. Your post indicates that you are no where near being able to control your weight aids yet. Your horse is also extremely crooked, and probably your instructor is having you work with your reins too short for the horse's level of ability. This also means that your upper torso is being pulled forward, and your seatbones are coming off the saddle. These things definitely negate any attempt for correct weight aids.

Your first goal is to be able to turn you horse while in walk. Let's say that you are walking down the long side in a clockwise direction on a straight line. You should have your ribcage raised. Take a deep breathe, and hold it. Feel that ribcage raise? Feel how your shoulder blades move closer to your spine? That is called "opening your chest," but your need to do that without holding your breathe, but only by keeping your shoulder points elevated. Pay attention, pay attention to where your shoulder blades are in relationship to your spine.

Now, your body in the saddle should remain upright with your buttocks tucked under just slightly. Wait! Are you in a forward seat saddle instead of a dressage saddle? If so, your stirrups won't be quite right if your have them too long. Take your feet out of the stirrups, and just let your legs hang long. Now bend your knees just slightly, but lift your toes. Allow your body to walk with the horse...left, right, left, right. Feel the swing of the motion.

Now if you are sitting correctly for this direction, your left leg should feel just a hint farther back than your right leg. Not "behind the girth" per se, but just a hint more rearward. What you are probably feeling is that your right groin area is firmly against the saddle and your left groin is not. Your left groin needs to be in contact with the saddle for your aids to be correct, and this is a difficult thing. Keep in mind that the turning of the horse needs to come from that area...the groin, not the lower leg. You want to keep the horse's body equally between your groins.

Can you tell yet which of the horse's hind legs is moving forward within the stride? If so, as the horse's outside hind moves forward lift your right rein. Put it down again as the horse's right hind come forward. Make sure your left hand keeps its thumb on top...maybe even a hint of turning that hand toward the outside to help firm the hand in the correct position.

Now normally, for making the turn, with a horse that is not crooked, you would just turn your upper torso inward a tiny bit, looking the direction of travel. But, your horse's body is already turned too much, so if you turn this way, it will put too much weight into your right stirrup. As you go to turn, you are also losing your left shoulder and allowing it to pull away from your spine. Turning your left hand slightly toward the outside will help better stabilize your left shoulder.

There is already too much weight in your right stirrup, so you need to correct your stirrup weightings slight in order to turn. The amount by which your horse's body is rotated one direction or the other is called lateral bend. Your horse, because of the crookedness is bending its torso by too great a degree to the right, so on a right hand turn, you need to reduce the bending. Normal horse on a turn requires more lateral bend, which is your normal aid, but when you have to deal with a crookedness issue, you need to analyze what is wrong, and fix it accordingly. Aids are not the same by rote all the time. You must use the aid the straightens your horse, so that is why I am telling you what I am.

So now you are going to turn. Release your right rein forward and lift it. Keep your left shoulder blade close to your spine, and step more deeply into your left stirrup. This might require a deliberate additional leg aid with your left leg. You need to use your whip on the horse's right side to keep the horse's right hind leg really coming through. The contact on your left rein must stay very firm...not pulling, but very firm.

Continue to lift the right rein and take it back, lift forward, take back in time with the horse. Don't try for a full circle, but only a quarter circle, before going straight again. When you can do a good quarter turn, then try for more of a circle. The important thing is to keep your left shoulder blade back your right rein released and slightly forward, and the horse's right hind coming under better.

I hope some of this helps. Reading a direction on how to do something is not the same as having someone who is knowledgable right there seeing what is incorrect. If your instructor cannot see what is wrong, and help you fix this which is not a really horrible problem, then you might want to look around for a different instructor that is more attuned to the rider's position in the saddle.

However, if you are riding a forward seat saddle, or an all purpose saddle, any fix will become more difficult unless you actually get a dressage saddle with its different balance point.

fairtheewell
May. 14, 2012, 08:07 AM
PS. I addressed some ideas above of how to address the issue "when" it is happening, but the bigger answer is to address "why" it is happening. The very best investment you can make in your riding adventures is to take lessons (including thorough lunge lessons first) to develop your seat on a schoolmaster. There is no short-cut. You have to develop an independent seat, balance, feel, and an understanding of the dynamics of the four-legged partner (which includes their own crookedness) in relation to your own. Train yourself first. You will never regret it. Find the best trainer/teacher in your area and go to work on it. That investment in time and money is somewhat like learning to dance ballet...you have to do the bar exercises to develop first before you can dance Swan Lake. :)

2tempe
May. 14, 2012, 08:45 AM
OP - please do not take this the wrong way, as obviously I don't know all your details. The thought that comes to my head from your post is that your trainer is missing something in the instruction process. Yes we all have weak sides and maybe don't coordinate our aids quite so well, but part of the trainer's job is to come up w/ a process to help you develop the strength and coordination.
Not every trainer is good w/ the biomechanics part of riding - so you need to get some help from one that is strong in this area. It won't be an instant fix - see the above post.

