I am working with a mare at the moment who when she canters she strikes off correct everytime in front and wrong behind.
No matter what you do she canters disunited.
However when she canters down to the field she canters correct. At the moment she isn't being cantered undersaddle we have only cantered her on the lunge.
She is a 7 yr old Friesian, has only just come back into work after a couple of years off.
She is coming on well and it isn't something we are massively working on at the moment but it intrigued me.
She has had her back checked a yr ago and was told she was straight as a die, and her back has been looked over by the vet for a lump recently and again has been told it is fine.
Now on the lunge she does kick her backside out while she is going round as we are only just starting on the lunging and has not worn any tack whilst lunging.
I am wondering as she is a fairly tall mare in probably 20m diameter at the most lunging pen if it is too tight a circle for her to canter properly in.
We are going to try free schooling her in an arena sized area of the field and see how she moves in their.
The one time she did strike off completely correct it was almost as though she thought she had done it wrong as she broke and then struck off again disunited.
The person who brought her back into work where she was at brat camp steered clear of cantering. She said she had cantered her once and decided she was too unbalanced and found her impossible to sit to, yet when she has cantered here she doesn't look bouncy at all when she struck off right so I am wondering if she had struck off disunited over there when she rode her and the girl didn't notice, but when she has cantered here disunited she isn't rushy or massively unbalanced as the girl had described, i suspect looking how bouncy she is disunited she found her extremely uncomfortable and probably decided it was because of how unblanaced she is.
I'm not saying there isn't a degree of unbalance there because there is and having not done alot since she was broken there will be, but it is more wooden than unbalanced and actually just uses speed to get away from working properly, because as soon as she is working through and stepping under on the turns she is alot steadier.
They also said she was dead to the leg and needed spurs I have ridden her since she has been home and I haven't found she is dead to the leg at all, in fact the opposite I have only found that she either doesn't understand or listen to the legs individually, I suspect the latter because once you do get her listening she does do it correctly. If you don't get her listening and bending she will use speed to evade it.
I was wondering if it is just a case of wait and see, maybe when she is wearing the side reins or pessoa whether that will keep her a bit straighter and stop the back end slipping out if you like lol!! This in turn getting that leg to strike off right.
If it doesn't just fall into place are there any exercises I can do to get the hind legs to strike off correctly?
I have often come across things that just strike off wrong and that I can combat but to strike off right on each rein but be diunited is a new one lol!!
I would say she's unbalanced and still needs to be cantering in a straight line or much larger circles. Until she is getting it correct in a bigger spae you can not expect her to manage something smaller.
If she's picks up canter and is disunited you need to bring her back to trot and ask again. the trot needs to be forward going but not rushed. Have you tried asking for canter over a pole?
"My treasures do not clink together or glitter; They gleam in the sun and neigh in the night." -Arabian Proverb
what is it like in a straight line if you cantered her down a big field or something and really blast it, sometimes leaving them to it and making it as uncomfortable as possible makes them realise its easier to do it right, would also work on straightening her up and making her supple, do some shoulder in work, travers and leg yield so you can position her more easily to make striking off and staying correct more easy,
but i would still have her checked over, a mare i was riding is now out of action possibly for good, owner had two back people and a vet look at it and they all said it was fine, mine went and looked at it and she said it had a damaged pelvis, mare would religiously every single time disuntie just before you made a transition to trot or walk, no way you could stop it either
She hasnt met poles yet, we aren't working on the canter just yet it was something that I had noticed when she struck off on the lunge when she was excited. So I asked her and Everytime she did it.
I figured that she is unbalanced, but not to the extreme she has been described. We are going to see how she goes free schooling in a bigger area, it just intrigued me. I suspect once she is working consistently in the trot the canter will come and it has been said to the lady that owns her that friesian do struggle in tight circles. I'm guessing its wait and see once we get to that stage.
If its not her back or saddle then it'll be because she is unbalanced.
Get her schooling well in walk and trot under saddle then introduce the canter in a straight line following another. When she is calm and balanced on a straight line you can introduce it on a bend.
They are a driving breed so not naturally balanced on a tight circle. They are front heavy and use little power from behind initially. a lunge circle will be far too hard for her to learn to canter on and if she continues to strike off wrong, it will be a hard habit for her to break.
Work her in a field for canter initially. a 7y old friesian is the equivalent of a 4 yr old TB in terms of maturity and mental status. They are slow developers so a lot of 7yr olds may be fine with lunge, she is a couple of years behind that.
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Neo's unbalanced and I don't canter him on the lunge yet. When I've tried he just rushes and motorbikes round. When you try free schooling you could try putting up a little X pole. I've done this with Neo and after popping over a small jump they'll usually canter out of it rather than trot then you can see if you can keep the canter going around the arena corner.
We aren't planning on perservering with the canter at the moment until the walk and trot is established, the fact they are a driving breed and front heavy was what had crossed my mind.
It will be interesting to see what she does when she is free schooled, it was just something that had become apparent when she had cantered in excitement and I am wondering as it does seem so completely normal to her and she broke it from being correct and started it up again incorrect I am wondering whether she has always done it and as you say it has become a habit, I am guessing that we will find out in time.
Hasty disunites a lot. I think it's because he's a great big lump with a limited supply of brain power and a lot of muscle to move. And he's young, and unbalanced, and clumsy. He's had his back checked and now been given the all clear.
I can't help worrying whenever he disunites but I think it's a Standardbred thing (especially young and gangly ones). Vinny does it occasionally too. Hasty still hasn't quite grown into himself.
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