Fixing against her left rein

fishy

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5 March 2011
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285
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north west
I'm having a few problems with my mare, namely that she is fixing her neck to the right and becoming dead and heavy on her left rein. She is worse when out on a hack. In the school I can push her off my right leg and get her to soften in her left rein but on a hack she just seems to fix her neck to the right and won't soften or bend to the left. She is a 9 year old ISH, and is ridden in a full cheek french link snaffle. She has had her teeth, back and saddle checked recently. I asked a friend to ride her and he confirmed this and he found her quite strong. Any suggestions as to what I might try to get her to soften to the left?
 

TicTac

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29 April 2008
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3,109
Location
Bedfordshire
I sometimes have the same problem and it is becuae your mare is stiff somewhere. I suggest doing lots of stretching excercises with her on the ground ( carrot stretch excercises) and the same when you are on her in walk, just asking for flexion each side. Might also be worth you getting a physio to give her the once over.
 

Littlelegs

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25 February 2012
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9,355
It sounds like an issue with left bend through her length not a problem with her neck as such. You need to be pushing her from your left (inside) leg up into your right (outside) rein. There's lots of exercises to help this, personally I like trotting large around the arena with a 10m (or 15m if needed) circle at K, E,H, M, B & F, & leg-yielding in & out in a spiral motion from a 20m circle. Lunging would help too. It's hard to give specific exercises though without knowing what level you're both at, so maybe a good idea to get an instructor to have a look.
Does she go straight on a hack if you loosen the reins & keep her forwards? I'd also be inclined to check out its not a physical issue. Most horses do tend to be naturally more supple on one side tho.
 
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