When changing your diagonal...

alsxx

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Should you be feeling any difference in the way horse is going for the first stride or two after you have changed?

Just curious after a discussion I had with someone this morning...
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Patches

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I never notice anything in the school strangely, but I can't stand trotting up the road on P on the "wrong" diagonal. I can feel her swing her back differently.
 

alsxx

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Patches I know what you mean there!!

Thats what I mean though, if you notice them swinging through slightly differently on the different diagonal (even if you only 'feel' it for a stride or two) is that a 'bad' thing?
 

Cliqmo

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If you're on the wrong diagonal for a few strides it can feel strange if the horse is more stiff through his back on one side than the other. Perhaps you could suggest to them that they deliberately work on the wrong diagonal on each rein to establish which side the horse is stiff on, and that is something they can then tackle??
 

connie1288

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I had a little mare who felt awful on one diagonal, nearly looked lame, she was always plagued by soundness issues.
 

Cahill

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when i trot in a straight line i try to use the `worst feeling/pons least favoured` one to build it up.
when she is fit they feel the same.
 

Tnavas

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It's not normal for a horse to do this, the horse should feel the same on both diagonals.

If he is twisting you then he has a sore back and needs his saddle checking for fit or the chiropractor.

When you have the saddle off are there areas on his back that have a scuffed look? usually under the back of the saddle? This is caused by the saddle rocking up and down as you place your weight in the stirrups.
 

Kenzo

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When riding on the straight the no, your horse should feel the same, there should be no slight tilt to your pelvis or anything like that, which is why you should change diagonal lots of times when schooling and hacking, working on circle you should be able to feel which diagonal you are on but still a well balanced horse should feel even on both reins.

Have you watched closely how your horse works on both reins when lunging for example, even strides, tracking up, does the horse pull out or dip in more on one rein? Can your horse bend evenly when turning on a circle? Do you work evenly on both reins and each diagonal? Have you looked at the muscles along your horses back and shoulders to see if there is any difference, if you stand on a stool/tack box behind your horse when he is stood square to see if there is any difference etc.
 

dieseldog

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It might be you that feels different rather than the horse. I think riders all have a favourite diagonal that you will pick up as soon as you go into trot. It isn't neccessarily the horse that is wrong.
 

Patches

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My horse is checked by an osteo regularly and she's fine. I think my "problem" was years of feeling I needed to trot on the correct diagonal on roads, clearly favouring one over the other. I now trot on the wrong diagonal more than the correct one out hacking, sitting and swapping diagonals...something I ashamedly never used to even think about doing.

Horses are not equal though and never can be. They have a preference over one side, just as we do with the hand we write with. They will always find one rein easier to work through.....and one easier to evade through!

Just as I can feel if I am on the wrong canter lead, I can feel if I am on the wrong diagonal too. It's not a soundness issue in my eyes, it's an improved awareness as a rider as my riding has moved on a step.
 

Patches

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[ QUOTE ]
It might be you that feels different rather than the horse. I think riders all have a favourite diagonal that you will pick up as soon as you go into trot. It isn't neccessarily the horse that is wrong.

[/ QUOTE ]

I think you've hit the nail on the head. Just as we favour one hand over the other for writing or one way to reverse into a space in our cars.

I know P is balanced on both reins in trot......my instructor can confirm that....but in a straight line on the road I think she feels different, largely because I would always choose to pick up the right rein trot diagonal for some reason.
 

alsxx

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Sorry have been down the yard....Its not mine (mine is broken so cant ride ), but was having a conversation with someone this morning and she was saying that when they change their diagnoal (i.e. over X) for the first stride or two the swing feels wrong, and that they have occaisonally noticed it in the walk to trot transisition. Described it as an almost wonky feel and then it feels normal.

I only ask as I said that IMO that doesn't sound right and I'd want to get the horse looked at.

Kenzo - I havent really looked at the horse or really watched her ride it so cant really comment.

Was just wondering what you HHO'ers thought, or whether I was barking up completely the wrong tree!
 

YorksG

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Agree with Patches, so you should change diagonal regularly when hacking. I am in the fortunate position of being entirely ambidextrous (don't know the description for the same thing with feet, eyes etc., but have this.) And think I have a fairly ambidextrous horse as well
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MagicMelon

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I've always wondered what the reasoning was behind changing the diagonal? I do it purely because thats how I was taught originally but why?? Surely to a horse it makes no difference?
 
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