• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Crooked in canter...

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Crooked in canter...

    I have a young horse that likes to get crooked, and swing his haunches to the right. He then falls onto his left shoulder. We have been working on this in the walk and the trot by using some shoulder- fore, legyields and baby renvers/travers. Basically just getting him obedient to positioning aids to enable me to keep his shoulders in front of his haunches and keep him straight.
    This works great in the walk and the trot, my problem is with the canter... To the left he likes to swing his haunches out, by using my outside leg I can keep him straight, no problem. He listens well. But to the right, he swings his haunches IN, and there is my problem.

    I try to keep him in a shoulderfore/renvers position with no bend (so basically a legyield on the rail). Problem is that he tries to fall to the inside. If I use my inside leg on the girth, he will stay on the rail but swing his haunches in. If I move my leg back, he will do a flying change and/or buck. So I'm thinking he needs to be more obedient to my outside rein, but feeling a little lost... We do take lessons, and I will bring this up next time too, just wanting to see what you guys think? How would you keep him straight?

    Right now I am just picking up the canter from a shoulder-in, and go back to the trot right before he gets crooked...

  • #2
    Lack of strength and balance. He doesn't need to be more obedient, he needs to be built up more slowly!!! Focus on developing pushing power in the hind leg - poles, x-rails, hills, lots of trotting and lateral work as he can perform it. Be prepared for this to take months++! Then you can start progressively developing carrying power (ie, collection) and work your way gradually up the training scale (use progressive exercises and patterns to increasingly engage your horse and have him use himself more and more effectively)... straightness will come with progression up the training scale.

    How young is this horse and how long has he been u/s? He doesn't sound at ALL like he's got sufficient strength for exercises such as 'canter leg yields' along the rail. Back off and work on lots of strengthening work at the trot - forward forward forward. For the canter specifically, it will straighten as he gains strength and balance. For the most part, let it alone for now, ie, don't focus on it and don't micro-manage his strides in the canter.
    ....horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
    ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.


    • #3
      I agree with naturaleqqus. I would continue to work on shoulder fore in trot, without overdoing it, and combine this with lots of long slow hill work. Focus on strength, and keeping both his mind and body happy and sound.
      Proud COTH lurker since 2001.


      • #4
        Be careful that you are not putting too much weight in your right seatbone. That can cause the problems you describe in the canter.
        Donald Trump - proven liar, cheat, traitor and sexual predator! Hillary Clinton won in 2016, but we have all lost.


        • #5
          Lateral work is best for straightening.
          Groom to trainer: "Where's the glamour? You promised me glamour!"


          • #6

            With all problems, we must always ask ourselves whether our horse doesn’t understand or simply can not. Without seeing the horse, I must advise to rule out any physical issues with your vet. If you have ruled out physical problems, it is only a matter of making sure he understands what it is that you want. I must point out that from what I understand, all you are trying to do is have a basic degree of straightness. This is an implied pre-requisite to the third step in the training scale (contact/connection). As per the training scale, true straightening comes later on.

            When it comes to your aids, here in Germany, it is said that your aids must be consequent meaning that as his rider/trainer, you must make sure your aids are clear and that you don’t allow alternatives. The Dutch like to refer to this process as the question and answer game, meaning there is only one answer to the question/demand you make. Every horse is naturally crooked and has what’s called it’s ‘Stiff’ and ‘Hollow side’. In other words, all horses have a weaker hind leg and will try to evade difficult work, the natural inclination.

            Like your horse, 90% of horses fall into the category where, to the right, they travel in travers with the shoulders positioned towards the outside. This same pattern of crookedness causes the outside hindleg to trail outwards on the left rein. Therefore, in 90% of cases, the official correction is shoulder-fore to the right and riding ‘In position’ to the left (In position is the idea of shoulder-fore and slight travers, bringing the inside hind leg forward and causing the outside hind to come closer towards the inside hind leg.) Hence the expression ‘when you have the outside hind leg only then can you have the inside hind leg).

            I must point out that there is a fine line between work that is too difficult and work that is difficult enough/consequent (building strength, increasing suppleness and getting rid of the natural one-sidedness).

