Struggling with right lead

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Lipsmackerpony88
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Struggling with right lead

Postby Lipsmackerpony88 » Sat Oct 23, 2021 3:13 pm

I think this is normal but it's my first time working through this at this particular moment in training. Lynx is sometimes struggling to pick up his right lead. His right side is his stiffer side in general. It was also the stifle he had his injury on.

Yesterday he picked up the wrong lead twice in a lesson but the dressage trainer had me use a slight counterbent flexion and he got it. He had a lovely canter afterwards. He feels quite happy in the canter. He often blows out and seems to enjoy it. As far as when I was asking for it it almost he would go from being balanced to immediately throwing himself out the left shoulder.

I'd love any other tips and tricks. Trainer thinks maybe he is growing right now too which doesn't help the balance.

Sometimes we do spiral in and spiral out on a circle and the leg yield like action helps him pick up the lead as well. Hopefully this is just baby horse stuff and nothing physical. We did just have the vet out recently and he flexed well all around. She wasn't super happy with the trim the new farrier was doing but he just got done again recently so I need to send her pictures to see if she thinks things are better.

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StraightForward
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Re: Struggling with right lead

Postby StraightForward » Sat Oct 23, 2021 5:06 pm

It makes sense if he is stiff to the right that his left hind is probably the weaker one, and so it's more effort to push off of it to get into the right lead. This was struggle bus territory with Annabelle for a long time, and now we revisit it each time we level up in the quality and straightness of canter transitions. An effective exercise my instructor gave me was to ride a smaller circle to the left in counterflexion, and then ask for canter as soon as possible as you go back onto your 20m circle to the right. This will help put him on the left rein and keep the left hind for escaping. Also, when you feel he's ready for it, you can turn on the forehand off the right leg, then add left bend and go directly to canter (through trot obviously, at this stage of training).

For Tesla, I am using a little different approach because she is such a different temperament, and we are still very much on the right lead struggle bus. But for her, developing the walk and trot lateral work more before focusing on attaining canter, especially to her very tough right lead, seems to be key. So I am working on developing her baby SI and also pushing her hind end off the wall for a few steps at a time, or LY nose to the wall to get control of the hind legs without interrupting the forward once I have it.
Last edited by StraightForward on Sat Oct 23, 2021 11:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Keep calm and canter on.

Lipsmackerpony88
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Re: Struggling with right lead

Postby Lipsmackerpony88 » Sat Oct 23, 2021 7:24 pm

Really good tips, Straightforward. Thank you. He definitely sounds like he probably is more like Annabelle in temperament. He takes his work very seriously. My trainer says that is probably what is going on a little bit right now too. He's really starting to get the idea that the leg can mean lateral as well so he's just taking everything really literally when you put your leg on lol. He feels like he's made out of putty right now!

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Re: Struggling with right lead

Postby blob » Sat Oct 23, 2021 7:31 pm

Ask on a bending line when you can (corner/circle) and make sure you really give the inside rein (you might have to exaggerate this to make sure it's a true release).

I also like to do 10 meter circle and then ask just as you get back on the rail.

When you lunge him, does he struggle to get the lead or is it only under saddle?

Lipsmackerpony88
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Re: Struggling with right lead

Postby Lipsmackerpony88 » Sat Oct 23, 2021 7:54 pm

Blob, thanks for the additional tips.

i very very rarely lunge him because of the stifle and honestly he's not a horse that needs it.

If I remember right it's kind of just hit or miss on the lunge. He does similar things where he wants to throw himself onto the inside shoulder or really pop out the outside shoulder.

Once we are in the canter, he feels great. And when we do get the right lead it's a good transition. It's just I need to really prepare him for it on the right lane.

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StraightForward
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Re: Struggling with right lead

Postby StraightForward » Sat Oct 23, 2021 11:43 pm

Lipsmackerpony88 wrote:Really good tips, Straightforward. Thank you. He definitely sounds like he probably is more like Annabelle in temperament. He takes his work very seriously. My trainer says that is probably what is going on a little bit right now too. He's really starting to get the idea that the leg can mean lateral as well so he's just taking everything really literally when you put your leg on lol. He feels like he's made out of putty right now!


I just re-read and edited my post. I meant to say do a turn on the forehand off the left leg and then change the bend and promptly do the up transition.
Keep calm and canter on.

Lipsmackerpony88
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Re: Struggling with right lead

Postby Lipsmackerpony88 » Sat Oct 23, 2021 11:48 pm

Oh good catch!


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