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Left is becoming right, but right is hopeless....

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  • Left is becoming right, but right is hopeless....

    My horse is well trained, and I used to be half way competent, now I’m the student who swears a lot, because of my struggles on the right rein.

    Bought horse when on recovery from knee replacement. Now 9 months out and feeling pretty good, but amazed how long it’s taken to find any sort of fitness. I rode on my own for awhile, and kind of overdid the advice to shorten my reins a lot, and at the same time forgot to give back to him, so in a scary short time, days, I had created a problem.

    we have spent weeks putting this right, from a walk, through the trot, and now struggling with the canter. Going to the left is getting nice again, at all three paces, even managed to canter a long side yesterday with no tension, no hanging on each other, it felt great.

    So why can’t I do that to the right? Ok so it was right knee that was replaced, but it feels strong in the saddle, walking is good, trotting is definitely coming, but as soon as I ask for that transition we are leaning on each other, I know nerves are some of it, he is a long striding 16.3hh TB, but I do trust him. Yesterday was the first time I took a horse out to the outdoor and got on and started warming up, with nobody around, well first since my big accident 6 years ago, haven’t been comfortable doing that with my other horses.If it was just nerves, why only in one direction? I’m usually pretty good with some guided exploration, but this one is frustrating me,

    Any exercises or ideas, to help me climb this barrier.
    "He's not even a good pathological liar." Mara

    "You're just a very desperate troll, and not even a good one. You're like middle-school troll at best. Like a goblin, not even a troll." et_fig

  • #2
    Can you (or your coach) identify the mechanical reason for the problem when tracking right? Are you leaning on both reins or just the outside rein when it happens? Is your weight being carried evenly by both seat bones (and both thighs, really), and do you feel like both seat bones are even w.r.t. how close they are to the cantle when you're sitting as square as you can (i.e. do you have to fight your body to keep one hip from sliding forward or back)? Is your stirrup length comfortable with the new knee, and has it changed your position (e.g. limited the internal rotation of the one leg)? Sometimes orthopedic issues have long-lasting mechanical impacts, even once they're technically healed, and you have to re-calibrate the ol' proprioception and even find some workarounds to get the rest of the body balanced again.

    Might also be worth talking to your instructor about a longe lesson. Just to give you a chance to get your hands off the reins and experiment a little with your position to see if you can identify some asymmetry or imbalance that's interfering when you track right.

    Also, how does he go to the right with other decent riders up? Any known sidedness issues or evasions on his part that could contribute?

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      x-halt-salute we have taken my stirrups up a hole, something that was suggested in the past, but I didn’t favour, yeah, again turns out I was wrong.

      As to reins, going left I’m able to keep a steady contact on the outside, and use the inside to ask for flexion, then give, it is starting to get nice and soft. Going right I find myself left hand goes up, right hand can’t give, so I’m pulling. Will have to take more notice of hips, maybe get a different set of eyes on me as well.

      I guess video might help so i so I can see what’s happening.

      I haven’t seen anyone else ride him for a while, it might be a good idea to ask the trainer to let me watch him ride the boy....that could be useful. Last time I suggested lunge lessons there was a definite push back, seems Chucky doesn’t lunge...
      "He's not even a good pathological liar." Mara

      "You're just a very desperate troll, and not even a good one. You're like middle-school troll at best. Like a goblin, not even a troll." et_fig

      Comment


      • #4
        I'd recommend having your trainer ride for the first 15 minutes, and then you getting on. You can learn a lot by getting the feeling right away, and then trying to replicate it as your ride continues on.

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm just glad this isn't a political thread.

          Best of luck.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by Sansena View Post
            I'm just glad this isn't a political thread.

            Best of luck.
            Oops, never even occurred to me....
            "He's not even a good pathological liar." Mara

            "You're just a very desperate troll, and not even a good one. You're like middle-school troll at best. Like a goblin, not even a troll." et_fig

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by KBC View Post

              Oops, never even occurred to me....
              Was trying to be funny. Nobody gets my humor. Relieved it's horse related, though I'm sorry you're having issues.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by Sansena View Post

                Was trying to be funny. Nobody gets my humor. Relieved it's horse related, though I'm sorry you're having issues.
                I think it’s going to be easier to cure me, rather than anyone’s political system!

                "He's not even a good pathological liar." Mara

                "You're just a very desperate troll, and not even a good one. You're like middle-school troll at best. Like a goblin, not even a troll." et_fig

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sansena View Post
                  I'm just glad this isn't a political thread.

                  Best of luck.
                  I thought it was too!! lol Also glad...

                  OP- I have the same issue on opposite leads than you. With my younger guy who’s in training and I’m not sure I’ll keep due to frequency of unintentional dismounts.

                  I know my right hip and back are tight and it makes it harder for me to move freely on that side and keep equal weight in stirrups. Your knee and compensation on the L side could be impacting you too. We have stronger/weaker side and need to work doubly hard on our bad side. Maybe stretching and/our some yoga may help ensure you’re loosened up and balanced. Horse sounds better balanced L than R so he sounds like he needs more from the rider in that direction. That’s how my guy is.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sansena View Post
                    I'm just glad this isn't a political thread.

