• 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.

Announcement

Collapse

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

Not sure what I'm doing wrong?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Not sure what I'm doing wrong?

    Ok so I'm pretty sure this problem is caused by me (although not helped as my horse is stiff to the right too).

    My horse starts off ignoring my right leg and when tracking right wants to bend left (during the initial warm up of no rein contact just letting him walk a couple laps to loosen up).

    He does this consistently, as in it hasn't improved in several months (obviously after he's warmed up he improves and works off the right side just fine)

    I am very concious of my weight distribution as I wondered if stiffness is causing me to weight a seat bone more then the other but can't say that I feel a difference.

    So, what obvious thing am I missing thats causing this? Any suggestions?
    I have horse to sell to you. Horse good for riding. Can pull cart. Horse good size. Eats carrots and apples. Likes attention. Move head to music. No like opera! You like you buy.

  • #2
    Ok so I'm pretty sure this problem is caused by me (although not helped as my horse is stiff to the right too).

    My horse starts off ignoring my right leg and when tracking right wants to bend left (during the initial warm up of no rein contact just letting him walk a couple laps to loosen up).

    He does this consistently, as in it hasn't improved in several months (obviously after he's warmed up he improves and works off the right side just fine)

    I am very concious of my weight distribution as I wondered if stiffness is causing me to weight a seat bone more then the other but can't say that I feel a difference.

    So, what obvious thing am I missing thats causing this? Any suggestions?

    --I would recommend not warming up without rein contact, as it is not good for dressage training. When you drop the contact on a lower level more green horse, you can't bend your horse correctly, and when he isn't bending, you can't school him about responding to your leg if he isn't responding. There's also the more basic problem that horses in dressage need to be ridden on a contact. It may be light to start the ride, but it should be there. Riding on a dropped rein doesn't have any schooling value - the horse just winds up unsteadier and more confused when contact is picked up.

    --Consider not warming up that way. Instead, warmup on a long rein at a walk briefly, but with a connection and a light contact, and bend your horse to the left...to a slow count...doing a slight leg yield, then bend him to the right, to a slow count, doing a slight leg yield from that side. Then go on to working at a trot doing the same exercise, with a light contact, but with a connection and bending.

    --If your horse does not respond to a leg aid, reinforce it. Keep it simple. Give the leg aid, if there is no response within a second, reinforce the leg aid with your whip, and praise the horse when he responds. Then repeat the leg aid, and look for a response. No response, use your whip. When he responds without the 'backup' praise him. Do not use a firmer leg aid and keep re-applying it without any response. Leg, nothing, whip, horse responds, big Good Boy.
    Last edited by slc2; Sep. 19, 2009, 07:27 AM.

    Comment


    • #3
      If I don't do any ground warm up first, I often warm up at first on a loose rein (or I just drop the reins, when you have a nutso OTTB you can do this) and I do some exercises to make sure I'm (1) not stiff (2) not crooked (3) feel how his back is. Often I do this without stirrups. All I ask for, at this point, is forward. And I don't just grab contact, I ask for it in steps, when I'm ready. I ask my horse to go into one bend - position left, then neutral, then position right, and as we move forward I will start to ask for more contact and more stepping up from behind.

      I really try and get a feel for (as my trainer calls it) "the four corners," and where I am. It is amazing how you think you are open and you are really blocking - it doesn't have to be your whole body, just a small part.

      I have this funky left hand. It used to be dominant (I played sports with it, I drew with it, I eat with it) but over time my right hand has become dominant (everything that broke broke on my left side - wrist, hand, fingers multiple times). Now that I am aware of it, it feels like it's paralyzed (not that it is, it is just magnified to my senses). My hand is actually what is causing the blockage. It's not obviously grabbing back or swinging wildly, it just doesn't allow, and it often says, "down on your forehand" or "I know I asked but this hand ain't gonna let you step through."

      I also have a weaker left leg, so my right side has compensated to cover.

      You know, it can be the smallest things. But they are so sensitive, it is huge to them.

      My trainer had the idea to wear a brace - because then if I try to do some of these things, Ill be alerted far more quickly. And I tried it out last night - and oh my. Did my horse salivate equally for the first time in ages? Yes. Was he equally supple? Yes. Am I a freaking moron sometimes? ....yeeesss!!!
      www.specialhorses.org
      a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues

      Comment


      • #4
        When you are riding on the loose rein, are you riding with one hand, or with both hands? When you are riding on a clockwise track, which of your legs feels to be more forward? Are you riding with your toes pointed to the ground? Which of your legs feels more closely in contact with the horse's side? Is your left elbow away from your body while your right elbow is held close to it? How close are your shoulder blades to your spine? Are they equally close, or is one closer than the other? Which shoulder blade is closer?

