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Why is my horse stiffer on one rein?

Updated: Dec 23, 2022



It is not unusual for a horse to be more responsive to one rein than the other. This can be due to a number of factors such as the horse's natural tendency, their training and experience, and any physical issues they may have. For example, if a horse has a dominant side, they may be more responsive to the rein on that side because they are more comfortable and balanced on it. Additionally, if a horse has been trained to respond to certain cues from the reins, they may be more responsive to those cues on one side than the other. The issue can even go back as far as from the grazing pattern they choose to adopt as a foal, their legs are too long, their neck too short to reach the grass, so they need to split their forelimbs to reach the grass. One forelimb goes forward, one comes backwards.


How can I train my horse to respond equally on both reins?


If your horse is not responding equally to both reins, there are a few steps you can take to improve their balance and responsiveness. First, make sure that you are using consistent and clear cues when asking your horse to turn or change direction. This will help them understand what you are asking of them and make it easier for them to respond. Next, think about your position in the saddle. a horse may appear crooked if they are not being ridden in a balanced and symmetrical way


How can I improve my position in the saddle?

Improving your position in the saddle can take time and practice, but there are a few key things you can do to help improve your balance and stability. First, make sure you are sitting evenly in the saddle and distributing your weight evenly on both seat bones. This will help you maintain a balanced and stable position. Second, engage your core muscles to help support your body and maintain a straight and upright posture. This will help you stay balanced and centred in the saddle. Third, use your legs to help support your horse and maintain a secure and stable position. Finally, practice sitting in the saddle with a relaxed and quiet upper body, as this will help you stay balanced and responsive to your horse's movements. Overall, the key to improving your position in the saddle is to practice regularly and focus on developing good posture, balance, and stability.

Seek help from a trainer


If you are concerned that your horse is appearing crooked, and you don't feel you are experienced enough to address the problem, it may be worth discussing the issue with a trainer or equine professional who can help you identify the cause and develop a plan to address it.


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"This article represents the personal views and opinions of the author and should not be taken as representative of the official policy or position of any organization, professional, expert, or individual."


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