I'm making my horses crooked! HALP!
This realization hit me like a ton of bricks at about 5:30 this afternoon and I am absolutely horrified that it hasn't struck me sooner! The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, right? Well, I'm Punkie, and I make all of my horses crooked! The hard part is I have NO idea how to fix myself so that they can travel in a straight line.
So here's the deal. All of my horses are "left-handed" so to speak. All track left better than right (none are TBs who raced), all are more supple left than right, all are softer off the left leg than off the right, and all bend better left than right. They all require significantly more right leg than left leg and all get stuck through the left shoulder. We're talking 3 different horses here. Each have a custom saddle that was VERY recently fitted (as in less than a month ago), all go in appropriate bridles, all see a chiropractor, all see the masseuse, everyone is well-lubed and well-supplemented and well-floated. So the only variable in this equation is me!
Now, my right leg has a tendency to "drift" forward, perhaps an inch and a half ahead of the left. I also don't have the best proprioception, so I may be twisting way more than I think I am. I do have a nasty habit of putting more weight in my right stirrup than in my left, but it's because I have more flexibility in that ankle. I compensate for that by shifting my hips left. Bad idea.
My trainers haven't been a ton of help because apparently it's not super obvious from the ground, but boy can I feel it! And they feel the effects it has on my horses when they get on to school. But the problem is, once they get the horses going well, I send them back to the square one within a few rides.
This issue affects each of my horses differently. My hunter will try to swap to the counter canter (a complete clean change, but an inappropriate response none the less) going right, my eq. horse gets really strong and strung out going right and shifts hard for the right to left change, and my ex-jumper (who is a squirrily SOB lol!) gets so crooked and falls so hard against my right leg that he jigs instead of walks and gets incredibly strong and tries to bolt at the canter. As soon as you put a TON of right leg on and support with the left hand, he calms right down. Take the leg away and you're in deep doodoo.
I can keep the problem in check with each horse and with my hunter and my eq horse I can get around a course of 8 or 10 jumps with no issues and hack or flat with relative ease, but it's on a day-to-day basis where I'm having the problem.
I'm doing something very wrong, and I'm having the damnedest time figuring out what it is! Has anyone else had this problem? Any good exercises or tips?