        Comment


        • #5
          Do you have an instructor or ground person to observe your position? As has been suggested by the previous posters, this could be due to a very small, seemingly insignificant asymmetry in your body.

          Or your horse could just prefer to travel crooked, in which case you do need to warm up with enough contact to ask him to bend right with your inside hand and leg. It sounds to me like you need to insist that he listen to that right leg, and do not allow him to push back against you with his ribs/shoulder to the right. Exaggerate the right bend a little, and when riding him to the left, think riding him in mild counter-bend, rather than bending him left. That just plays into his tendency to push his ribs into your leg on the right. Eventually he will become straight, but you must be sure you're not doing something to encourage him to bend left when traveling to the right.

          Comment


          • #6
            your horse sounds very normal as all horses start out "crooked" and that is what dressage training is supposed to do over time - help create a straight horse that can work evenly into both reins etc.

            so what you are experiencing is normal. you may or may not be making things worse.....

            as for walking on a lose rein - this is fine... you should walk your horse for about 10 - 15 minutes before you start the real warmup.... everyone i know does this walk on a loose rein or at most a light contact....

            once you have walked for 10 minutes, then start your real warmup and at this point you should have a contact - an even feel on both reins, even if this over bends the horse one way or another..... don't worry about this .. just concentrate on an even feel in the reins....

            if your horse is heavier on the left then you want to always be opening and closing your fingers on that side gently asking the horse to soften but dont give up contact on the right rein...

            do a lot of LYs, keeping even contact and dont worry too much where the neck is as the neck will align when the horse moves correctly and when that happens the horse will also feel even on both reins.... this is what you want ...

            it will probably be easier to leg yield away from your left leg then your right....

            do a lot of bended lines - serpentines are good as it gives the inside leg a break each time you cross the center line.... by doing this you are trying to get the horse to reach into the contact evenly.....

            if you do your work correctly the horse will do a bunch of releases (ie yes responses) and relax over the top line... at this point the horse should be bended correctly, working into the outside rein and then you can flex it to the inside a tad....

            this is very hard work for the horse as you are asking it to work unused muscles - kinda like you learning to write with your non writing hand....

            so dont over do it, but dont expect miracles in one day either... it is a new way of moving for you and your horse.

            good luck and do get competent instruction which will help you a ton.

            Comment


            • #7
              Am I correct in understanding that you are worried about which direction his head/neck are in before you even take up contact?

              Comment


              • #8
                I know, that surprised me too.

                Comment


                • #9
                  If it is extreme, as in the horse completely falling in on his shoulder, then yes, there is a reason for concern. Some OTTBs do this because their training has been so "one sided" and it is very difficult to overcome.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dune View Post
                    Am I correct in understanding that you are worried about which direction his head/neck are in before you even take up contact?
                    She never said anything about his head/neck.

                    She discussed his bend.

                    Am I correct in understanding that you think "bend" is only about the direction of the head and neck?
                    The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                    Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                    Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                    The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      No, you're not correct, like all the many other things you accuse me of believing, I also don't believe that.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by slc2 View Post
                        No, you're not correct, like all the many other things you accuse me of believing, I also don't believe that.
                        Slick, I wasn't even responding to you.
                        Read it again.
                        The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                        Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                        Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                        The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I always warm up on a loose rein and on a 20M or so circle. It helps that the circle has been defined in the ring by my constantly warming up in the same spot and the ring never gets dragged or anything.

                          This does help me as I can see where my horse is having issues, if any. I work on long and low first every time we start a dressage session and the length of time going each way depends on the way my horse is moving. This has helped stretch my mare out in a tight direction in a way that is relaxing and somewhat independent of me. It helps her be more supple for the next ride and so on. I do not pick up contact until she is moving at the walk and trot long and low and bending on the circle.

                          She has had time where if I let the rein go one way, she immediately turns the other direction. I know where this comes from in my mare, so your experiences may be different, but this works for me.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Gotta add my two sense because I struggle with this issue daily! After a month or so of my horse ignoring my right leg more and more, it got so bad that even at a walk he would throw his right shoulder in and haunches and just completely blow through me (what it felt like). It was strange because when we halted, he would move off my right leg just fine to do a TOF, so I know he KNEW what I meant, I thought he was just being disrespectful. I was so frustrated that day I knew I wasn't going to get anywhere so I just got off to put him away.