            Now back to your particular case, I would suggest contemplating and dissecting your weight aids. As you know, you must always weight the inside seat bone (without faults such as collapsing etc.). However, sitting to the inside correctly can mean one of many variations. This differs in each movement and also depends on the natural crookedness of the horse. Although it is ideal in a straight horse to keep your inside seat bone forward, doing so with this horse to the right will only reinforce travers. Since this horse may swap leads etc. if you bring your inside leg back, try bringing your weight back and to the inside (inside seat bone back). If you imagine sitting on a clock, you would sit at 5:00. In other words, really putting your weight on top of the inside hind leg, the carrying hind leg. This is more if less the same place you would sit to leg yield to the left. Shoulder-fore will be your ultimate goal but to make sure your aids are consequent, you can go in and out of shoulder-in on the long side, assuring that your horse will understand that you can displace the shoulders without displacing the hind legs – shoulder control!

            If you are having difficulty with explaining this weight aid, think about how you ride corners, how you spiral-out and leg yielding to the left. Riding turn on the fore-hand with the goal of making your horse sensitive to the weight aids (not just leg) will work efficiently. Also, you may want to employ a long whip in order to help explain the parameters of where his legs can and can not go. Looking up and using your inside seat bone will help keep the right lead while you displace the shoulders as you please. Good luck and have fun!

            Dave Thind, Certified German 'Trainer A', F.N.
            Certified German 'Trainer A' F.N. (Master Level)


            • #7
              Gee, I think Dave has it covered! All I was going to say is shoulder-fore. Thankfully for you, Dave told you what to do and how to do it so you weren't stuck with my crappy and lacking explanation. Dave should come by more than once a year.


              • #8
                shoulder-fore and Forward forward forward!


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Dave Thind View Post
                  With all problems, we must always ask ourselves whether our horse doesn’t understand or simply can not. Without seeing the horse, I must advise to rule out any physical issues with your vet. If you have ruled out physical problems, it is only a matter of making sure he understands what it is that you want. I must point out that from what I understand, all you are trying to do is have a basic degree of straightness. This is an implied pre-requisite to the third step in the training scale (contact/connection). As per the training scale, true straightening comes later on.

                  Dave Thind, Certified German 'Trainer A', F.N.
                  Great post by David. I would absolutely agree that you should make sure there is no physical problem. A general rule of thumb, is that a dressage horse who is sore behind, will bring his haunches away from the sore side (If swinging haunches to L it suggests the R hind may be sore. A jumper will jump towards the sore side as the sound leg pushes of the ground with more force.)


                  • #10
                    Are you certain you are sitting straight?
                    Life is too short to argue with a mare! Just don't engage! It is much easier that way!

                    Have fun, be safe, and let the mare think it is her idea!


                    • Original Poster

                      Wow, thanks for all the replies!

                      @naturalequus: I have to disagree... This is an almost 5yo that has shown 1st level, I can't just let him plonk around the rail in an unasked for haunches in/ shoulder popped out while I know he is perfectly capable of cantering straight on a trailride.

                      @Dave: What a great post, thank you! That is very helpful! Yes, all I am looking for is basic sraightness, i.e. cantering down the longside in a fairly straight line without him looking like a pretzel
                      He has been checked out by a vet, and it isn't physical. He is perfectly capable of cantering straight any other time. I think it is something he has learned from a rider. It's just something he needs to relearn. I think you hit the nail on the head, he does not understand to shift his shoulders.
                      Some great suggestions, that I will try rightaway tomorrow, will report back how it went.


                      • #12
                        It's not always a physical issue...it's also strengthening issue. Consider the stiff and hollow side when you are doing SI/HI and Renvers (should this be introduced after the SI/HI are going well which is why it's a second level move??) I say this because renvers improved my canter, counter canter impoved my true canter even more...however my horse is 6 and I could not have done the renver until this year, he was not ready (he is a big late bloomer)
                        Humans don’t mind duress, in fact they thrive on it. What they mind is not feeling necessary. –Sebastian Junger


                        • Original Poster

                          Bogey, I'm not doing true renvers/travers/shoulder-ins, just using the term to try and explain more clearly the positioning of the horse! I agree he would need to be stronger to be schooling 2nd level, but what I am after is basic straightness, as required in say Training level canter. Which I think is not too much to ask from an almost 5yo schooling 1st level, right?


                          • #14
                            Not a lot to add...lots of lateral work help strengthen.

                            Eventually, counter canter is going to help a TON in straightening out the true canter....eventually.

                            Love Dave's post, too...


                            • #15
                              honestly Libera? My canter at Training Level was not all that "straight"...even at First we had a little crookedness, I did not sweat it because I knew it was coming along. My horse is extremely supple so it's work to keep it all together, not until I started the SI/HI did it start to pull together better.
                              Humans don’t mind duress, in fact they thrive on it. What they mind is not feeling necessary. –Sebastian Junger