Make him move off right leg!
I've been having problems really getting my horse to move off my right leg. Left leg is great, right not so much. I try backing it up with a whip, which doesn't work too well.. either he doesn't listen, or he jumps and has flashbacks to his (not so) glory days on the track and runs through my hands. I broke down a day or two ago and give him a firm smack when he wasn't moving off my leg, and he did listen better after that, but it was accompanied by him diving onto his forehand and trying to run, which I've spent soooo long trying to stop. And the improved listening didn't last beyond that one ride. I usually avoid really using the whip, because once his brain turns off, the remainder of the ride is pretty much shot. He doesn't react badly to spurs, but a lot of times, he just doesn't react to the right spur. I usually wear maybe 1/2" POWs.. I also have rollerball spurs (which he listened to the first time, not so much the second, and haven't used them since). Maybe I should try the 1" knob spurs? Or is there something else I can do to really make him listen to that leg?
Should I continue using the whip, and nevermind the part where he tries to run? (I imagine there must be some happy medium where I get the response I want and not the response I don't want, but I have yet to find it!) Try different spurs? Something else entirely? Maybe I should talk my trainer into getting on him for me?
Also, he tends to get stressed out when doing anything remotely complicated that requires moving off right leg. Leg yield head to the wall? If I can get four or five decent steps, I stop, because otherwise he gets stressed and upset. I tried an exercise from 101 Dressage Exercises a couple days ago, where you sidepass on a 15m square, with a 90* turn on the forehand at each corner, which he got pretty stressed about. I made sure to talk to him and pet him and give him lots of breaks to gather his wits, which helped a bit. Haunches in to the right? Eeek (may have as much to do with his love of throwing his hindquarters to the inside, though, lol). Any tips on getting him to just chill out? He's 21 for goodness sake, he shouldn't get this worked up about things! (And he gets regular chiropractic care, so I don't really think it's a pain issue.)
ground work, and physical check up/chiro/ massagetherapy
do lots of ground work, carrot stretches to both sides; also walk nose to tail circles again both ways:yes:; it is quite possible/probable coming off the track that there is a physical block:sadsmile: preventing him from bending, moving; have you done leg yielding?; start with the easiest:yes: inside the track, back to the track; turn on the forehand