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Discuss Need help! Horse dropping shoulder. at the Horse Training forum - Horse Forums.

My horse has developed a bad habit of dropping her shoulder while turning. I had ...
  1. #1
    Senior Member WhisperingStar's Avatar
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    Need help! Horse dropping shoulder.

    My horse has developed a bad habit of dropping her shoulder while turning. I had a friend watch me ride and she figures it is the way I am sitting in the saddle ( a little off to the left ) I have tried to adjust my seat so I am sitting correctly but it is very hard for me to tell as I feel like I am sitting properly. I need to coach to help me with that but for the time being I need some help to get my mare to stop dropping her shoulder.

    Yesterday I worked her in the paddock for about 20 minutes and had her canter the circle but as we come into the corner and I ask for a turn she drops that shoulder. I pushed her over with my leg and directed her with my rein and she did better but she still dropped it slighty.

    After this I took her out for a ride. While out in the field I had her in a canter and asked for a turn to the right, she dropped that shoulder and it felt like she was going down she dropped it so far. Great for a barrel horse I suppose becuase the turn was very sharp but not what I asked for.

    Please give me some other suggestions. I do plan on taking more lessons to hlep me and her but for the time being what can I do at home?

  2. #2
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    Is she safe to ride bareback? If so, riding for a few minutes a day at the walk and trot, bareback, on a large circle, will start to fix your leaning quickly - if you don't, you'll fall off If you lean to the left, then if you're riding bareback and are trotting to the right, if you don't fix yourself you'll fall off to the outside of the circle.

    For now, when you ride regularly, don't canter the corners and don't canter circles. Canter your straight lines, and as you start to come to the corner, come back to the trot and re-balance her (and you!). Canter issues are nearly always manifestation of trot issues, so drop down a gait to fix things. Coming back to the trot will cause her to automatically rebalance herself a little but you have to help her some too as she will still be inclined to do what is easier for her - cut the corner (aka drop the shoulder). If she listens to your leg to move over at the trot, then come into the corner a little to the inside and use your leg to push her out into the corner. I never heard of a horse falling down while moving out

    Once you feel like she is listening well to the canter-trot transition, and is listening to you asking her to move out, then try the corners at the canter again. But the instant you feel her dropping her shoulder, bring her back to the trot and move her out again.
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    Senior Member WhisperingStar's Avatar
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    Thanks JB I will try the bareback. I have ridden her bareback before so I must have been sitting balanced or I would have been on the ground.

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    If you think you do ok bareback, then next time in the saddle take your feet out and try it too.
    He who thinks he can do everything or knows everything has already reached the beginning of the end.
    -- The Rothenberger Family


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    Senior Member+ Rockytop's Avatar
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    Are you lowering your inside hand when you turn?

    This can lead to the horse dropping it's shoulder (and dropping the shoulder is a no-no for barrel horses - leads to knocking barrels and resulting time faults).

    Concentrate on keeping the inside rein up and steady when you turn.



    Take care.

  6. #6
    Junior Member far_trotter's Avatar
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    Are you supporting with your inside rein and leg when you ask your horse to turn? It doesn't take much pressure to support, but it can make a difference.

    Are you keeping your shoulders square when you go around corners?

  7. #7
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    Are you riding english? Will your horse side pass both directions? Will your horse work on the diagnol? Do some trotting and walking excerses on the diagnol... maybe even add some trot over poles.... Then when your horse is moving properly on the diagnol and you can ride serpentines without the shoulder dropping... try doing a canter on the diagnol.

    Not understanding why you think a dropped shoulder would help a barrel horse. When riding barrels you reach way down and grab the inside rein to hold the shoulder up to get around the barrel and be prepared to swap leads for the next one.

    Also another thing that might help you to figure out if your body position is an issue is to swap leads every few strides on the straight. Also do serveral circles on the counter canter.
    Quote Originally Posted by Circle C View Post
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