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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 27, 2015
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    Central Coast, California
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    159

    Default Moving sideways

    Recently my horse has been really hard sided when I ask him to move away from my leg. He isn't dull to my leg completely because I can ask him to move forward and he does so readily. I have considered that he might be really stiff and have made sure we are warmed up and stretched out with seepentines, circles and dropping the head to stretch. Does anyone have any exercises that would help him move sideways or react better to my cues?
    My blog about buying back my first horse and regaining skills lost after 6 years of not riding.

    https://thehorsedream.wordpress.com/



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 14, 2012
    Posts
    284

    Default

    I find these posts a bit tough to respond to as I don't know your riding level. I ride a lot of different horses so I need to be careful to make sure they actually know how to move laterally before I make a big deal out of it. So, this is when I go back to some turns on the forehand to make sure they actually remember how this works; hands move the shoulder and legs move the hind. I then do some haunches in work, then some leg yields making sure they are doing them properly. Remember that three good steps are much better than a whole lot of doing it wrong; the later will simply confuse them.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2001
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    down the road from bar.ka
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    36,466

    Default

    If you think he may be really stiff? He might be really stiff. How old is the horse? How long have you had him? Has he ever been able to move laterally away from your leg or is this new?

    Also, are you working with a coach/trainer who can see what you and the horse are doing or can you link to video? As mentioned above, it's impossible to know what is causing this without knowing more and seeing something. Just cite a rather long list of possible causes.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 8, 2015
    Posts
    582

    Default

    I'm curious what kind of lateral movement you're trying to achieve. Laterals can mean all kind of things.
    Ditto to all the questions above, especially "Has he ever been able to move laterally away from your leg?" Or is this a new trick you're trying to teach him?
    Additionally:
    Is it only one side? Are you using spurs or a stick to back up your leg? When you say he is hard sided, is he slow to move or does he not move at all?

    Answers to these and other questions will help figure out what's really going on.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 27, 2015
    Location
    Central Coast, California
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    159

    Default

    He is 19 years old. So he is getting into his senior years. I had thought that his age may have been an issue but he never feels stiff when doing anything else. I have had him from when he was 6-12 and then recently bought him back in October. We have been able to move away from my leg before. He doesn't ignore me when I ask for turn on the haunches or turn on the forehand. We have always had some difficulty with leg yields. More specifically, my problem right now is if I decide to ride a little off the rail, it takes him forever to move off my leg a few feet. If I am circling and trying to spiral out to the rail or to continue on a line, he doesn't respond quickly.

    It does not seem to be side specific. I am not using spurs but I do carry a crop while riding and he will respond to that after I have to add it to my leg cue.

    I am not currently working with a trainer. I'm trying to save up money in order to get some lessons going again but that's taking a bit. More so because I need to pay extra to have a trainer come out to me as there isn't one at my barn.

    I know it's hard to give this type of advice over the internet. I'll try to get a video if my sister can come out and ride with me. But I appreciate any and all exercises and advice you can give for me to try.
    My blog about buying back my first horse and regaining skills lost after 6 years of not riding.

    https://thehorsedream.wordpress.com/



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2001
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    down the road from bar.ka
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    Default

    Well, at 19 (at least if you don't know the foaling date) it's very possible arthritic changes caused by age and mileage are reducing his abilities. Has he seen a vet lately, had any recent work done? Any X rays?

    Age and wear related osteoarthritis happens to most, if not all, of them, it's not something that can be reversed or "cured". But it can be managed and the discomfort eased, check with your vet.

    I know I saw a deterioration in my older horses as far as their abilities to bend, move laterally/displace haunch and shoulder as well as rock back and drive off the rear end. Like I said, you can manage this with help from your vet but age does create limitations in all of us. Maybe he can't do laterals and shouldn't be doing spirals but he can still work if you are willing to adjust your program to allow for some of his limitations.

    Try giving him 1g a day of Bute for 3 days and see if his willingness to move sideways improves. Then you'll know for sure it's discomfort.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 8, 2015
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    582

    Default

    When he doesn't respond to your leg, how connected is he? My horse responds best when I've gathered up the reins and am holding good contact. He knows I'm there and we're going to be doing something. If he's on a loopy rein, it takes a bit more doing because he wasn't paying attention.

    And what is forever? The entire length of the arena before he takes one sideways step? Are you just jamming your leg into him and not letting up? Maybe try asking for just a little bit of give and then release the pressure. Then try again.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 27, 2015
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    Central Coast, California
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    159

    Default

    I haven't had a vet out in a bit. I'm planning on having someone come out to float his teeth as he is due for that so I'll ask them to take a look at his joints and such then. I don't have bute on me right now so next time I get feed I'll pick some up.

