This one is from @angelinirogerio who is having difficulty with all his horses tending to be positioned and bent to the left- and funnily enough, all of them prefer to canter to the left.
“I’m having some trouble with my horses, I always feel that my horse is putting his weight more on the right side.
So he became like a banana putting his head to the left, his shoulder to the right and his croup to the left, and all of them prefer to canter on the left lead.
I’m trying to understand what I’m doing wrong but I’m having so much difficulty to understand what’s going on”
The image is a screenshot of some of the footage Angelini sent through.
Firstly, I would like to mention that if you ride multiple horses and notice a common theme, it is likely an issue with the rider/trainer (and not the horse).
Of course, there can be factors such as saddle fit, equine musculoskeletal conditions, equine asymmetries, and training and behavioural issues that can influence a horse’s balance/preference of bend/direction.
However, for the purposes of this post, I would like to point out the rider biomechanical issues that could be contributing to his horse’s way of going.
Now, I realise the screenshot is just a moment in time but it is a good representation of the issues that could be affecting your horse’s alignment on a circle.
Sometimes, when these patterns become so well ingrained and habitual, they feel normal, and you can feel straight and balanced, even when you are actually crooked.
Often when I have corrected peoples asymmetries in the clinic, they say they feel uneven or wrong in that new posture. Remember, what is biomechanically correct doesn’t always initially feel right. What is normal for you (even if it is crooked) will feel right, until you get used to the new posture.
I have placed some points of reference on the image. The first is the straight line through the horse’s tail/spine. As you can see both the saddle and the rider are sitting to the right of the centre of the horse.
Remember, naturally due to centrifugal forces, when circling, bending or turning to the left the rider is pushed to the right.
To compensate for this right shift, Angelini is collapsed through the left waist, and since his shoulders are relatively level, it is likely a left pelvic tilt causing this, further encouraging his weight to the right.
His right leg is externally rotated with the toe out to help him stabilise on this side. Likely if this compensation was non-existant, he would slip even further to the right.
Your left canter leads are likely easier Angelini, because you are in fact exaggeratedly positioned for left canter. With your left (inside hip light) and the weight on your outside hip with the right leg slightly back.
It can be difficult to give you exact advice to correct your asymmetry but here is what I would recommend without physically seeing you:
It will take some time to break these habits but in the long run, it will help you and your horse feel more symmetrical, balanced, and be able to pick up both leads naturally.
I hope that helps you!