I had a similar problem w/ a mare I bought two years ago. She does not particularly like left side contact and thus did not turn as crisply as one would like. It took me quite a while to get my aids sharp enough and strong enough to keep her where she needed to be. (Note here that I'm referring to lack of ability to keep my left leg still on her side UNTIL time for aid, so the aid wasn't clear, not that I'm poking and kicking the poor dear)

If you have options, I would take the time to investigate other trainers, maybe watch a lesson or two. Last but not least, I started doing pilates classes a year or so ago. BIG help both in the strength area and also my awareness of what my body does - or doesn't - do!

Arab_Mare
May. 14, 2012, 10:24 AM
angel - Thanks a lot. I will use some of your techniques.

Anyway, my trainer has me use the one rein open, bounce on the rein outward if the horse doesn't turn, and go harder and harder until the horse turns. I don't like this method, as I don't have any outside rein, and I don't have any contact between thumps.

I don't need my horse to yield. I need a "new" way to turn her, until I can figure out how I'm letting her surge outside. Anyone teach a different way to turn? Kinda like the example up there, but something different.

ThreeFigs
May. 14, 2012, 11:10 AM
Sounds like your mare is escaping through her left shoulder. You try to turn and she just heads off leftwards, shoulder leading?

Think about keeping mare's left shoulder under control with your left rein. Keep your left hand low and steady. At this time, do NOT use your inside (right) leg. Use it too energetically, and you push her left, not right. Open your right rein out (rightwards) and encourage her to go to the right. Sit on your right seatbone, placing your weight in the direction you want to go. And yes, turn your sternum in the direction you want to go, too. Sternum turns and seatbone weightings are key to good turns.

My guess (along with others here) is that you sit crooked. Have your instructor or a friend stand OUTSIDE of your circle and observe your torso. Your spine should sit right above the horse's spine. Your shoulders should be even and both sides of your ribcage equal. Equal weighting on the seatbones. Collapsing (in your case, probably right side) makes it hard for the horse to be straight.

None of us (human or horse) are perfectly straight and ambidexterous. I have had students who couldn't turn left, and others who couldn't turn right until we addressed their own one-sidedness and then tackled their horse's one-sidedness.

Figure out if YOU turn your shoulders & torso more easily one way than the other. If so, do stretches and exercises to equalize your own suppleness. Our horses can't be any straighter or ambidexterous than we are!

mp
May. 14, 2012, 11:15 AM
I have been having issues turning right on my mare. My trainer can turn her right, her tack fits, her mouth is fine, but I can't turn right.




Anyway, my trainer has me use the one rein open, bounce on the rein outward if the horse doesn't turn, and go harder and harder until the horse turns. I don't like this method, as I don't have any outside rein, and I don't have any contact between thumps.

I don't need my horse to yield. I need a "new" way to turn her, until I can figure out how I'm letting her surge outside. Anyone teach a different way to turn? Kinda like the example up there, but something different.

Advice -- even very good advice -- from a bulletin board can be helpful. But persistent issues call for eyes on the ground . And if what your trainer has you do isn't working and he/she can't offer you any other suggestions to help you out, I'd say what you really need is a "new" trainer.

ThreeFigs
May. 14, 2012, 11:23 AM
Something else to try -- quarter turns on the haunches. This will acclimate Mare to turning from the outside aids.

But check your own alignment first!

EventerAJ
May. 14, 2012, 11:35 AM
From reading your post, the problem sounds a little severe, but here's what works for me when my green OTTB "won't turn left." Well, he WILL, but several strides later than I'd like! He doesn't quite accept/understand the concept of steering off the outside rein while traveling left; we're working on it, but he still has moments of neck-bending/banana-ing left while the shoulder flies in a rightward direction... meanwhile I'm gently kicking his right shoulder, opening my left rein, and trying to push him around to the left.

What helps me is to forget about the wiggly uncontrollable front end for a moment, and GET THE HAUNCHES THROUGH THE TURN. If I focus too much on riding the shoulders around, I sometimes get suckered into doing too much with my hands which doesn't help him. Instead, I engage my seat, put my leg on and ride his butt forward and around the circle, not letting him throw his haunches to the inside or outside which allows the front end to go willy-nilly. Sometimes when the outside shoulder starts to drift, the haunches take an inside positioning which further prevents the shoulder from coming around. Ride the butt forward, straight, and under and that helps straighten the shoulder and get the whole horse able to turn; think about turning the horse as a unit, turning off the hind legs, instead of "leading" the head/neck/shoulders through the turn and allowing the caboose to follow.

I don't know if that will work for your horse, but when I change my focus from the front end (WHERE are those shoulders GOING?!!) to the hind end (ride the butt around the turn, the shoulders will have to keep up!) it makes a big difference for me.

netg
May. 14, 2012, 11:54 AM
angel - Thanks a lot. I will use some of your techniques.

Anyway, my trainer has me use the one rein open, bounce on the rein outward if the horse doesn't turn, and go harder and harder until the horse turns. I don't like this method, as I don't have any outside rein, and I don't have any contact between thumps.

I don't need my horse to yield. I need a "new" way to turn her, until I can figure out how I'm letting her surge outside. Anyone teach a different way to turn? Kinda like the example up there, but something different.

Can you try explaining what you do to cue from start to finish, and also how the horse responds? Your posts have me confused, and nothing you describe sounds like anything someone would use in dressage, even for a green horse. All put together into one story/post it may make more sense to me.

