View Full Version : Horse does not bend well to the right
13th Apr 2005, 03:26 AM
Question for you all. My lease horse is much better bending to the left than to the right. We are working on circles etc. in the lesson to help stretch out the muscles on the left side.
Does anyone have any ideas for other exercises I can work on with him when riding alone and not in the lesson - or some ground stretching that I can work on with him?
13th Apr 2005, 04:49 AM
Some work in a roundpen might help. Ride him in a roundpen on the rail, or just work him in the roundpen on a lunge, keeping him out to the rail as close as possible. Try starting off to the right when you start your ride. Do a lot at the walk, and teach him how to stretch, meaning when you release the reins, or give a signal, he should stretch his head all the way to the ground. It's a great way to relax the horse, and it really stretches them out. I'd suggest a lot of serpentines, as they go both directions, so he gets a reward by being allowed to go his good way after going to the right. Try to get him to work in as loose and relaxed as possible.
oh just realized now that you asked for some groundwork to do, silly me! Lunging from the ground will help, as will carrot stretches.
13th Apr 2005, 04:18 PM
Sennie is the same, so he and I go through a little ritual most evenings which involves him stretching his neck and body round for a treat. Each side, then between his legs. He can get considerably further round than he could when I first got him. I guess this is what you meant by carrot stretches Freedomstar.
Also to teach him to stand still at the mounting block when I get on (which he was extremely bad at when I got him) I give him a treat when I am completely ready to set off, which he also has to stretch for. He stands like a ramrod. This, incidentally has proved especially useful in exciting places, such as shows, where his desire for the herb pencil/bit of carrot seems to be greater than his excitement. Helps I guess if you have a greedy horse!
Hope this helps. :)
13th Apr 2005, 04:32 PM
Unmounted, using treats, teach the horse to stretch its head around either side of its body and make sure that they don't just snatch the treat away and have their head go back infront of their body. The whole point of stretching is HOLDING the position, which helps with the muscles. Some articles:
13th Apr 2005, 10:31 PM
Rio has a better and a worse rein too, sometimes it can be about getting them stepping under better with the hindleg as well as flexibility in the body and neck. If so exercises like leg yield and shoulder in should help as well.
13th Apr 2005, 10:38 PM
*nods* yup, those are carrot stretches, what both cazrider and echo64 both mentioned. When I first started leasing Ebony, she was extremely left sided. She didn't pick up her right lead canter very well, she didn't bend in that direction, she was a lot stiffer, and didn't come into my hands or used her back end as much to the right. This was a very bad thing if I was going to start showing her at the small local schooling shows. So I did some lessons on her and learned that a lot of lateral work would help. So every time I rode her, which was about 2x a week then, I started off our ride with lateral work. After about a month and half, she was a ton better. She was more relaxed going to the right, picked up her right lead almost every time I asked, and didn't have a problem circling. I didn't do the carrot stretches with her, because the first thing I learned when riding her was how to get her to stretch her nose to the ground when I was riding. I did a lot of that, which helped. However, if your horse doesn't know that, I'd definitely suggest the carrot stretches, especially the one where he puts his head between his legs, it will stretch out the topline.
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