    And forever is it takes us the whole long side of our arena (I don't really know how long the arena is. It's setup for barrel racing.) to move just two or three steps sideways. The frustrating this is I can get him to move sideways if that's all I'm asking. So if I stand in the middle of the arena and move sideways, he is slow to start but will move. It's mostly when I'm trying to trot around and move sideways then that we have issues with.
    My blog about buying back my first horse and regaining skills lost after 6 years of not riding.

    https://thehorsedream.wordpress.com/



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2001
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    down the road from bar.ka
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    Default

    Combining sideways with forward would be hard on hocks that are sore as it shifts more weight to the rear. Could bother stifles too. They won't limp with these BTW and they are not sore to the touch. Try to keep a record of what bothers him and what he can still do easily, it will help the vet narrow things down.

    Honestly, if he's having trouble doing something, I'd back off for awhile, least until the vet has a look. One of mine gradually lost the ability to leg yield around age 20 due to hock issues, I avoided them after the space to inject closed up and the injectables stopped working.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 10, 2015
    Location
    Southern California
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    388

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by thehorsedream View Post
    He is 19 years old. So he is getting into his senior years. I had thought that his age may have been an issue but he never feels stiff when doing anything else. I have had him from when he was 6-12 and then recently bought him back in October. We have been able to move away from my leg before. He doesn't ignore me when I ask for turn on the haunches or turn on the forehand. We have always had some difficulty with leg yields. More specifically, my problem right now is if I decide to ride a little off the rail, it takes him forever to move off my leg a few feet. If I am circling and trying to spiral out to the rail or to continue on a line, he doesn't respond quickly.
    He is getting up there in years, but since you are saying he is doing other moves with relative ease, I am wondering if he just got in a "stay on he rail" rut while he was away from you? Was he moving off your leg when you first brought him back, or has it been consistently not responsive since october?



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 27, 2015
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    Central Coast, California
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    159

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MtnDrmz View Post
    He is getting up there in years, but since you are saying he is doing other moves with relative ease, I am wondering if he just got in a "stay on he rail" rut while he was away from you? Was he moving off your leg when you first brought him back, or has it been consistently not responsive since october?
    You know, I don't know if he did or did not. I was blissfully happy to get him back at first and then focused on how bad my muscles had become and then life hit for a bit along with winter. A lot of my riding had just been focusing on getting us both into shape and I hadn't tried to do much more thank w/t/c and circles for a while.
    My blog about buying back my first horse and regaining skills lost after 6 years of not riding.

    https://thehorsedream.wordpress.com/



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct. 27, 2015
    Location
    Central Coast, California
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MtnDrmz View Post
    He is getting up there in years, but since you are saying he is doing other moves with relative ease, I am wondering if he just got in a "stay on he rail" rut while he was away from you? Was he moving off your leg when you first brought him back, or has it been consistently not responsive since october?
    You know, I don't know if he did or did not. I was blissfully happy to get him back at first and then focused on how bad my muscles had become and then life hit for a bit along with winter. A lot of my riding had just been focusing on getting us both into shape and I hadn't tried to do much more thank w/t/c and circles for a while.
    My blog about buying back my first horse and regaining skills lost after 6 years of not riding.

    https://thehorsedream.wordpress.com/



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2001
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    down the road from bar.ka
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    Default

    Why not stick to more basic flatwork for a bit? Get you both built back up a little more and this might go better after you both regain more condition and regain your skills. If anything seems difficult for him, skip it and go on to something else. Come back to it another time.

    But I'd still have the vet evaluate the hocks and other joints and see if it's time for some maintenance to keep him comfortable and make things easier for him.

    Old horses can keep working well into their 20s but they need some concessions from the rider and help from the vet.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul. 16, 2013
    Posts
    166

    Default

    my mare was ignoring my asking for sideways movement (she knows how to do it, she does it better on the trails), tiny spurs made a big difference (assuming you're not having a medical issue).



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb. 7, 2007
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    128

    Default

    If you are just getting back into riding too it might help to think about the fact that in order to move laterally off your inside leg the horse's inside hind leg needs to be off the ground in order to step over more under the horse's midline. If you're on the correct diagonal the inside hind is up when you are rising. Some people have an easier time switching to the wring diagonal to leg yield so that they can ask for sideways while sitting



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