The first thought I had was you are sitting on your left seatbone, but everything else combined to make me think your horse is just as confused as I am...

Arab_Mare
May. 14, 2012, 06:07 PM
Starting down the long side at the trot. Someplace, I decide to turn. I look with my head, then turn my seat and my seatbones as well as some of my weight towards the right. Then I open my right rein, and use my inside leg as well as my outside leg. My outside rein is in the middle of the neck. Then she throws her head up, and her neck gets all kinked. I tighten my outside rein, and bump with my outside leg. And then I have to spiral to stop as I'm about to crash into someone.

My horse surges to the left hard. It's like a flying Frisbee. It feels like her shoulders are surging around and her hind is coming in. I try to correct that, but it just gets all messed up.

Also, ThreeFigs and EventerAJ - Great advice. I can't wait to try it out and see what I can do.

mswillie
May. 14, 2012, 10:47 PM
It sounds to me like your horse is "popping" her shoulder. I have a shoulder popper and I came to an epiphany last Tuesday that it had to stop. He would not get off my left leg and managed to catch my left leg between a post and his 1200 lb. self. Fortunately I managed to keep my knee from getting slammed but my lower leg is one big bruise and is still numb in spots almost a week later.

So I started this thread and got some good advice:

http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showthread.php?t=352498

I took many of the suggestions and incorporated them into my rides over the last few days. What I have discovered is that, among other things, I just didn't have enough outside rein.

I was giving too much outside so I tried holding that rein steady and with more contact, while giving more on the inside rein. To my pleasant surprise it's starting to work. I did get a couple of annoyed small bucks but as I kept holding him into the outside he got more straight, didn't fall in as much to the inside, and his canter was more "up" and off the forehand.

Still very much a work in progress but I felt like we've had a real breakthrough.

I found the diagram at the bottom of this page helpful for visualization. YMMV.

http://www.dressage.ponyclub.org/PDFs/Articles/The%20Shoulders%20and%20Squareness%20Article.pdf

Arab_Mare
May. 15, 2012, 10:33 AM
Honestly, I think that's my issue too. I don't use enough outside rein, and when I cross it into the center of her neck, I'm letting the shoulders escape. If I (feel free to direct me) use more weight more on the side of her withers, then open the inside rein, would that be okay? What leg sequence should I use after that? Inside then outside? Both at the same time? Outside leg first?

Thanks a lot guys!!

Reiter
May. 15, 2012, 11:02 AM
You should never cross your reins! This may be part of your issue. If you are turning right, your left hand needs to stay low and on the outside of the neck! Never across. If you cross your left rein you are pulling the horses neck to the outside and pretzeling the horse which now can't bend to the right. So the horse is trying to escape the confusing message that you are sending by scooting to the left. Practice at the walk and don't try it at the trot until you can make perfect right circles at the walk. Hands low and at each side of the neck!!!

fairtheewell
May. 15, 2012, 11:06 AM
You have to be careful when you "use your weight" unless you know how to do it without collapsing your hip...(if you collapse your hip or lean, your horse will move in the opposite direction and the weight aid will be ineffective). If you choose to use more outside rein (which is good if you know how to use it)...open your outside rein to maintain contact. Attempting to use the outer rein against the neck (as in neck reining)...will not work...the horse will throw the shoulder against it and pop the shoulder....and applying legs at the same time will increase the "skid". In reading your comments, the best thing to do at this point, is to open both reins, while sitting up straight, ribcage up, shoulders level, and ride from behind into the "V" that is created by opening both reins, in order to maintain contact rather than pulling back, etc. If the horse travels straight, then bring your hands/arms back into position. If the horse begins to go crooked, open your reins, but maintain contact. The issue is your contact and connection and crookedness...you can work through this, but you need the help of a good teacher.

EqTrainer
May. 15, 2012, 11:07 AM
I have been watching this thread because the answers to this question are always fascinating IMO :lol:

OP, you really need better instruction. Having said that, here we go.

First thing: turning and bending are not the same thing. You can turn, and you can bend after you can turn, and you can turn and bend at the same time. But first... You have to be able to turn, and that precedes bending by a long shot. The aids you have been told to use are closer to bending aids than turning aids. Without turning aids in place prior to bending you cannot bend, because adding bending aids requires something to push against or the horse just pops their shoulder in the opposite direction and/or stops. Which is reasonable, because that is exactly what you are asking them to do.

So suspend belief about what you already think you know.

Turning establishes precedence of the outside aids. All turning actually requires is that you PUSH the horse over off your outside leg and not push your outside hand forward OR pull on your inside rein. If you pull your inside rein, you pull the nose to the inside, which then pushes the outside shoulder out. If you do both at once, and your horse only stops, you should be grateful because you trapped him and he had no where to go. He could go up instead.

Anyway. It is really that simple and its really hard. Practice by riding a square OFF the rail. Anytime your horse gets stuck you must YIELD your inside rein rather than pull it, see above. If the horse counterbends this is not tragic at this point but you also then have to take responsibility that you are allowing HIM to pull your INSIDE rein/hand forward to do so. Do NOT put your outside rein on his neck or cross it over, if you feel the need to do so, it means he is not moving off your LEG. Kick. Tap behind your leg with your whip. Be persistent. Be patient, you have been jacknifing your horse for a long time, you cannot fix it overnight.

