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About 6 months ago, my Haflinger mare started becoming harder to turn left under saddle. She’s fine to the right, but during left turns she throws her shoulder and body to the outside. It got better for awhile when I started carrying a whip on the right, but now it seems worse than when it started. My vet couldn’t find anything and there was no improvement when I got a new saddle that fits her very well. I’m an experienced rider so I’m really trying to make sure it’s not me doing something and it doesn’t seem to be. I had someone else ride her and they thought I just wasn’t riding her strong enough, but I really think it’s more than that. On the ground, she lunges pretty evenly, although sometimes she will fall in the circle right and pull when going left, similar to riding. I do carrot stretches with her and she seems equally flexible to both sides. I’ve been thinking maybe she should see a chiro to look for issues? Or could it simply be that her left side is weaker? Thanks for input.
Have you taken yourself to a chiropractor yet? This is often a good place to start when our horses seem “off”.
Doing some lunge line lessons with an instructor experienced in doing this can also help you get a better feel if it’s you or your mare.
Is she equally strong on both diagonals, and do you post both diagonals equally? Posting the weaker diagonal more than the stronger side can help strengthen her weaker side. This is best done on long fairly straight tracks.
A good dressage instructor/trainer should also be able to help you with exercises – both ground work and in saddle – that will help gymnasticize and strengthen your horse.
Patti Woodbury Kuvik
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