                            I talked to my BO who is an equine massage therapist, and she looked at him really quick. She stood on one side and pulled his tail to see if he would bend one way, and he tensed up like you wouldn't believe! He did the same the other way too, but less severe. She then looked at his back muscles, and as she ran her hand down his back and his the lumbar area, his whole body spasmed! It was really shocking.

                            So his problem is not that he didn't want to contract his right side, but that he didn't want to stretch his left. It's been a week and I've been massaging his lumbar region everyday, and we have a good chiro/massage person coming next Thursday.

                            Definitely check him for soreness, that made ALL the difference in my guy! Now I feel bad for insisting he try to bend for so long! He's normally such a willing partner, so it was weird when he was so defiant. Good luck!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
                              She never said anything about his head/neck.

                              She discussed his bend.

                              Am I correct in understanding that you think "bend" is only about the direction of the head and neck?

                              Actually my question was directed to the OP, who I wish would come back and answer, then perhaps I'd have something to add. I think it would be more helpful if you had answers for the OP's questions (or more questions for *her*) than for the responders. And if you still have more questions, start your own thread.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Dune View Post
                                Actually my question was directed to the OP, who I wish would come back and answer, then perhaps I'd have something to add. I think it would be more helpful if you had answers for the OP's questions (or more questions for *her*) than for the responders. And if you still have more questions, start your own thread.
                                Your question was so clearly aimed at being helpful too. Not trying to pithily imply that she is "doin' it rong" in any way. The general mood of your post to me seemed like, 'Ach, I am all agoggle at your bumbling attempts,' complete with the little 'Ach Mein Gott' emoticon at the end.

                                I am surprised that nobody has mentioned most horses' natural, leftward crookedness. Most horses prefer to contract the left side and stretch the right. They generally prefer to be little backwards Cs, along their whole spine, not just in their head and neck. It is perfectly good riding to notice this before "taking up contact". It is something that needs to be addressed in the horse from the start of his training through the end.

                                So, OP, that is a very natural tendency you are experiencing there.
                                Rather than trying to pull his head in to the inside, I would focus on trying to 'stabilize' his nose and then pushing his shoulder to the left away from that stabilized place to counteract the tendency. Aim for a feeling that his nose and hips are staying in the same spot, but his rib cage is curving back and forth between them.
                                Spend more time going right than left, but give frequent changes of direction.

                                OK Dune, now it's your turn to come up with something helpful.
                                The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                                Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                                Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                                The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I'm with Dune on this one. I am surprised anyone would expect what the OP expects of a young or green horse. I just don't think it's realistic.

                                  Horses don't actually all show left crookedness as m. has said. Crookedness and its symptoms varies, sometimes a horse feels very strong in the rein on one side, sometimes neither rein feels stiff/strong and the horse just falls in, sometimes it's more the shoulder that seems to fall in, sometimes it drops the hind quarter in more than the shoulder and gets quick on one side.

                                  And the best case is with the horse that starts out very even. Not all horses are crooked. Not everyone gets that kind of horse, though.

                                  Horses aren't, in most cases, born quite as crooked as they then become if they aren't getting correct training. Not correcting crookedness means a slight problem becomes much more. Too, a pro will often take a horse that's initially extremely crooked and right from the start, by appropriate work, bring the horse to a much straighter posture.

                                  But the assumption is that the horse is turning its head one way when warming up with no rein contact, because it is crooked through the shoulder, body and hind quarter, which doesn't make any sense to me as a 100% always true thing. Crookedness, unless extremely severe, shows itself when the rider picks up a contact and asks both legs to push forward in the same way.

                                  I'd be cautious in assuming what is causing the horse doing this - quite often a greeen or young horse does this simply as he gets used to having a bit in his mouth, and it doesn't indicate an actual crookedness at all, just a twisting of the head as the horse figures out accepting the bit.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by slc2 View Post
                                    I'm with Dune on this one. I am surprised anyone would expect what the OP expects of a young or green horse. I just don't think it's realistic.

                                    Horses don't actually all show left crookedness as m. has said. Crookedness and its symptoms varies, sometimes a horse feels very strong in the rein on one side, sometimes neither rein feels stiff/strong and the horse just falls in, sometimes it's more the shoulder that seems to fall in, sometimes it drops the hind quarter in more than the shoulder and gets quick on one side.

