Dressage People - schooling help! LONG!

miller

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Any ideas for exercises to help stop my lad sitting on my right hand.

He's competing elementary working med/adv med movements at home BUT he has this horrid habit of sitting on my right hand then not flexing at all - obviously it's getting picked up on with comments like 'on right shoulder' and I'm not going to get much further without sorting it.

He's ridden in a KK Ultra but does it in any bit BUT not every day - he's always a little backward thinking which doesn't help as it's worse on his lazy not off your leg days.

He's 17yo, fine health, tack, teeth

To be honest I've noticed it more since we moved the horses home - at previous yard I had a 45m x 60m school now I've got 20m x 50m (at least it's mine and I know I can use it not like old yard!) and he's hanging to the arena fence!

I've tried travers, shoulder in, giving right rein away completely so he can't sit on it, over flexing him to that side then releasing, flexing him to the outside, working away from the fence, forward and collect in the pace etc, etc and he's fine for a circle or two then latches back on to it! Argh!

Worse in trot, last night he was awful in trot but put in some lovely canter pirouettes and half passes!


OH was watching (he rides and has had lots of lessons with a dressage trainer but really only at novice level) and said I was straight and that he looked alot nicer than normal and you couldn't really see it BUT it felt awful and my shoulder and tricep were burning.

Really could do with some lessons but after buying house, building stables and arena and fencing field I'm skint at the moment!

Any ideas gratefully received.
 

Halfstep

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Have you tried shoulder in and travers in trot on a circle? And spiraling in and out of the circle. If he is heavy on the right rein, his left hind leg is probably not really coming underneath him and engaging equally with his right one. Shoulder in to the left might help engage that hind leg - even more so on the circle. Equally, travers right should do the same thing. A really good exercise is to spiral in on a left circle, and then really push him out with your inside leg - almost make him sweep across with his quarters. That will get his left leg under him!
 

vic07

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i would try some carrots exercises to just check there isn't a physical problem. these are a really easy way of checking mobility.
 

hadleigh

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My horse does exactly the same thing but is now much improved. My trainer had us doing lots of 10 metre circles all around the school and also loads of transitions. Another exercise is to work in trot or canter around the school and ask for a few longer strides and then a few shortened strides. Really brings them back under you and hopefully off your hand. last week she had me doing trot walk transitions in a corner and as you achieve walk push his quarters out for a stride or two and then ask for trot again. Amazingly his transition was light and forward (he too can be lazy to the leg if he's not in the mood) and not on his forehand at all.
 

vanessahook

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Hi , i have the same problems with my dressage horse and to be honest i think most people do. its just like us being left or right handed in a way.
I woud suggest the sort of things you're aleady doing, lots of flexing to get him off the rein and ride with a lot of leg to get him pushing evenly from behind. The more you can get him over the back the less you will notice the front end. Whatever is going on at the front ignore it and keep the pressure on each rein even.
It doesn't ahppen over night but gradually they become more even.
I spend at least 15 minutes in walk flexing and getting my mare soft and even in the hand before i trot.
 

miller

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Will carry on then with what I'm doing - pretty much all the suggestions above

Have done carrot stretches with him regularly and he is extrmely flexible - it's more an evasion out of having to work.

He is pushing through evenly with both legs and tbh it looks fine - OH videoed it for me! It goes to pot in a test though as he does it more - probably cos I am nervous!

He doesn't do it hacking either!
Think it appears worse now he has a nice fence to hang on to
 

DressageChick

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Avoid riding on the outside track, but instead use the 3/4 line lots.

I disagree with Vanessa- I dont think it is to be expected and think your doing the right thing in trying to correct it. You certainly shouldn't have a sore arm from the pressure.

My trainer would say he can only hang/lean if you give him something to hand/lean on!


Good luck
 

JLav

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Also I would suggest that you look at the problem another way. It's not so much that he hangs on your right hand but that he doesn't correctly accept and work into the left rein contact.
Some of the exercises above will help but you must really concentrate on the feel in the left rein whilst riding LY, S-in etc.
I like to do 10m circles (in this case on the right rein) focusing on the outside rein contact then think of keeping the bend but moving him onto a bigger circle in a form of LY using the inside leg to push him into the outside rein. When you feel the inside contact soften don't give the rein away but just try and keep the contact soft and elastic as you straighten out of the circle. If he then drops back onto the heavy rein circle again and repeat. You can also follow the circle with any other lateral movement ie S-in or HP so even if he only keeps the bend and softness for a few strides you get a few good quality steps before he stiffens again and gradually you should find the number of good steps increases.
Madmare was spot on when she said it's because he doesn't load the hind legs evenly and the travers on the circle is another excellent exercise to help particularly on the right rein in your case.
 

miller

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Jlav - that's what I have been doing - definitely working evenly behind and sitting evenly behind on both reins - from watching the video you can't see anything at all - just feel it.

Will work through all the exercises provided and see how we go!

Thanks everyone
 

vanessahook

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dressagechick, i wasn't saying you shouldn't try to correct lopsided horses, i was just saying a lot of people have this problem with their horses being uneven in the hand. I was comparing it to us being either right or left handed.
I totally agree that it is easier for them to hang if they have something to hang on to, which is why you should try to shake them off the hand.
 
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