If you ever really want to understand the leg aids, the rein aids, turning aids and bending aids, you have to be willing to experiment and let things look ugly. If your horse wanders all over the arena, as long as you dont mow down small children, who cares? When you reach the point that you cannot turn your horse, something has to change LOL. If you keep doing what you have been doing, you will keep getting what you got :(

So when you can ride a square neatly at the walk, with accurate precise corners, start trotting the long side of the arena with your horse ONLY on your outside rein. If he pushes on either leg, boot him off it. If he pulls your inside rein, drop him on it. Walk the corners and the short side for now.

When you get good at this, walk into the corner and add your inside leg and push his rib cage/shoulder at your now effective outside aids. Push, let go. If he grabs the inside rein, let go of it, just push your hand forward a teeny bit quickly. You CAN use your inside rein to position his poll SLIGHTLY to the inside but be honest with yourself... Are you positioning or dragging him? If you revert to your old habits your learning will stop right there.

When his rib cage bends around your inside leg, and cannot push thru your outside leg/aids, your horse will be beginning to bend.

While working on this, the horse needs to be rythmic and at least marginally forward BUT you will probably need to slow things waaay down to feel what is happening. Do not worry about weighting a stirrup, weighting a seatbone, blah blah blah no one can actually do all that effectively and ride at the same time LOL it is overcomplicating things unnecessarily. Keep your weight in both seatbones evenly. Dont push into your stirrups. Pay attention to cause and effect.

Have fun. When you hit the "I cant turn wall" there is no where left to go but onward!

InsideLeg2OutsideRein
May. 16, 2012, 01:25 PM
Are you looking where you want to be going? (I'm serious! :)) If you're on a circle to the right, keep your eyes locked (!!!) on the center of the circle.

(Plus of course all the other good advice you've already gotten here.)

ponysize
May. 16, 2012, 01:34 PM
Are you looking where you want to be going? (I'm serious! :)) If you're on a circle to the right, keep your eyes locked (!!!) on the center of the circle.

(Plus of course all the other good advice you've already gotten here.)

You do not look at the center of the circle when you ride a circle. I know a lot of people are or were taught this, including myself, but it is wrong.

And you aren't looking where you are going if you are looking at the center of the circle either.

InsideLeg2OutsideRein
May. 16, 2012, 02:04 PM
You do not look at the center of the circle when you ride a circle. I know a lot of people are or were taught this, including myself, but it is wrong.

And you aren't looking where you are going if you are looking at the center of the circle either.

I do not advocate this for an advanced horse/rider pair, but for a pair that is struggling, that totally does the trick. I had a similar issue when my mare was 4 and starting canter work under saddle. I take lessons from an international judge who had me do this exercise. So don't worry, it won't mess up your Grand Prix aspirations.

cheval convert
May. 16, 2012, 02:37 PM
I have this same problem and you have gotten some very good advice here. I definitely pay the price of sitting crooked and giving away my outside rein:eek: One exercise that I do that keeps both horsie and me from becoming too frustrated is to ride around the arena going to the left doing very easy, shallow serpentines, so that I am asking for just the smallest amount of right bend and before either of us can begin to dwell on it, we are going to the left again. If we can agree on the right bend in the shallow serpentine I will increase the angle the slightest bit. This is a confidence builder for me and him.:yes:

Also try setting up 4 blocks for your 20 meter circle and concentrate just on riding each quarter of the circle. If you miss a block, no big deal, just relax and try to get the next one right. Try riding one cirle inside the blocks, then one circle outside of the blocks and if you are having a good day, then you weave inside and outside the blocks, but you need to maintain the proper bend through out the exercise.

You may also want to get a massage. I know it sounds weird but I recently started PT for a right arm issue. Turns out that all the muscles on the right side of my back are really tight and the tendons around my shoulder are so tight they are pulling my shoulder forward :eek: and slightly out of it's socket (ouch). I imagine (and hope) that once all this tightness has been worked out and I have regained the ability to bring my right shoulder back, I will be able to circle my horse to the right. :yes: Or I shall forever be like Zoolander and only able to turn to the left:o

(Does it say something about me that when my dog catches his frisbee he too can only turn to the left:confused:)

EqTrainer
May. 16, 2012, 03:10 PM
Are you looking where you want to be going? (I'm serious! :)) If you're on a circle to the right, keep your eyes locked (!!!) on the center of the circle.

(Plus of course all the other good advice you've already gotten here.)

If you look to the center of the circle, that is where you will go. Is that where you want to go ? ;)

You should be looking over your horses outside ear. You turn and look When Jumping, for the next line or fence.

Outside, outside, outside. Outside! :lol:

EqTrainer
May. 16, 2012, 03:12 PM
I do not advocate this for an advanced horse/rider pair, but for a pair that is struggling, that totally does the trick. I had a similar issue when my mare was 4 and starting canter work under saddle. I take lessons from an international judge who had me do this exercise. So don't worry, it won't mess up your Grand Prix aspirations.

What exactly was she/he trying to get you to do? I guarantee you, it was a means to an end. It was probably about an asymmetry in your body. So giving this as advice to someone who probably doesnt have the same asymmetry.. Well, you get the idea..

