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Shoulder drifts in the herd sour horse...

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  • Shoulder drifts in the herd sour horse...

    I recently moved my horse to a new barn, and it appears she has become a bit herd sour. From the new arena, she can see her buddies in the field (which wasn't the case at our old barn), and I am now having some major struggles with her drifting through the shoulder towards the field. I'm pretty sure its a herd sour issue instead of a soreness/injury issue because she does it equally in both directions, and the problem disappears in rides where the rest of the horses are in the barn.

    When we try to do any circle work, the second I try to circle away from the field, her shoulder just keeps drifting towards the field. I've tried aborting the circle and straightening her out so I could regain control over the shoulder, but the second I try to turn again, the shoulder drifts. This has lead to many a frustrating ride where I catch myself trying to pull her around with the inside rein (wrong answer I know!) after she has been virtually unresponsive to my other aides. I don't generally ride with a whip or spurs, but I have both and she is fine with their use. Suggestions on how to address this issue?

  • #2
    Ride counterbend around the circle and spiral in/out...

    You'll need to have a lot of outside (inside of the bend) leg pushing her inwards on the circle.
    2016 RRP Makeover Competitor www.EnviousBid.com


    • #3
      Originally posted by VCT View Post
      Ride counterbend around the circle and spiral in/out...

      You'll need to have a lot of outside (inside of the bend) leg pushing her inwards on the circle.
      chaque pas est fait ensemble


      • #4

        Use her distraction to your advantage. She wants to look then the lateral work is done with that bend to your advantage. As you comes to her lookie loo point bend her in that direction. When you get past change the bend so when she tries to see behind it is a bend you ask for. Make looking work for you instead of getting in a fight. Plan so you can reward. I also place a target in the center point of the arc...like a barrel or ball or cone...or something scary. So she looks to the inside instead of at her friends. PatO


        • #5

          On that naughty-sometimes-but mostly-a-good-boy who is a draftX I train it is that and a gate issue.
          That DAMN shoulder! UGH! The magnetic pull of the gate/stall.
          Perfect circle/bend/lift in back THEN the dreaded LEAN!!!! Then back to good. UGH!!!
          Extremely frustrating.
          Yes counter bend helps, LY in helps, spiral in helps. Stop and turn on the haunches helps.
          For Mr. Lazy, You Really Don't Mean It, a come-to Jesus moment helps more.
          It comes down to a focus issue, an obedience issue. I also have to be very, VERY clear in the beginning of the ride that the LEAN won't be tolerated. If I really put my foot down (or IN as the case may be) while we warm up it does make a difference. I do carry the whip on the outside in the beginning and have used it on the shoulder to reinforce the message.
          It has gotten better but has not totally disappeared. With the weather being as rotten as it has been, regular session have been impossible. Hopefully with nicer weather on the way, regular work will improve the LEAN!
          "I am a sand dancer... just here for the jumps!" - Schrammo


          • #6
            I use a lot of counter shoulder in when mine get too lookie. I agree with all those who said, use his bend to your advantage. The minute he decides he'd rather be 'over there' I put him in a position that makes it work. It really puts a damper on his fun, but he complies.
            "Rock n' roll's not through, yeah, I'm sewing wings on this thing." --Destroyer


            • Original Poster

              Thanks for the suggestions...I hadn't even thought about using her misbehavior to my advantage! I'll give it a try during tomorrow's ride.


              • #8
                Just remember that the crux of the issue is that your horse is not staying straight when it is bulging a shoulder. What keeps them straight are your legs and the OUTSIDE REIN. Which leg depends on bend and where your horse needs the support, etc.

                Hope it goes better tomorrow!
                2016 RRP Makeover Competitor www.EnviousBid.com


                • #9
                  Along with all these other great suggestions, I would carry a jumping bat and use it on that shoulder as required.

                  Horsie is being deliberately obtuse and needs a reminder that during the brief time each day that she who pays for feed is asking for her attention, horsie is beholden to give it.

                  (With all the caveats about soundness, etc.)


                  • Original Poster

                    Just wanted to say thanks again for the advice. I rode with a jumping bat yesterday, and between that and doing some counterbend work we were able to get through her issues and ended up having a really productive ride!