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Can't Turn Right

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  • #21
    PS. I addressed some ideas above of how to address the issue "when" it is happening, but the bigger answer is to address "why" it is happening. The very best investment you can make in your riding adventures is to take lessons (including thorough lunge lessons first) to develop your seat on a schoolmaster. There is no short-cut. You have to develop an independent seat, balance, feel, and an understanding of the dynamics of the four-legged partner (which includes their own crookedness) in relation to your own. Train yourself first. You will never regret it. Find the best trainer/teacher in your area and go to work on it. That investment in time and money is somewhat like learning to dance ballet...you have to do the bar exercises to develop first before you can dance Swan Lake.

    Comment


    • #22
      OP - please do not take this the wrong way, as obviously I don't know all your details. The thought that comes to my head from your post is that your trainer is missing something in the instruction process. Yes we all have weak sides and maybe don't coordinate our aids quite so well, but part of the trainer's job is to come up w/ a process to help you develop the strength and coordination.
      Not every trainer is good w/ the biomechanics part of riding - so you need to get some help from one that is strong in this area. It won't be an instant fix - see the above post.

      I had a similar problem w/ a mare I bought two years ago. She does not particularly like left side contact and thus did not turn as crisply as one would like. It took me quite a while to get my aids sharp enough and strong enough to keep her where she needed to be. (Note here that I'm referring to lack of ability to keep my left leg still on her side UNTIL time for aid, so the aid wasn't clear, not that I'm poking and kicking the poor dear)

      If you have options, I would take the time to investigate other trainers, maybe watch a lesson or two. Last but not least, I started doing pilates classes a year or so ago. BIG help both in the strength area and also my awareness of what my body does - or doesn't - do!
      We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #23
        angel - Thanks a lot. I will use some of your techniques.

        Anyway, my trainer has me use the one rein open, bounce on the rein outward if the horse doesn't turn, and go harder and harder until the horse turns. I don't like this method, as I don't have any outside rein, and I don't have any contact between thumps.

        I don't need my horse to yield. I need a "new" way to turn her, until I can figure out how I'm letting her surge outside. Anyone teach a different way to turn? Kinda like the example up there, but something different.

        Comment


        • #24
          Sounds like your mare is escaping through her left shoulder. You try to turn and she just heads off leftwards, shoulder leading?

          Think about keeping mare's left shoulder under control with your left rein. Keep your left hand low and steady. At this time, do NOT use your inside (right) leg. Use it too energetically, and you push her left, not right. Open your right rein out (rightwards) and encourage her to go to the right. Sit on your right seatbone, placing your weight in the direction you want to go. And yes, turn your sternum in the direction you want to go, too. Sternum turns and seatbone weightings are key to good turns.

          My guess (along with others here) is that you sit crooked. Have your instructor or a friend stand OUTSIDE of your circle and observe your torso. Your spine should sit right above the horse's spine. Your shoulders should be even and both sides of your ribcage equal. Equal weighting on the seatbones. Collapsing (in your case, probably right side) makes it hard for the horse to be straight.

          None of us (human or horse) are perfectly straight and ambidexterous. I have had students who couldn't turn left, and others who couldn't turn right until we addressed their own one-sidedness and then tackled their horse's one-sidedness.

          Figure out if YOU turn your shoulders & torso more easily one way than the other. If so, do stretches and exercises to equalize your own suppleness. Our horses can't be any straighter or ambidexterous than we are!

          Comment


          • #25
            Originally posted by Arab_Mare View Post
            I have been having issues turning right on my mare. My trainer can turn her right, her tack fits, her mouth is fine, but I can't turn right.
            Originally posted by Arab_Mare View Post

            Anyway, my trainer has me use the one rein open, bounce on the rein outward if the horse doesn't turn, and go harder and harder until the horse turns. I don't like this method, as I don't have any outside rein, and I don't have any contact between thumps.

            I don't need my horse to yield. I need a "new" way to turn her, until I can figure out how I'm letting her surge outside. Anyone teach a different way to turn? Kinda like the example up there, but something different.
            Advice -- even very good advice -- from a bulletin board can be helpful. But persistent issues call for eyes on the ground . And if what your trainer has you do isn't working and he/she can't offer you any other suggestions to help you out, I'd say what you really need is a "new" trainer.
            __________________________
            "... if you think i'm MAD, today, of all days,
            the best day in ten years,
            you are SORELY MISTAKEN, MY LITTLE ANCHOVY."