It always helps, in the long run, to understand WHY you are told to do something odd, or to exaggerate something :)

InsideLeg2OutsideRein
May. 16, 2012, 03:39 PM
What exactly was she/he trying to get you to do? I guarantee you, it was a means to an end. It was probably about an asymmetry in your body. So giving this as advice to someone who probably doesnt have the same asymmetry.. Well, you get the idea..

It always helps, in the long run, to understand WHY you are told to do something odd, or to exaggerate something :)

A: There are more than one exercises to address each problem.
B: Why do you assume I don't understand why this exercise works?
C: Do you guarantee anything else in life?
D: Why not let the OP see if it works for her/him or not?

EqTrainer
May. 16, 2012, 04:11 PM
Nope, no more guarantees :lol:But I teach enough, and use that trick enough, to know its to exaggerate something in order to show the rider something about their body. So what was the instructor trying to get you to correct? Do you naturally twist the other way?

If the OP uses it, and it works for her, but she doesnt know why, how will that help her in the long run? In other words, without knowledge to back it up, the poor OP could go around twisting her head around to the right for the rest of her life, thinking the magic was in her head LOL

ponysize
May. 16, 2012, 04:14 PM
I do not advocate this for an advanced horse/rider pair, but for a pair that is struggling, that totally does the trick. I had a similar issue when my mare was 4 and starting canter work under saddle. I take lessons from an international judge who had me do this exercise. So don't worry, it won't mess up your Grand Prix aspirations.

Do you understand that you asked the OP if she was looking where she was going then gave her an "exercise" where she would NOT be looking where she was going? How does that help the OP? Looking at the center of the circle doesn't help your horse turn, which is the OP's problem.

fairtheewell
May. 16, 2012, 04:49 PM
I would think that looking at the center of the circle would cause the rider to twist and rotate the torso, throwing the horse right out through that outside rein....and....pop the shoulder. You can "look" with your eyes, but don't turn the upper body or....you will pop your shoulder and the horse's shoulder will then pop..and then off we go.... Sit up and keep that outside shoulder back. This problem is really one of the most notorious rite of passages of dressage...lol.

NOMIOMI1
May. 16, 2012, 05:01 PM
Fair I think what actually happens is the rider crosses over in the hands and closes the thigh...

If you are just trying to get the turn it is effective.

I think its not a bad idea to look beyond a turn because of the thigh but maybe watch the hands

InsideLeg2OutsideRein
May. 16, 2012, 05:28 PM
In other words, without knowledge to back it up, the poor OP could go around twisting her head around to the right for the rest of her life, thinking the magic was in her head LOL

Lol, ok, I gave the OP more credit than that. :lol:

mp
May. 16, 2012, 06:21 PM
the poor OP could go around twisting her head around to the right for the rest of her life

My head isn't twisted, but it's sure spinning, based on all the advice on this thread. :lol:

OP, all, some or none of these ideas might work. That's why you need to talk to your trainer. If he/she can't help you, find someone who can.

Signed ...
Someone who tried the read-and-try method of learning to ride and can testify it doesn't work. ;)

fairtheewell
May. 16, 2012, 06:25 PM
Agree Nomiomi.

LarkspurCO
May. 17, 2012, 01:49 AM
I love the square!

Listen to EqTrainer. If you can't ride the outside of the horse, you ain't got nuthin.

angel
May. 17, 2012, 08:24 AM
Most horses and riders are crooked to the right, which means their torsos are slightly rotated to the right. When a crooked, beginning rider is learning to ride the counterclockwise circle, if you tell them to look to the middle of the circle, it helps them get their weight correctly on their left seatbone (hopefully). The problem with telling a beginning rider something like this, is the purpose is not explained to the rider...and yes, they might go on forever thinking this was correct.

Now, if we take that same crooked rider, but go in a clockwise circle, the very last thing we would tell them is to look to the middle of the circle. This just makes the rider more crooked as her torso is already turned that direction by too much. In this instance, equitrainer's advice for the rider to look at the horse's outside ear is correct. Why? Because this turns the rider's torso slightly back to the outside, which is the adjustment for the torso needed for a rider that is hollow right.

Neither instruction is correct if the rider is not told just what the purpose of the exercise is. Another exercise that is akin to this one is the raising of an arm straight into the air. For that counterclockwise direction, raising the outside (right) arm would help place more weight on the rider's left seatbone. However, if the rider lifts the outside arm when moving clockwise, we are back to an incorrect weighting because the lifting of the outside (left) arm is putting more weight still in the right seatbone...definitely not something that is wanted here.

Many rider exercises are taught by rote...if you raise the outside arm going one direction, then you must raise the outside arm going the other direction. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Because the exercise has been divorced from the real purpose of the exercise, without taking into consideration just why you are doing something, only one direction will produce the correct results if the instruction is followed as if by rote.

fairtheewell
May. 17, 2012, 08:39 AM
Rider needs to do less and learn to feel more. Lunge, lunge, lunge. Develop muscle memory.

ThreeFigs
May. 17, 2012, 09:37 AM
So, Arab_Mare, is any of this stuff working for you yet?

Hope so!

NOMIOMI1
May. 17, 2012, 10:01 AM
Interesting angel! Question should the leg be at the girth or behind? The outside I mean.

