|Texas TWH Mare arthritis in hock, wants
to canter rather than RW!
Texas Tennessee Walker 7 year old mare, ridden in snaffle and western saddle in round pen by mod to beginner level rider
Question: found out she has arthritis in her right hock... since that
she has been resistant to her running walk, preferring to canter.
do you think this is because it causes less pain? I was thinking
that but she has had a few shots of legend and seems to not be short striding
anymore, nor balking after riding for a while. but when we are just
at a nice walk for no reason she will just decide to speed up, sometimes
starting at a running walk but mostly a canter... then slowing on her own
if she wants too... she seems to not know which gait to do when.
what i have been doing is when she speeds up on her own is doing a circle
to left or right and that slows her and then trying it again, then she
will do it again, and we circle again... but even in the round pen when
we work, she just goes at whichever speed she wants, she seems not to understand..
she will walk, but when I speed her up she will runningwalk for 5-6
strides and then canter... and running walk for a few more !
From Panelists Nancy
It sounds that your mare is confused. There is a rw position and a canter
position. When you ask your horse to do a rw, you put them in a rw position,
and when you ask for a canter, you put them in a canter position. When you
and your horse both know these position, and your horse is made supple enough
that you can place her in the proper position, then she won't be confused
about what you are asking for. The rw position is a very straight one, as
for the walk. The canter position is with a slight flexion left or right,
depending on what lead you are asking for. Also, the hindquarters are also
pushed slightly to the left or right also. If you are asking for a rw on the
circle, you are probably unknowingly putting your horse in the canter
position and that is why she is cantering. Try just asking for a rw on a
straight line while holding her straight and with your body also very
straight ahead and even pressure from both legs. Everything (both you and
your horse) and all parts of your and your horse perfectly aimed perfectly
straight ahead. When she is not confused anymore and you have a consistent
rw while going straight, then you can ask for it on a circle, but you must
not allow the hindquarters to move to the inside or the head to be flexed to
the inside. Just follow the circle exactly with the horses body. Nothing
out of line. But first just work her on a straight line for the rw. I think
this will help you. Hope I've been clear in my explanation.