Leaning on right rein

dreamcometrue

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Hi. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to prevent my pony leaning on the right rein? She favours the left side and so leans on the right rein.

I am recovering from surgery on my right shoulder and this leaning is getting painful. I am hacking her in walk six days per week as part of a fitness programme as she was out of work during my recovery, so I can’t cut down the riding. This afternoon I was really struggling to keep her straight in the contact. The only thing that gave my shoulder some relief was when I crossed the reins at her wither so my left arm and shoulder were dealing with the leaning. Is that even a thing?

She is a Connemara cross, quiet and steady (lazy) and ridden in a snaffle. She has quite a low head carriage too. I can’t ride her in the manège at present and haven’t done so for over a year due the the shoulder injury.
 

tallyho!

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Crikey sounds like a punishing programme for the both of you.

Who said you had to do that?

So she leans on the right and is hollow to the left. Classic straightness issue and since you don’t have a school, do your schooling on the hack. Have in mind the school so as you are hacking, ask yourself if you have control of her quarters, shoulders and poll? I sometimes pretend I am schooling and pretend I’m preparing for left/right circle so I see the eyelash on that side. Then circle at an opportune moment.

Do bends on both reins without doing SI. This will distinguish your rein from your leg.

Then do SI on both reins favouring the hollow side to build strength there.

I do think you need to work on a mutual understanding of your leg aids or else your shoulder might just give up altogether.

Once you’ve got her working from the leg you can move on to more exercises.
 

DabDab

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I think you'll probably find that she's favouring the right side and hence putting more weight through that shoulder....?

It's basically all about training her to move straight through her body, but to do that you need to be able to influence the different parts of her body with your aids (so move quarters or shoulders over on command), and feel where the balance of her movement is and how she's weighting each of her legs.
 

dreamcometrue

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I’m loving riding again! Being out of action drove me up the wall. Pony is fat and I need to get her weight down and get her fit as she got fat on full livery while I was out of action. She has had laminitis in the past so she is on a weight management and exercise regime.

I absolutely agree with what you have suggested but I need some way of stopping her leaning as a quick fix to save my shoulder. She really is lazy and just mooches along and this is exacerbated by her fatness and lack of fitness. She is much perkier when she is fit and much lighter in front. At present she is very much on the forehand.
 

tallyho!

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Oh gawd... I’m the wrong person to as for quick fixes. You fix one thing quick you get one thing wrong quick. No such thing.

Yeah I’d agree with above. Just enjoy your hack, go on the buckle and work on a forward going hack... but only turn right at all times :D
 

ILuvCowparsely

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Hi. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to prevent my pony leaning on the right rein? She favours the left side and so leans on the right rein.

I am recovering from surgery on my right shoulder and this leaning is getting painful. I am hacking her in walk six days per week as part of a fitness programme as she was out of work during my recovery, so I can’t cut down the riding. This afternoon I was really struggling to keep her straight in the contact. The only thing that gave my shoulder some relief was when I crossed the reins at her wither so my left arm and shoulder were dealing with the leaning. Is that even a thing?

She is a Connemara cross, quiet and steady (lazy) and ridden in a snaffle. She has quite a low head carriage too. I can’t ride her in the manège at present and haven’t done so for over a year due the the shoulder injury.
I would have his back and teeth checked if not done already.
 

dreamcometrue

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Haha! The hay would solve it I’m sure but we might not move at all.

I have been riding on the buckle or left handed so far. I’ll carry on with it and use more leg to get her more forward.
 

Lois Lame

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dreamcometrue, it sounds like you are riding with a contact at the walk. My riding instructor of long ago would have killed me for doing this.

"Veeee do not trrrRRRine at da valk!"

This is now a pacing type walk is 'achieved'. A pacing kind of walk is not a good thing.

And I agree with DabDab's comment of: I think you'll probably find that she's favouring the right side and hence putting more weight through that shoulder.
 

JFTDWS

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I'm not sure that "training" a walk is necessarily bad - you can do lots of walk schooling involving a contact - though you shouldn't be fiddling or killing the walk, and making it lateral!

The OP could also use her legs to straighten the horse as well as ride more forward - legs are better for straightening than hands anyway - you can control the q's, barrel and shoulders independently with different parts of the leg.
 

Lois Lame

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No, I'm not talking about 'training a walk' (whatever that is) I'm referring to riding with a contact at the walk.

I think dreamcometrue should let her horse stretch out on her hacks. It would be much better for both of them.
 

JFTDWS

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"Veeee do not trrrRRRine at da valk!"

I presumed that was meant to translate as we do not "train" at the walk - if it's otherwise, I'd be intrigued to know what.

Training a walk is fairly obvious, I'd say - you train collection in the walk, lateral suppleness, developing the gait, and the horse. It's also a common phrase in TREC where people "train the walk" to develop the fastest 4-beat walk possible for the MA phase.
 

dreamcometrue

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Thank you all for your responses.

What she does as we walk along is to slightly turn her head and neck to the left. So, in order to ride with an even length of rein on each side I have more tension on the right rein, which then pulls on my right shoulder. She used to do this a lot when I first bought her and it diminished as she got fitter and we had lessons. Our instructor had us focus a lot on shoulder in, bending, spirals and lateral work as some of you have suggested. When we are both stronger We will return to this but for now we are hacking only.

She doesn’t need a contact as such but will take advantage and go for the grass or any available foliage so I need to let her know that I am there and she isn’t allowed to graze. Other parts are on a road with traffic so I need to keep a contact too. Is it okay for me to cross the reins over and basically have my left hand on the right rein, I know it sounds weird. It seemed to work fine and made me much more comfortable and she didn’t seem bothered.
 

Pearlsasinger

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You should be able find illustrations in older books, or demos on the internet on how to hold both reins in one hand. If you also drop the 'empty' hand down by your side, it will help you to sit correctly.
 

w1bbler

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Descriptions that helped me riding my slightly wonky horse was think of sucking the hollow side out not pushing the bulging side over.
 

dreamcometrue

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We had a far better ride this afternoon. 😁 You were talking to me in my head all the way round. 😁.

I made her more forward, controlled her shoulders and rear with my legs and crossed my reins through the stickiest bit which is when we first set off and walk down a long long downward slope with a view and grass on the left which she can’t resist looking at. After that I rode with a pretty loose rein but made her walk forwards smartly.

I think I was having a bad moment yesterday. All through my injury and treatment I was seriously concerned that I wouldn’t be able to ride safely again and the discomfort I was feeling yesterday was a setback. Thank you all for helping me through it. X
 
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