I know my left leg becomes useless so I try to leave it behind a lityle but with my thigh as long as possible.

If I bring it to the girth it seems to turn out at the hip.

angel
May. 17, 2012, 12:06 PM
When we are hollow right (I am), our left leg tends to stay too forward and our right leg too much back. This is because the left side of our pelvis tends to stay too much up and forward and the right side of our pelvis stays down and back. The way the legs hang should not be a deliberate position per se. They should hang freely from the pelvic sockets, and because they are hanging evenly, the leg just falls naturally into the correct position, assuming a vertical allignment with the ground.

I wish it happened that simply!!! Because of our crookedness, the muscles surrounding the pelvic socket stretch or contract to the degree the pelvis is out of allignment. Muscle memory is very difficult to overcome, either in ourselves or in our horses. The exercises we do are to attempt to stretch those muscles that are too short in the allignment and contract those muscles that are too long. This helps to bring us back into balance. The weight aids in the stirrups should be only as the results of a correctly and freely hanging leg that drops unhibited from the socket. The rotation of the upper body helps with this allignment for the motion being ridden.

We can feel when we and the horses are crooked. Our legs, while we might think they are hanging freely, are a tell-tale. The groin on one side will lie against the horse's side...maybe even giving a feeling of the horse's side pushing against it, while the other leg never seems to have that groin area against the saddle.

Most of us do not have custom saddles either. Having our feet in stirrups that hang too forward on the saddle's tree prevent our leg from taking the correct vertical allignment with the ground unless we point our toes toward the ground to help push the stirrups back under us so we don't lose them. Now, in this circumstance, not only are the stirrups not weighted properly on their rear edge, but our legs are not in the correct position of effectiveness to apply weight aids correctly to influence the horse's torso rotation. We cannot correctly straighten the horse this way, and with our weight taken forward and on the front of those forward-hanging stirrups, we put the horse on the forehand.

I know this is a long-winded explaination. However, to say that we put a leg on the girth or behind the girth implies that we deliberately do so in a way that feels correct to us, and viola! Horse gets correct weight aids. Nope! What I am saying is that it is not about the legs, but about a correct pelvis, just as the arms are not about the arms, but correct shoulder points coming from a properly and balanced torso. Legs and arms are only as good as the core.

NOMIOMI1
May. 17, 2012, 12:51 PM
I see and that is super helpful. I am trying to pay attention to my center of gravity and my pelvis already so glad to know its a good start.

I am finally having a lesson just on my seat and ive never done that before always having young horses but i hope to start resolving these issues

Arab_Mare
May. 17, 2012, 06:26 PM
You guys are amazing. I am going to try all these suggestions later this week as I ride.


I'll reply if anything works!!!

AzuWish
May. 17, 2012, 07:10 PM
Why not learn how to ride the horse as she is turning right, and then add your aides?

If you have a friend to help you, out her on a lunge line right and hop on. Don't do anything except follow the horse.

If you don't have a friend to help you, try a round pen. Use a whip and voice for transitions, no legs or seat or reins. Just follow the horse.

I used that method for the left lead on my horse. Once I learned how to ride it, I could start adding aides. Then I could start asking outside the round pen.

MunchingonHay
May. 17, 2012, 07:50 PM
I have nothing to add to these wonderful suggestions other than the title of your thread immediately made me think of Zoolander! LOL You're just like him!! Although he can't turn left! You're just not an ambi-turner! :-) Sorry I couldn't resist! Back to the good advice! :-D

THIS!


I keep seeing this thread at the top of the list and all I can think of is Zoolander.:lol::lol:

Carry on.

NOMIOMI1
May. 17, 2012, 08:15 PM
THIS!


I keep seeing this thread at the top of the list and all I can think of is Zoolander.:lol::lol:

Carry on.

Hil- freakin - arious


Mer maaaaan MERMANNNNNN!!!

cyberbay
May. 17, 2012, 08:44 PM
Angel is totally correct!! Humans tend to fold the right hip more than the left. In the saddle, the right seatbone tends to be carried behind the left. Driving makes this worse, IMO...:cry:

Horses, too, have the same assymmetry.

Some things I use to make each of my hips work equally for myself and students:
-exaggerate (on the ground, not on the horse) each hip being thrust fwd while walking. Doing this also powers me over the ground -- it's kinda fun.
-I have my students in the saddle work to bring their R hip fwd and to position each hip across from each other -- I'll tug the R leg fwd. This straightening starts from the waist. I have them bring the hip up under their shoulder, have the right thigh stretch long, etc., and the result? They feel a lot more stable in the saddle and when turning right.
-work on hip stretches at home; cross both legs
-do things using my left hand and positioning my hip/leg correctly at same time. It's pointless if the torso and hip aren't stacked as they should be when using the left hand.

Also, OP, maybe riding a bike in a parking lot, turning to the right, and practising getting yourself aligned?

Spectrum
May. 17, 2012, 08:59 PM
First of all, you do not use your legs per se. What should be happening is that your stirrups need to be correctly weighted for the movement at hand. ... This also means that your upper torso is being pulled forward, and your seatbones are coming off the saddle. These things definitely negate any attempt for correct weight aids.



