Looking for some advice about my OTTB.
At the canter (rarely at the trot) he points his nose to the outside. Not his whole head, he's not counter bent, he just vertically cocks his nose to the outside. Both directions.
Any advice on what this is, how to fix it, past experience, would be great. I've never dealt with this before.
My guess would be that something about your balance is impacting his way of going.
Over-riding the outside rein will cause the inside shoulder to bulge and nose to tip. Sometimes people don't realize they're crooked. The more they tip, the more the horse tips, so on and so forth. Also make sure you are truly riding with even length of rein.
Focus on opening your inside shoulder and supporting off the same leg in order to get him of his.
I'm the only one that rides him. I did just ask a friend to come ride him so we'll see if he does it with other people. As far as I can remember he does it on the lunge to. I am not 100% sure though. It's more noticeable when I'm on him because I can see his nose. Pretty sure it's not his saddle. Not sure about teeth? I have had a chiro come out. It's been over a year though, she said he had no big problems, did a little adjustment and I figured it was way too much money for the tiny amout of work he needed. I suppose I could have a check up done and make sure nothing has changed. He also had a lameness exam at his last yearly, just for good measure and the vet didn't find anything.
For my horse tipping his nose to the outside at the canter (and only the canter) is a 100% guarantee he's evading weighting his inside hind well by not properly using his inside obliques. I return to the trot and see if I can get him straight, which took ground people to help me learn to feel because he has sneaky subtle ways of avoiding straightness.
That's not necessarily the case for every horse, but if you're not using too much outside rein or sitting crooked I'd look to his body. Also, has he had body work recently? It's an effect, not the cause, but if my guy is tipping his head he gets knotted up in the muscles behind his poll.
Originally Posted by Silverbridge
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My OTTB did that, at the trot too if I wasn't asking him to work correctly. He would either tip his nose outside or fully twist his neck that way as an evasion. He did it for the longest time until my excellently dressagey friend showed me how to get him to go correctly, and after that he would only do it when he was tired.
My old guy used to do that at the canter. We had always figured that it was because he was used to being ponied on the track. He was on the track until he was 8 so we just kinda assumed it had been engrained in him.
Hmm. Thanks guys, all great ideas. I will definitely be trying to pinpoint the cause of this. He mainly does it while going straight, if I work him on a circle I can 'usually' get him to round and bend into the circle.
My main reasoning for it not being a muscle (except lack there of), pain, chiro, etc issue is that he does it consistantly both ways. I would expect it to be only one side if it was a pain thing.
Knh39- I was wondering if it was a OTTB thing. I'm not convinced it is though and I want to get to the root of it
I've had 2 OTTBs, one was my childrens hunter and the other I just purchased a few months ago. Both do what you describe...can be very annoying. My feeling that I get is it's an avoidance issue, stress, or confusion. Because they are both from the track and do this, I think it's safe to assume it's a track thing. Never seen or heard of any other breed doing it, but have witnessed multiple TB's.
When I was a kid, I was just told to keep my hands light and ignore it...so I did. Now I'm older and more capable of properly correcting it, for the new one it just involves applying equal pressure w/ both legs to push him forward and 'out of it', but I'm lucky that I have a relatively quiet OTTB so pushing him forward doesn't result in lighting him up. I also switch up what we're doing, don't just canter around the ring...circles, ride him off the rail a bit, try riding outside of the ring, transitions. switch it up so he has to concentrate on you.