            Comment


            • #26
              Something else to try -- quarter turns on the haunches. This will acclimate Mare to turning from the outside aids.

              But check your own alignment first!

              Comment


              • #27
                From reading your post, the problem sounds a little severe, but here's what works for me when my green OTTB "won't turn left." Well, he WILL, but several strides later than I'd like! He doesn't quite accept/understand the concept of steering off the outside rein while traveling left; we're working on it, but he still has moments of neck-bending/banana-ing left while the shoulder flies in a rightward direction... meanwhile I'm gently kicking his right shoulder, opening my left rein, and trying to push him around to the left.

                What helps me is to forget about the wiggly uncontrollable front end for a moment, and GET THE HAUNCHES THROUGH THE TURN. If I focus too much on riding the shoulders around, I sometimes get suckered into doing too much with my hands which doesn't help him. Instead, I engage my seat, put my leg on and ride his butt forward and around the circle, not letting him throw his haunches to the inside or outside which allows the front end to go willy-nilly. Sometimes when the outside shoulder starts to drift, the haunches take an inside positioning which further prevents the shoulder from coming around. Ride the butt forward, straight, and under and that helps straighten the shoulder and get the whole horse able to turn; think about turning the horse as a unit, turning off the hind legs, instead of "leading" the head/neck/shoulders through the turn and allowing the caboose to follow.

                I don't know if that will work for your horse, but when I change my focus from the front end (WHERE are those shoulders GOING?!!) to the hind end (ride the butt around the turn, the shoulders will have to keep up!) it makes a big difference for me.
                “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
                ? Albert Einstein

                ~AJ~

                Comment


                • #28
                  Originally posted by Arab_Mare View Post
                  angel - Thanks a lot. I will use some of your techniques.

                  Anyway, my trainer has me use the one rein open, bounce on the rein outward if the horse doesn't turn, and go harder and harder until the horse turns. I don't like this method, as I don't have any outside rein, and I don't have any contact between thumps.

                  I don't need my horse to yield. I need a "new" way to turn her, until I can figure out how I'm letting her surge outside. Anyone teach a different way to turn? Kinda like the example up there, but something different.
                  Can you try explaining what you do to cue from start to finish, and also how the horse responds? Your posts have me confused, and nothing you describe sounds like anything someone would use in dressage, even for a green horse. All put together into one story/post it may make more sense to me.

                  The first thought I had was you are sitting on your left seatbone, but everything else combined to make me think your horse is just as confused as I am...
                  Originally posted by Silverbridge
                  If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #29
                    Starting down the long side at the trot. Someplace, I decide to turn. I look with my head, then turn my seat and my seatbones as well as some of my weight towards the right. Then I open my right rein, and use my inside leg as well as my outside leg. My outside rein is in the middle of the neck. Then she throws her head up, and her neck gets all kinked. I tighten my outside rein, and bump with my outside leg. And then I have to spiral to stop as I'm about to crash into someone.

                    My horse surges to the left hard. It's like a flying Frisbee. It feels like her shoulders are surging around and her hind is coming in. I try to correct that, but it just gets all messed up.

                    Also, ThreeFigs and EventerAJ - Great advice. I can't wait to try it out and see what I can do.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      It sounds to me like your horse is "popping" her shoulder. I have a shoulder popper and I came to an epiphany last Tuesday that it had to stop. He would not get off my left leg and managed to catch my left leg between a post and his 1200 lb. self. Fortunately I managed to keep my knee from getting slammed but my lower leg is one big bruise and is still numb in spots almost a week later.

                      So I started this thread and got some good advice:

                      http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=352498

                      I took many of the suggestions and incorporated them into my rides over the last few days. What I have discovered is that, among other things, I just didn't have enough outside rein.

                      I was giving too much outside so I tried holding that rein steady and with more contact, while giving more on the inside rein. To my pleasant surprise it's starting to work. I did get a couple of annoyed small bucks but as I kept holding him into the outside he got more straight, didn't fall in as much to the inside, and his canter was more "up" and off the forehand.

                      Still very much a work in progress but I felt like we've had a real breakthrough.