BINGO. If you are leaning your weight into the outside (left) stirrup, you're telling her to go left. You're probably collapsing your hips and weighting your outside stirrup.

Arab_Mare
May. 17, 2012, 10:33 PM
Wait, hold up.

Weight in inside stirrup, but inside hip forward?

fairtheewell
May. 18, 2012, 12:09 AM
LOL....Arab Mare...canter around the room to the right with your left hip leading...you will then be in counter canter. Seriously...canter around the room yourself...see which hip leads in either direction. lol

EqTrainer
May. 18, 2012, 08:08 AM
Oh lordy :lol: dont weight either stirrup. Sit on both seatbones evenly. This is the basics, peeps. She needs to find her rear end and her outside before she gets into subtle sophistications like weight aids!

EqTrainer
May. 18, 2012, 08:11 AM
I should add... Inside seatbone forward, outside seatbone back is on the longitudinal plane (back to front) .. Not the lateral plane (side to side) and NEITHER involves putting more weight in one seatbone than the other..

A little reminder, that LMEqT has never been told any of this and she pushes her pony over off her outside flawlessly. If she uses an inside rein it is a guiding rein. If no ne ever makes it more complicated than it has to be, it never WILL be complicated :lol:

Arab_Mare
May. 18, 2012, 10:19 AM
Okay, going riding this morning. We'll see what works out.

AzuWish
May. 18, 2012, 03:23 PM
Why not learn how to ride the horse as she is turning right, and then add your aides?

If you have a friend to help you, out her on a lunge line right and hop on. Don't do anything except follow the horse.

If you don't have a friend to help you, try a round pen. Use a whip and voice for transitions, no legs or seat or reins. Just follow the horse.

I used that method for the left lead on my horse. Once I learned how to ride it, I could start adding aides. Then I could start asking outside the round pen.

Just wanted to reiterate my post. Sometimes the simplest solution works best. Learn to follow horse right, then learn to ride horse right.

angel
May. 19, 2012, 11:11 AM
Spectrum: When you are riding canter in a clockwise direction on a horse that is hollow right, you need more weight in your outside (left) stirrup. Here is another way in which to think of this. Riding the horse is as if you are sitting on a barrel which is in the water. You want to stay balanced on that barrel, or you are going to find yourself swimming. If the barrel is rolling to your right, what do you need to do with your weight to keep the barrel from dumping your off the right-hand side? You must get more weight back on the left side of the barrel in order not to loose your seat. The barrel of a hollow right horse is rotating toward the right-hand side....always. So too, do most people rotate....right-handedness.

The problem has to do with the left hip of the horse. It wants to stay rotated from the hipsocket more toward the left. It also tends to want to stay in a higher position. When we do lateral movements, it is to better help the horse learn to rotate the joints equally either direction. A spur can assist with this, i.e. the encouragement to rotate that joint in the opposite direction. The whip is to encourage the horse to step under more deeply.

I am not saying that a rider should ride with spurs, because a rider must be very in control of her body, and be able to feel correctly what the horse's body is doing. This is also true of the use of the whip. The whip and the spur are not used within the same timing either, because they are only being used as a hind leg leaves the ground, and must only be used for the purpose mentioned.

Now when you ride that hollow right horse in a counterclockwise direction, things feel pretty good because the motion itself is helping to counteract the incorrect body position. But, the torso is still wrong. The rider still has too much weight on the right-hand side, and needs to get the horse's torso rolled back toward the left a bit for balance.

So do you take the canter, or aid the canter from the inside or the outside. Most horses do learn to take the canter from the outside, but unless the rider learns how to feel the incorrect balance, and starts the canter correctly to fix that balance, later movements will become difficult. A simple trot to canter transition works just fine from the outside leg. However, once we get to Second Level, and need our simple change, i.e. canter/walk/canter, there will be a problem because the rider is not aiding the horse correctly to keep the canter in balance. With the hollow right horse, the left lead canter really needs to come from the rider's inside groin area, not the outside leg. With the hollow right horse, the right lead canter needs to come from the outside leg/spur. Every step you ride must be with the thoughts on how you and the horse are crooked, and what this means for applying your aids.

Arab_Mare
May. 19, 2012, 11:52 AM
I'm not worried about the canter really. I'm worried about the trot.

angel
May. 19, 2012, 12:48 PM
Same problem, all gaits, all movements. Everything hinges on how well the rider can feel the crookedness and correctly fix the problem. Horse is still like riding a barrel on the water...too much on one side, both horse and rider begin to lose balance and fall sideways toward the side where there is too much weight being taken without enough underpining to support it. Right hind must be kept under better, or there is too much tension on the left hind muscles to allow proper rotation. Both effect how the diagonal front legs move...whether a shoulder is lifted and extended by the correct degree, which allows the correct length of stride.

