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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec. 9, 2010
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Posts
    416

    Default I've Lost my Right Lead

    Apparently I've lost my right lead canter. Please tell me that this is just a phase?

    Background: Starting bringing this particular mare into work March of 2012. Had been out of work for quite some time (months?) before I acquired her. Could not canter without porpoising and being very difficult (tail wringing and general ugly-ness, so we didn't. We built up fitness at walk and trot and slowly started to had in a few strides of canter. Between chiro and a few evaluations of the vet, and a good saddle fitter, the mare really started to improve and the last few weeks the porpoising is getting less and less and we can even do fun things like canter down the long side. *Gasp!

    On Monday, the canter seemed pretty four beated (lateral?) to the right, but she worked out of it. Tuesday was just a walk day due to rain, and Wednesday the ring was a swamp. So last night, left lead canter was pretty good, right lead was very four beated. Down transitions were ugly (bracing/unbalanced), and the mare didn't really care to hold her right lead and broke to the trot a few times.

    There is always the possibility that hocks need to be injected (has been discussed with vet but as of the last check up a few months ago, the vet saw absolutely no reason to inject until the mare says so). My guess is that this is just a phase. We went through the I Can't Possibly Canter phase to the I Can Canter, but Not Until We Porpoise A Lot, to learning to balance. Trot work is coming along nicely and I had no issues there so I really don't think its pain related.

    We are showing at training level on Sat. Any suggestions on how to minimize this four beated canter until I can get with my trainer? It will be two weeks before I see my trainer, so we have plenty of time to try a few different exercises.

    Thanks!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 16, 2011
    Posts
    592

    Default

    Broken record alert: I love shoulder fore in the canter for this sort of issue. Really unites the canter and reduces laterality.

    It's not a fix that will save you by Saturday, I don't think. But it will help you out in the future.

    Also check your position to make sure you're not off to the left especially to the right.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 9, 2010
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Posts
    416

    Default

    Thanks....apparently there are several canter threads today! I may also be blocking somewhere as well.

    I think part of the problem is that the shoulders want to dive left, haunches right, and head goes straight up. I'm hoping a few strides of shoulder fore on the circle before the down transition will help us.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 28, 2007
    Location
    Triangle Area, NC
    Posts
    6,723

    Default

    4 beats happen when the pace is low.
    Shoulder fore on the wall and ask for more. That extra beat will disappear
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 28, 2007
    Location
    Triangle Area, NC
    Posts
    6,723

    Default

    4 beats happen when the pace is low.
    Shoulder fore on the wall and ask for more. That extra beat will disappear
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 27, 2002
    Location
    Arlington, VA US
    Posts
    1,356

    Default

    maybe ride out in a big field in a straight line and see if it works there...sometimes if there are issues with corners and circle size, a good field work does wonders.
    Appy Trails,
    Kathy & Cadet
    member CDCTA www.cdcta.com, TROT www.trot-md.org & Free State Appaloosa Horse Club freestateaphc.org



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 30, 2007
    Posts
    346

    Default

    I don't see the point in spending the considerable time and money to show the horse when you can't canter correctly?? All you have to "show" at training level is straightness, steady contact and transitions. If all of that is not reliable at home, won't it only get worse at a show? That alone would stress me out - you need to be schooling at least a level or two above that which you're showing just to do well off-farm, no?



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2009
    Location
    Montreal, Qc
    Posts
    3,152

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lusoluv View Post
    - you need to be schooling at least a level or two above that which you're showing just to do well off-farm, no?
    ^^^Not at all. And certainly not 2 level above!!!

    What would concern me is more the physical aspect that is leading to the 4 beat canter. What if the horse is sore somewhere? Wouldn't be good to start pushing it doing shoulder fore and other exercices. Wait for the vet advice and then you'll know. You could also call your trainer for advices.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 3, 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    513

    Default

    My horse tends to start 4-beating in one direction when his pelvis and/or SI are out. A visit from the chiro generally puts it right.
    Savannah Custom Scrapbook Design. For horses...and people, too!
    www.savannahscrapbooks.com
    www.thislifeblog.com



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr. 15, 2008
    Posts
    1,551

    Default

    Any possible problem with the left hind?



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec. 9, 2010
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Posts
    416

    Default

    Eh, Maybe.

    This was a small schooling show not even recognized by my local GMO. Totally worth getting out for the mileage.

    Our canter has been steadily improving, but we just hit a snag with the lateral canter this past week.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lusoluv View Post
    I don't see the point in spending the considerable time and money to show the horse when you can't canter correctly?? All you have to "show" at training level is straightness, steady contact and transitions. If all of that is not reliable at home, won't it only get worse at a show? That alone would stress me out - you need to be schooling at least a level or two above that which you're showing just to do well off-farm, no?
    I very much doubt that the mare is having a physical issue. She is totally a "princess and the pea" type and even minor pain or needing a chiro adjustment is made known by her shenanigans.

    I took Baylady's advice and did some work out in the field in my jumping saddle. We worked on straight and forward, and it was very nice

    As for the show....We received an 8.5 on both left leads canters in T1 and T2. I was thrilled by the judge's comments on having a lovely left lead, and a nice rhythmic trot. On the right lead however, we recieved a 6. The judge commented that I am over using my right rein and realy blocking the right lead canter causing crookedness and a very lateral canter. Interesting. We have much to work on I really couldn't have been happier with this mare's behavior at the show. She was very good and mostly well behaved.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec. 9, 2012
    Posts
    210

    Default

    Good for you! A 6 is not bad. It sounds like you know what kind of work you have cut out for you, keep us updated! schooling shows are what they are titled... schooling! Perfect opportunity to get input from a judge in a new environment. Practice makes perfect when it comes to competing dressage tests.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2006
    Location
    Stoystown, PA
    Posts
    1,971

    Default

    Have you thought about doing a bute trial with her to see if it's pain related? When my boy stopped picking up his left lead, it turned out his hocks were sore. He would finally get it after asking a few times but then he would sort of scramble for it and it felt very disjointed.
    Boyle Heights Kid 1998 OTTB Dark Bay Gelding
    Tinner's Way x Sculpture by Hail to Reason
    "Once you go off track, you never go back!"



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