                      I found the diagram at the bottom of this page helpful for visualization. YMMV.

                      http://www.dressage.ponyclub.org/PDF...%20Article.pdf
                      "Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple” – Barry Switzer

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #31
                        Honestly, I think that's my issue too. I don't use enough outside rein, and when I cross it into the center of her neck, I'm letting the shoulders escape. If I (feel free to direct me) use more weight more on the side of her withers, then open the inside rein, would that be okay? What leg sequence should I use after that? Inside then outside? Both at the same time? Outside leg first?

                        Thanks a lot guys!!

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          You should never cross your reins! This may be part of your issue. If you are turning right, your left hand needs to stay low and on the outside of the neck! Never across. If you cross your left rein you are pulling the horses neck to the outside and pretzeling the horse which now can't bend to the right. So the horse is trying to escape the confusing message that you are sending by scooting to the left. Practice at the walk and don't try it at the trot until you can make perfect right circles at the walk. Hands low and at each side of the neck!!!
                          Hoppe, Hoppe, Reiter...
                          Wenn er faellt dann schreit er...

                          Originally posted by mbm
                          forward is like love - you can never have enough

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            You have to be careful when you "use your weight" unless you know how to do it without collapsing your hip...(if you collapse your hip or lean, your horse will move in the opposite direction and the weight aid will be ineffective). If you choose to use more outside rein (which is good if you know how to use it)...open your outside rein to maintain contact. Attempting to use the outer rein against the neck (as in neck reining)...will not work...the horse will throw the shoulder against it and pop the shoulder....and applying legs at the same time will increase the "skid". In reading your comments, the best thing to do at this point, is to open both reins, while sitting up straight, ribcage up, shoulders level, and ride from behind into the "V" that is created by opening both reins, in order to maintain contact rather than pulling back, etc. If the horse travels straight, then bring your hands/arms back into position. If the horse begins to go crooked, open your reins, but maintain contact. The issue is your contact and connection and crookedness...you can work through this, but you need the help of a good teacher.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              I have been watching this thread because the answers to this question are always fascinating IMO

                              OP, you really need better instruction. Having said that, here we go.

                              First thing: turning and bending are not the same thing. You can turn, and you can bend after you can turn, and you can turn and bend at the same time. But first... You have to be able to turn, and that precedes bending by a long shot. The aids you have been told to use are closer to bending aids than turning aids. Without turning aids in place prior to bending you cannot bend, because adding bending aids requires something to push against or the horse just pops their shoulder in the opposite direction and/or stops. Which is reasonable, because that is exactly what you are asking them to do.

                              So suspend belief about what you already think you know.

                              Turning establishes precedence of the outside aids. All turning actually requires is that you PUSH the horse over off your outside leg and not push your outside hand forward OR pull on your inside rein. If you pull your inside rein, you pull the nose to the inside, which then pushes the outside shoulder out. If you do both at once, and your horse only stops, you should be grateful because you trapped him and he had no where to go. He could go up instead.

                              Anyway. It is really that simple and its really hard. Practice by riding a square OFF the rail. Anytime your horse gets stuck you must YIELD your inside rein rather than pull it, see above. If the horse counterbends this is not tragic at this point but you also then have to take responsibility that you are allowing HIM to pull your INSIDE rein/hand forward to do so. Do NOT put your outside rein on his neck or cross it over, if you feel the need to do so, it means he is not moving off your LEG. Kick. Tap behind your leg with your whip. Be persistent. Be patient, you have been jacknifing your horse for a long time, you cannot fix it overnight.

                              If you ever really want to understand the leg aids, the rein aids, turning aids and bending aids, you have to be willing to experiment and let things look ugly. If your horse wanders all over the arena, as long as you dont mow down small children, who cares? When you reach the point that you cannot turn your horse, something has to change LOL. If you keep doing what you have been doing, you will keep getting what you got

                              So when you can ride a square neatly at the walk, with accurate precise corners, start trotting the long side of the arena with your horse ONLY on your outside rein. If he pushes on either leg, boot him off it. If he pulls your inside rein, drop him on it. Walk the corners and the short side for now.

                              When you get good at this, walk into the corner and add your inside leg and push his rib cage/shoulder at your now effective outside aids. Push, let go. If he grabs the inside rein, let go of it, just push your hand forward a teeny bit quickly. You CAN use your inside rein to position his poll SLIGHTLY to the inside but be honest with yourself... Are you positioning or dragging him? If you revert to your old habits your learning will stop right there.

                              When his rib cage bends around your inside leg, and cannot push thru your outside leg/aids, your horse will be beginning to bend.