                                    And the best case is with the horse that starts out very even. Not all horses are crooked. Not everyone gets that kind of horse, though.

                                    Horses aren't, in most cases, born quite as crooked as they then become if they aren't getting correct training. Not correcting crookedness means a slight problem becomes much more. Too, a pro will often take a horse that's initially extremely crooked and right from the start, by appropriate work, bring the horse to a much straighter posture.

                                    But the assumption is that the horse is turning its head one way when warming up with no rein contact, because it is crooked through the shoulder, body and hind quarter, which doesn't make any sense to me as a 100% always true thing. Crookedness, unless extremely severe, shows itself when the rider picks up a contact and asks both legs to push forward in the same way.

                                    I'd be cautious in assuming what is causing the horse doing this - quite often a greeen or young horse does this simply as he gets used to having a bit in his mouth, and it doesn't indicate an actual crookedness at all, just a twisting of the head as the horse figures out accepting the bit.
                                    Slick, I thought at the very least you read the books of the great masters to have something to parrot before dispensing all of your advice.
                                    You seriously think that the general tendency for horses to be left-sided is hogwash?


                                    There is a reason Heydebreck's last words on his death bed were, "Rechter zuegel!........rechter zuegel!"
                                    (Source: Hans v Heydebreck: "Die Deutsche Dressurpruefung das Gebrauchspferd, p 217.)

                                    See also: "Usually, the horse's left side is stronger. The muscles of the left will be slighlty shorter and tighter than those of the right, where the muscles are longer and not so strong. The left hindquarter will be flexed more and carry more of the horse's weight, while the right leg will be straighter and stiffer. When at liberty, the horse will tend to go to the left, and will show a preference for cantering on the left lead."
                                    Walter Zettl, 'Dressage in Harmony', p 88.

                                    And: Ride your horse forward and put it straight. (Quoting Steinbrecht there, but I digress) This is our next training aim. Experts have discovered that nearly all young horses have difficulties in going straight. One talks of the natural crookedness of the horse. As most people are right handed so are most horses bent to the left.
                                    Reiner Klimke, Basic Training of the Young Horse p 52.

                                    While I still did not phrase my comment as a "100% always true thing" (please pay careful attention to the words 'most,' -as opposed to 'all', and 'generally' -as opposed to 'invariably') I have not found my experience to contradict Heydebreck's, Zettl's or Klimke's.

                                    What exactly is the OP exepecting unrealistically of her horse?
                                    She has noted he tends to be bent to the left, which is no surprise since legions of riders before her have noticed the same, and asked whether it was something she was doing (Maybe, or maybe it's the natural tendency of her horse, or a combination of both) and for assistance in addressing it. None of which, for the record, you have provided.
                                    Last edited by meupatdoes; Sep. 20, 2009, 03:18 PM.
                                    The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                                    Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                                    Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                                    The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Interesting, meupatdoes, the research (conducted by Princeton University, Yerkes Primate Research Center, University of Washington, etc.) that I have read shows that animals are about 50/50 in terms of 'sideness'. Meaning, 50 percent of the time the animal will have the right side of the body be stronger and more dominant, while 50 percent of the time will find that the left side of the animal's body will be stronger and more dominant.

                                      the difference that can emerge with training animals is human dominance. About 85 percent of the human population is right sided and about 15 percent is left sided. A right sided person can influence a horse's sideness in terms of how crooked they are and how stiff they are on one side, when training a young horse. I believe this is what Reiner Klimke was referring to when he discusses human handedness compared to horse's inclination to bend.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I think it's very commendable that the OP noticed the issue and is looking to address it. It is so much more difficult when your own issues exacerbate the problem for the horse, and of course, unless those are addressed, your struggles continue.

                                        I wish there was a simple way - like when you get a filling or crown put in at the dentist, and they give you the carbon paper to bite down on so you can see where something needs to be adjusted. It is so very easy to convince yourself you are truly straight when you are not (because many times when you do achieve straightness it is so different you feel crooked!).

                                        OP - do you have good eyes on the ground? Mirrors aren't always very helpful as you'd have to keep focusing on yourself and not so much on your horse. Have you tried books like Sally Swift's and Mary Wanless'? Different visual imagery, but when you find something that helps, it's wonderful.
                                        www.specialhorses.org
                                        a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues

                                        Comment

                                        Working...
                                        X