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    Having some troubles with a right drift off the left rein.

    Anyone have some exercises they use for this?

    Horse has been chiro'd recently, which has helped with the problem. Will be having a re-adjustment soon, in hopes of further improvement. Teeth are also up to date.

    Have been working on this issue with trainer, but extra input and exercise ideas are always welcome!

    Problem likely is escalated as I am weaker to the left. Horse is naturally straighter and easier to collect to the right but stiffer and does not bend as well. There are some issues with overbending and jaw resistance to the left. Also are some problems with general resistance to contact which are being addressed. Horse is seasoned and safe, but we are working on having her more broke/rideable/adjustable.

    Have been working with a lot of counter bending, counter canter, leg yields, squaring turns, and circle/bending work in opposing direction.

    I know I must be patient and that this issue will become better with consistent work and time. However, in the meantime thought I would call on the wealth of knowledge available to me from my fellow COTHers.

    Proud Member of the "Tidy Rabbit Tinfoil Hat Wearers" clique and the "I'm in my 30's and Hope to be a Good Rider Someday" clique

  • #2
    Does he do this with everyone?
    I found out VERY MIDDLE AGED that I was causing my horses to go right because I was so left legged and didn't realize it. I should have since I had to have the left boot patched twice in 2 decades and not the right. I felt that after 5 decades and lots of trying I wasn't fixing anything so I put a spur on the right leg (and in your case left) only to try and even ME out. I was the problem. After 5 decades trainers decided it was easier to fix it with the spur trick than fix me. I think if you re young it would be good to fix you. I've tried.
    Just like horses are one sided we are too. It could be just the horse or an unintended unevenness or strength in your leg. One trainer just said "we can fix it when schooling but when you get in the ring you go back to the decades long habit." My mind just wont' over ride the strength my leg has over it.
    It might not be that. It was just what happened to me.


    • Original Poster

      Nope, not middle-aged...well, I guess sort of on my way...mid-twenties. Hehe.

      Horse does this with all riders. Obviously, trainer has far less of a problem coping with it than I do, but it is still present. He can school most of it out for a temp fix, but as I am not in a full training situation he doesn't really sit on her enough for me to maintain the fix without proper riding efforts from me.

      I don't have this problem on other horses that I ride, unless they are pre-disposed to have a drift in that direction already. Rode a bunch at my trainer's place over the winter, and only had the problem with one other and it was much easier for me to fix than on this particular horse.

      I have used the one spur trick in the show ring and occasionally at home, but I am trying to avoid becoming reliant on it all the time so that I still have an ace up my sleeve when I get to to the show. I would rather address the overall weaknesses in my riding and the horse's training to produce a better and more consistent result.

      I am confident that my trainer has us going in the right direction and is assessing the underlying problems with her overall "brokeness" that will likely assist in resolving the issue over time.

      I try to always carry a stick in the right hand, and have used a dressage stick on the right side as well. We are making slow progress, I was just looking for some exercises I can attempt on my own in between lessons.
      Proud Member of the "Tidy Rabbit Tinfoil Hat Wearers" clique and the "I'm in my 30's and Hope to be a Good Rider Someday" clique


      • #4

        Sounds like he might be stiff muscled.
        Have someone ride him while you and another person watch. Look just under the belly so you see the whole picture and see if the angles of the cannon bones are equal front to rear at trot.
        First exercise would be shoulder fore....both left and right....balanced time between them. This will allow the shoulder muscles to extend.
        Palpate his lumbar region left side first then right side....see which is more sensitive (sore). If you need more info you can email me and I will tell you what will help.
        Ask and allow, do not demand and force.


        • Original Poster

          Yes, she defintiely had some stiffness problems. Vet/Chiro says pelvis and withers were quite tight/out. Adjustments were done about a week ago, along with some accupunture/shiatsu.

          We have been doing some light long and low hacking since, but now vet says we can start back into more difficult work slowly. I am definitely seeing a better response to correction to the drift than prior to the chiro work, but the tendency to drift is still present. (Partially attributable to me, I am sure).

          I am hopeful that with regular adjustments and proper schooling, we can make the issue better.

          Thank you for the suggestion of sholder fore and checking the lumbar area.
          Proud Member of the "Tidy Rabbit Tinfoil Hat Wearers" clique and the "I'm in my 30's and Hope to be a Good Rider Someday" clique


          • #6
            Remember that horses naturally want to go straight. SO, 95% of the time, it's OUR fault if they're not.

            It's hard to really give you any good advice without seeing you go...BUT, IME "drifting" is usually caused by not enough engagement in the hind end, AND not holding the shoulder with your outside rein. Hence, the drift occurs because the horse is hollow and bulging the shoulder. Make any sense??

            Try doing some counter bending through the corner to get a feel for what I'm talking about. It can be very illuminating.

            Aca-Believe it!!


            • #7
              Deleted because I posted in the wrong thread.