                              While working on this, the horse needs to be rythmic and at least marginally forward BUT you will probably need to slow things waaay down to feel what is happening. Do not worry about weighting a stirrup, weighting a seatbone, blah blah blah no one can actually do all that effectively and ride at the same time LOL it is overcomplicating things unnecessarily. Keep your weight in both seatbones evenly. Dont push into your stirrups. Pay attention to cause and effect.

                              Have fun. When you hit the "I cant turn wall" there is no where left to go but onward!
                              "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                              ---
                              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Are you looking where you want to be going? (I'm serious! ) If you're on a circle to the right, keep your eyes locked (!!!) on the center of the circle.

                                (Plus of course all the other good advice you've already gotten here.)
                                "Reite dein Pferd vorwärts und richte es gerade.” Gustav Steinbrecht

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by InsideLeg2OutsideRein View Post
                                  Are you looking where you want to be going? (I'm serious! ) If you're on a circle to the right, keep your eyes locked (!!!) on the center of the circle.

                                  (Plus of course all the other good advice you've already gotten here.)
                                  You do not look at the center of the circle when you ride a circle. I know a lot of people are or were taught this, including myself, but it is wrong.

                                  And you aren't looking where you are going if you are looking at the center of the circle either.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by ponysize View Post
                                    You do not look at the center of the circle when you ride a circle. I know a lot of people are or were taught this, including myself, but it is wrong.

                                    And you aren't looking where you are going if you are looking at the center of the circle either.
                                    I do not advocate this for an advanced horse/rider pair, but for a pair that is struggling, that totally does the trick. I had a similar issue when my mare was 4 and starting canter work under saddle. I take lessons from an international judge who had me do this exercise. So don't worry, it won't mess up your Grand Prix aspirations.
                                    "Reite dein Pferd vorwärts und richte es gerade.” Gustav Steinbrecht

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      I have this same problem and you have gotten some very good advice here. I definitely pay the price of sitting crooked and giving away my outside rein One exercise that I do that keeps both horsie and me from becoming too frustrated is to ride around the arena going to the left doing very easy, shallow serpentines, so that I am asking for just the smallest amount of right bend and before either of us can begin to dwell on it, we are going to the left again. If we can agree on the right bend in the shallow serpentine I will increase the angle the slightest bit. This is a confidence builder for me and him.

                                      Also try setting up 4 blocks for your 20 meter circle and concentrate just on riding each quarter of the circle. If you miss a block, no big deal, just relax and try to get the next one right. Try riding one cirle inside the blocks, then one circle outside of the blocks and if you are having a good day, then you weave inside and outside the blocks, but you need to maintain the proper bend through out the exercise.

                                      You may also want to get a massage. I know it sounds weird but I recently started PT for a right arm issue. Turns out that all the muscles on the right side of my back are really tight and the tendons around my shoulder are so tight they are pulling my shoulder forward and slightly out of it's socket (ouch). I imagine (and hope) that once all this tightness has been worked out and I have regained the ability to bring my right shoulder back, I will be able to circle my horse to the right. Or I shall forever be like Zoolander and only able to turn to the left

                                      (Does it say something about me that when my dog catches his frisbee he too can only turn to the left)

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by InsideLeg2OutsideRein View Post
                                        Are you looking where you want to be going? (I'm serious! ) If you're on a circle to the right, keep your eyes locked (!!!) on the center of the circle.

                                        (Plus of course all the other good advice you've already gotten here.)
                                        If you look to the center of the circle, that is where you will go. Is that where you want to go ?

                                        You should be looking over your horses outside ear. You turn and look When Jumping, for the next line or fence.

                                        Outside, outside, outside. Outside!
                                        "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                                        ---
                                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by InsideLeg2OutsideRein View Post
                                          I do not advocate this for an advanced horse/rider pair, but for a pair that is struggling, that totally does the trick. I had a similar issue when my mare was 4 and starting canter work under saddle. I take lessons from an international judge who had me do this exercise. So don't worry, it won't mess up your Grand Prix aspirations.
                                          What exactly was she/he trying to get you to do? I guarantee you, it was a means to an end. It was probably about an asymmetry in your body. So giving this as advice to someone who probably doesnt have the same asymmetry.. Well, you get the idea..

                                          It always helps, in the long run, to understand WHY you are told to do something odd, or to exaggerate something
                                          "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                                          ---
                                          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

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