                    Best of luck.
                    This was one of those slow-landing punchlines. Had to go back and re-read thread title, then had a good laugh!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If you can afford it, I would suggest going to a physical therapist to identify imbalances in your body. I would also suggest having your trainer show you how to stretch your horse too.

                      My weak direction is going to the right like yours as is all the horses I ride. I am tighter that direction and physical therapy helped teach me what stretches I can do to help with general flexibility as well as with exercises for core strength (I was having lower back pain and the physical therapist determined it was weakness in my core and tightness in glutes/hamstrings/thighs). The pain is non-existent as long as I keep up with the exercises and stretching.

                      My horse was very tight that direction too so we have been working on stretches and exercises to help her regain flexibility too. The lack of flexibility and weakness was only evident in canter to the right, by me doing this hard to notice slight drop of my right hand and pulling towards my thigh. It took a long time to figure out why I was doing that!!! It was to try to get my horse to bend the right way because she was counter bending. Once I identified that, the problem was in the walk and trot too ... Surprise, surprise.
                      Last edited by TheHotSensitiveType; Jul. 12, 2019, 10:04 AM. Reason: clarity

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I suspect that your horse's stiff side is the R, and as your stiff side is also on the R, you collude and make a real problem.

                        If this is accurate one would hope that that fix is far faster than the political one. I would find a personal trainer, or a physical therapist who can, ( Oh Torture) give you an exercise program that will fix you.

                        You not only have been coping with the above, but it takes awhile to develop a partnership with the horse. Depending on his age and physical condition, once you are fixed, you can figure out how to either fix him, or cope with him as he is. Sometimes, they just need a strong reminder that they have need to use both sides equally, other times, it has been in place so long that while it will improve, older bodies don't stretch too well.
                        Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                        Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          OP, I wrote you a long novel, but then realized no one cares about my similar struggles.

                          But my struggles are somewhat similar, just to the left instead of the right.

                          The takeaway from my long post is that my bad side is my weaker side. Visualization tricks can help me ride more correctly on my weaker side. For example, I tend to duck to the inside and lean on my inside rein, especially in the canter on my bad side. Simple things like visualizing I'm posting from inside hip to outside hand prior to a canter transition help prevent that.

                          Another thing my trainer has been emphasizing is to stop worrying about how much time I spend at the canter on my "bad" side. I used to get in my own head with thoughts like, "we can't even make it all the way around the ring on our bad lead without hauling on each other; that's pathetic." My trainer pointed out that's not true. 99% of our problems are stemming from our transitions. When I have a good transition on our bad side, our canter is fine. So instead of getting in my head about how much time we're spending working at the canter to the left, or worrying we aren't putting in enough quality canter work to the left, she just has me focusing on transitions for now. She keeps telling me she'd rather see me do three good canter transitions in a row (and only canter a few handful of strides on that lead for the day) than to see me have to fight to get ourselves rebalanced after an ugly transition, no matter how good the subsequent canter work may be.

                          Well crap, that still ended up being long.
                          Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            I really will have to look into Physiotherapy again, lol maybe go for another massage, stupid me thought that a massage would be relaxing, not so, when it a sports type, but boy did she find some spots I didn’t know about!

                            chiropractor is seeing Chuck next week, maybe I should get my back checked out as well.
                            "He's not even a good pathological liar." Mara

                            "You're just a very desperate troll, and not even a good one. You're like middle-school troll at best. Like a goblin, not even a troll." et_fig

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Texarkana thanks for the mini novel, it really helps. I can see me doing many many transitions, while trying to ‘get out of my head’
                              "He's not even a good pathological liar." Mara

                              "You're just a very desperate troll, and not even a good one. You're like middle-school troll at best. Like a goblin, not even a troll." et_fig

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                When I have a one sided block like that I will do the thing (in your case canter) briefly good side, bad side, good side, bad side - going rapidly from one to the other. At first I simply feel what's going on - which rein is steady, moving, giving, half halting, etc. Which leg is doing what, what my seat is doing, where I'm looking, leaning, twisting, etc. All this feel is identified by inside/outside rather than left/right. Once I have identified what I'm doing on the good side I try to replicate that on the bad side, still going rapidly back and forth from good side to bad side. As the obvious differences are adjusted, the more subtle things become noticeable and can also be adjusted. I am trying to do on the bad side exactly what I'm doing on the good side rather than focusing on the horse's action and the horse usually responds.

                                Going quickly back and forth is the key. No lollygagging between sides, no stopping to analyze. This is feeling and identifying in the action, and immediately going to the other side and feeling, identifying and changing.
                                ​​​​​
                                ​​​​

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I would go one step back and do things off horse to reprogram your brain. Do things (like writing your name or brushing your teeth) with your non-dominant hand to get your brain *thinking* about what it is doing rather than just doing it. This can be a good first step to unlearning a habit that relates to asymmetry, Then when riding, flip your hands around so the bight of the reins is coming out the bottom, and the contact is at the top. This small change will again force your brain to re-learn and be more conscious of what it is doing (so you will be more aware of the contact issue).
                                  Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

                                  Comment

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