Carol Ames
May. 19, 2012, 01:22 PM
I would use this to "chunk down the aids walk in so that the first turn is to the right; then,1. turn right hand to the right; when horse yields to the rein, 2. use inside leg to tell horse to move forward; outside rein will be filled as horse turns to the right; 3. use thumb and first finger on outside rein to halt horse at end of next channel.;)

fairtheewell
May. 19, 2012, 02:25 PM
Yes

goeslikestink
May. 20, 2012, 07:49 PM
lol might as well add my two pennies worth as this is a common problem but normally the other way round as in my horse wont turn left

so - most of the time its rider error,which in turn makes the horse stiff as people will ride how they write

if one right handed- then the horse is stronger on the left hand side so people say hes stiff on left visa versa in this case but the horse isnt so much as stiff- its just he can turn his head and get away with it
and or advade you and that can be in handling ridden or driven

as humans tend to favour one side - they ride like it as they are weaker on the opposite side
but the horse - is stronger on the side the humans are weaker and there avades you - because it can

so one has to fitten the human up - by making one ride equally on both sides

so think it was angel , eq trianer and insideoutsideleg,
that said - transitions - which is correct and also it was angel that mentioned position - think position position etc and tack

so knock out any - issues like ill fitting tack thats saddle bridle and bit
sit central to the horse- get a trianer to look at you from behind
and then go back to basics and learn everthing in walk 1st once mastered move up to trot etc as alot of this is lack of co ordination and strenght via the rider meaning fit up your self on your right hand side
and work the horse evenly on both riens dont do small circuits always go large so you have the room to move ---------- practice bigger bends - like serpetines using the full length and width of the school making 3 huge loops making sure you touch the sides of the school, do large figures of 8.s not pear drops like small one end and huge the other plenty of varied work
halts, half halts, walks and trots use all the walk paces and all the trot paces once mastered then use canter

dont bore the horse to death- on small circuits or same old thing
encourage the horse- via using different idea and have some imagination
cones, tyres poles, lpace them in a line - and bend through them ie cones for exsample do it walk once you have mastered corners and big loops
then in trot then canter make it fun foryourselve as much as for you horse
place poles on ground in boxed or simulate roads turn left and right so its a simluated junction ------- use your imagination and play with your horse as its all schooling and not boring ok and look



here on my helpful links pages read 1st page and links

http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showthread.php?t=178116

read link 4 and 5 meredith manor

and this will tie in to what angels been saying
http://www.meredithmanor.com/features/articles/faith/fixing_bit_evasions.asp


then go and read the rest as it will be helpful to you

and never ever pull your horse round this causes mouth brusing and makes the horse have a hard mouth and this bad hands
goes against the grain

think - a horse is much much stronger than you but as a rider you can much stronger than him when your on top- as its mind over matter
in other words dont ever say cant----------- this is telling the horse hes won

mbm
May. 21, 2012, 11:05 AM
honestly: it is very difficult to get riding lessons over the internet....

find a trainer and ask them to help - it will work a heck of a lot better :)

Carol Ames
May. 21, 2012, 05:28 PM
How is the horse doing nose to tail circles? either in the stall or the corner of the arena? that gets them bending through the ribs;); one of the "checkoffs;)" for turning.

Carol Ames
May. 21, 2012, 07:10 PM
YES, YES, YES , sitting balanced over the seatbones may be "simple" but, not easy:no::o
Oh lordy :lol: dont weight either stirrup. Sit on both seatbones evenly. This is the basics, peeps. She needs to find her rear end and her outside before she gets into subtle sophistications like weight aids!

flasher
May. 22, 2012, 10:45 AM
You have no idea how familiar this sounds. I also have an arab mare who can't turn right. Turns out, its not her problem, it's mine and my trainer is trying her damnedest to beat it out of me.

My attempts to turn often go something like this:
1) Motor down the long side in a good working trot
2) Decide to turn to the right
3) Turn head to look in the direction of travel
4) Clamp my left elbow and shoulder such that I'm holding the pony's head slightly to the outside, no matter what my inside hand is doing
5) Turn my shoulders to the outside
6) Hips follow shoulders, so my entire body is pointing somewhere off in left field and god only knows what my legs are doing.
7) Pony twists her neck, pops her left shoulder and goes sliding off the turn like a spun out sport car AND gets very indignant about the whole thing (yay, mare).

Last week, my trainer put me on a lunge and we worked on just getting my shoulders going in the right direction and my left arm to stop clamping and bracing against my horse (no reins, can't brace).

This week, we'll address the hips problem (hips follow shoulders when I'm doing it wrong but they don't seem to want to follow my shoulders when I'm doing it right).

Even just a getting the upper body pointed in the right has helped immensely. It feels WRONG, like I'm twisting around to her tail but the mirrors show that I'm actually finally parallel with the pony's shoulders on the turn.

ThreeFigs
May. 23, 2012, 04:26 PM
^ This. So many times students turn their HEADS the direction they want to go, but nothing else does!

Arab_Mare, how's it going?

WW_Queen
May. 23, 2012, 08:05 PM
The "turn the key" exercise was pretty much a miracle for me and my OTTB. Seriously disturbing (but awesome!) that something so ridiculously easy like changing your hand position could influence the entire horse in front of the leg!

http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showthread.php?t=354328

(Now if only we could get a magic solution to keep the back end working correctly at all times as well... ;) )

Arab_Mare
May. 23, 2012, 10:55 PM
It's doing okay. I've been mentally dropping her, and whenever she leans on my outside aids I automatically drop them and straighten her because I think she's bulging. If I hold tight, she usually leans and then turns. Sometimes. It's work in progress, but it's progress.