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Dpony has a problem. Tips please x

(19 Posts)
elephantpoo Fri 17-Jun-11 17:12:46

Dpony has been doing great. I backed him 11 weeks ago Wednesday just gone, and he's been a dream. Taken everything in his stride. I haven't done a lot of "schooling" with him, just enjoying taking him out and about seeing things.
We have come across a sticking point and I'd really like to get on top of it, as it could become an issue with regards to doing more (eg. shows / schooling / jumping, etc.) - he cannot / will not canter with the correct lead on the right rein. I took him into the field yesterday (not ideal, but we don't have a school) and he went off beautifully on the left rein but despite my best efforts we couldn't do it on the left confused
Does anybody have any tips to help us with this?

MitchiestInge Fri 17-Jun-11 20:25:21

Just bumping for you really as am clueless, but is he bendier on side than the other - just thinking how many of them seem to be left handed. What happens on the lunge, does he strike off ok either way on the circle?

Pixel Fri 17-Jun-11 20:27:51

I'm definitely no expert but I'm thinking he is perhaps stiffer on one side of his body and not feeling confident of his balance to canter in that direction? He may be finding it physically more difficult to strike off on the correct leg that way. If you could try and even him up (perhaps lunging more in one direction to develop/stretch muscles) then maybe the problem would resolve itself. My dhorse is only young too and he is noticably one-sided (even when he turns to sniff at my stirrup he finds it easier one side than the other), so I've got to work on that.
As I say, that's just my feeling, I'm happy to be corrected by someone more knowledgable. smile

Pixel Fri 17-Jun-11 20:28:30

Ha ha, great minds, it just took me longer to type out all my drivel post. grin

jade80 Fri 17-Jun-11 20:31:59

Can you use cones or something to make a school shape in the field? Then place a pole in the corner of the 'school' and ask for canter when going over it. Sometimes helps them strike correctly. Sometimes asking for outside bend as you do the transition will help initially. Have you tried lunging? May be worth seeing if he will strike correctly on the lunge then practicing on that rein so he gets more supple.

MitchiestInge Fri 17-Jun-11 20:43:32

It's because we are GENIUSES isn't it. grin

PlanetEarth Fri 17-Jun-11 21:01:48

My pony does this too - he's also young. I've discovered that it really helps to ride deep into the corners when I'm asking for the transition, so that I'm riding a rectangle rather than an oval as I would normally when asking for canter.

Saggyoldclothcatpuss Fri 17-Jun-11 21:33:56

As others have said, what does he do on the lunge? If he is happy cantering on the right leg without you riding, it could well be that you are the problem. Sitting stiffly, or giving the wrong signals subconsciously. Obviously, he could just be stiff or one sided, but you need to check all the sources, it's very easy, even for an experienced rider to give the wrong signals. Do you have someone experienced who could watch you riding him and watch what you do?

Pixel Fri 17-Jun-11 21:53:06

Or get someone else to ride him and see if he is the same with them?

Mitchy grin.

elephantpoo Fri 17-Jun-11 22:25:16

Feeling rubbish now blush - haven't lunged him since before I backed him.
Been so busy enjoying hacking out..........forgot about "work".
Will try and lunge him over the weekend and see what happens. Interestingly, when I first backed him he was very reluctant to trot on one rein, but that was the left rein confused That has now rectified itself.
jade80 - have heard of the pole helping. Do you ask as they are going over the pole? If he goes ok on both reins whilst lunging I will give that a go.
Saggy - I really need to invest in some lessons. In the early days of replacing voice commands with aids when I asked him to slow from trot to walk I clung on with my knees and gently pulled the reins, so that's now "slow down" blush I will gradually work on changing that. He's such a good boy, I feel I need to do him justice and get it right.
Hopefully (very experienced) yard owner will be around at the weekend to watch / advise / maybe ride.
Thanks guys. This has been helpful x

jade80 Fri 17-Jun-11 22:56:41

Yes, ask just as going over. smile You'll sort it, most young horses seem to go through this stage!

Saggyoldclothcatpuss Fri 17-Jun-11 23:12:37

Don't feel rubbish, I'd never manage a youngster myself. And enjoy your hacking. It's all part of his education. I'm sure you are doing just fine. smile

seeker Sat 18-Jun-11 23:54:51

Lunge, lunge and lunge again!

Saggyoldclothcatpuss Sun 19-Jun-11 00:21:18

IMO, I would lunge but not loads. It can be quite a stress on a young horses limbs. You could also try free schooling in a manège.

elephantpoo Sun 19-Jun-11 07:09:27

I lunged Dpony yesterday and he easily managed cantering on the left lead, but took a lot of encouragement on the right. At least he did it though. I have a starting point. I'm going to make it my mission over the next week or 2 to get on top of this. I'm going to do a bit more lunging to help him and then attempt to do try it ridden again, using the pole and being really aware of my position (making sure I'm not blocking him) When we had our trot issue at the beginning YO suggested some stretches that I may try again alongside.
Saggy - I'd love to try free schooling, but we don't have a manege sad
Dpony is quite "heavy"(?) on the lunge, esp the right rein. Free schooling would certainly help him balance himself better.
He compounded the feeling for me that I haven't done enough "work" with him. He whizzed around like a loon for ages yesterday until he decided he may consider listening to me grin I didn't was lovely to see him move so beautifully and he's so stunning at the moment-shiney and rippling muscles smile

Booboostoo Mon 20-Jun-11 11:20:31

Horses like people are 'left or right-handed' so will find one rein easier than the other. It's even more common with youngsters because they haven't been worked correctly over time to develop the right muscles. Having said that it's always worth checking for a physical problem before assuming it's a schooling issue.

If it's a schooling issue, as suggested try to lunge a couple of times a week and maybe use a very gentle aid like the lungee-bungee (sp?). With ridden work try turning your head to the outside of the school when you ask for canter as this will make your inside seat more effective and will help the pony in picking up the correct lead. Also try starting on a smaller circle, leg yield to a larger circle and ask for canter after a couple of strides of leg yielding.

Stinkyminkymoo Wed 22-Jun-11 21:57:07

What she ^ said smile

My horse is 11 now and we have struggled for yonks on the left canter lead. I have been with my instructor for 18 months now and he is almost as good on the left as the right.

Jade80 has the best suggestion, canter pole in the corner and ask over the pole. Keep working at it but don't forget to have fun too! smile

Saggyoldclothcatpuss Wed 22-Jun-11 22:32:51

Also, don't forget, you are riding a youngster, and have only been doing so for 11 weeks. I think you need to give yourself and him a break! His muscles aren't developed yet, he probably isn't balanced, and it all takes time. There is no need to rush.

brighthair Wed 22-Jun-11 23:10:00

it's probably just him getting his balance, as he gets more supple and stronger it will come. Spend lots of time working him straight to make sure he is correct and forwards. Ride squares instead of circles. The best way I found (but not as easy on a baby!) is to come down the 3/4 line and leg yield to the corner, then sit and ask
Make sure you are sitting straight to, and carrying your inside hand slighter higher can also help

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