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Sticky lead

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  • Sticky lead

    Hello all! I has been quite awhile since I have posted on here but I could really use some advice...that being said I have a 5-year-old that I broke out in Sept of last year, he has been coming along very nicely and is "hopefully!" going to be ready to premier this spring if Ohio weather allows for a bit of cross country schooling before that. He jumps beautifully, he is small but very mighty. He can tend to lean towards the right and stick on his forehand if mom lets him be lazy but everything else is wonderful--for the most part. Since the beginning of his training his right lead has been an issue and I didn't drill him with it for awhile because he was still so green but now I really need to make sure it is well on its way for the dressage ring. He has a small side bone in his left ankle which was causing some pinching originally but that has been fixed with some corrective shoeing. He lands on his correct lead every time we jump and also with little bits of pole work but it is still extremely tricky to get just on the plain old flat, no amount of bending and manipulation has worked thus far and I am running out of ideas...

    Please help! Thanks! If anyone would like some pictures for reference i would be more than happy to post some...he is also the horse in my profile picture currently.
    "The world is best viewed through the ears of a horse."

  • #2
    Do you have access to a round pen? If not a longe line works

    I break in a lot of young horses.. they always prefer one lead to the other. Barring soundness issues I think it's a mechanics thing.. one side of their body works slower than the other. I think the best way to encourage them to pick up the faulty lead is to let them practice it on their own on a small defined circle. No horse is going to want to counter canter on a 15-20m circle for very long. They get it and it gets easier as they build up strength and consistency. This has been foolproof for me and has kept me sane.. it's a lot easier to let them teach themselves rather than me up there bumping around trying to get the lead

    Make sure as you continue this to undersaddle work ask for the lead the same way EVERY time


    • #3

      the lunge line is great. IMO it is not taken advantage of like it should. : )

      I broke my grey horse when he was 3 [in October] and come Aug of his 4 year old year I remember praying that he picked up the correct rt lead at his first HT.

      For many many months I had to counter bend him.

      some may not agree with this but I have found that when teaching ambidexterity in the canter it is not how many great transitions you can get, but time spent in that lead. The body needs to strengthen.

      So when you get it, keep your bootie up in two point and let your horse cruise around.
      Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!


      • #4
        No expert on greenbeans, but my one and only greenbean came to me like this coming 5 -- vet found NOTHING wrong with him on PPE but he did not like to pick up the right lead....it's still a bit his weaker side, he will lean on that shoulder, etc.
        He just moved up to Training and we are beginning to work on changes, but put a beginner on him tracking right...and half the time he will pick up his left lead!

        Straightness and strength. that's it. It will take time, but those are the keys.
        The big man -- my lost prince

        The little brother, now my main man