The Art of Natural Dressage

Help - horse wants to circle continuously?
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Author:  Dani [ Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:26 am ]
Post subject:  Help - horse wants to circle continuously?

Dafner loves to circle around when I ride her. With or without saddle; walk, trot or canter; left and right; whether I sit up straight, or lean over in any one direction. I have NO idea what the cause is. But it is very annoying, and I could really appreciate any thoughts on what it might be, and how to stop it.

Author:  Morgan [ Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Help - horse wants to circle continuously?

Have you tried having someone on the ground that asks her to walk forward (come to me) and click and treat for straightness. You may find she will follow quite happily if she is treated along the way. You could then take short walks as a passenger only.
Morgan will do this when he doesn't want to be ridden anywhere (or rather when he doesn't want to be bossed from up top). If I start to slip back to demanding he will just turn circles or bite my feet!!! :D
It sounds like she is clever and just evading what you are asking!!!!!!!! Perhaps you need to take a step back and mount only (if she is happy to let you do so at liberty) and then sit and ask nothing?

Author:  jessplum [ Tue Jul 14, 2009 4:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Help - horse wants to circle continuously?

so is she turning in any direction? have you tried what i ask my students to do?? ride along and put your hands under your bottom. feel your seat bones, and see what they are doing. are you subconsienciesly doing anything??? if not, then you have to think about what is going on with your horse. is there any ear back in irritation or tail swishing when this is happening?? :huh: i am wondering if there is a clue to this, is the horse doig this inm relation to your body, or because they are rewarding you and offering you a behaviour, or are they reacting to pain or an uncomefortable feeling in som way? let me know what the horse is doing. get someone else to watch from the ground. :love:

Author:  Dani [ Tue Jul 14, 2009 4:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Help - horse wants to circle continuously?

Morgan - I didn't do anything, that is the problem. I was pretty much just sitting there. And whenever I did ask something (with cordeo/voice), she offered it willingly enough - halts, backwards, and turns (as long as those turns didn't interfere with her circle space). But I know this behavior, she has done it pretty much since I've had her; but I have tried everything to stop it/figure out the cause, and am feeling at a loss now.

Jess - it's just circling left and right, with no apparant direction or reason. I have tried sitting straight, leaning forward, backward, left and right (both 'with' and 'against' her circling movement), and it didn't make any difference whatsoever.

-idea- Tomorrow two friends are coming over, I will explain this to them and ask them to film it for me. That should help some.

She was very responsive to everything else I asked, so I don't think she was angry or upset. Didn't see any other signs of agitation, anyway. The only possible cause I can think of would be back pain. But that doesn't make sense, because she never does this when riding outside, and she loves those outside rides. Pain would be constant.

I'm going to ask my friends to film me doing groundwork with Dafner anyway - I'm sure they won't mind filming 5min of this as well. I really hope someone can help, I can't figure it out anymore.

Instructors cannot really help, either..most will simply tell me to block her, and use a whip or reins. Too bad Josepha lives a bit too far away still :D

Author:  Morgan [ Tue Jul 14, 2009 4:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Help - horse wants to circle continuously?

I think film it and let the experts see!!!!!
Does sound kind of odd.
You know the great dressage riders will tell you the hardest thing to acheive under saddle is straightness. Perhaps she finds it easier to move with you under saddle in a circle. Maybe a past injury and learned behaviour to avoid something sore that has now become a habit.
Anyway lets see what everyone else thinks when they can see what she is doing.
I will be very interested to follow it's a new one for me too.....

Author:  Dani [ Wed Jul 15, 2009 8:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Help - horse wants to circle continuously?

No luck in getting a video..the camera crew (= my friends) were more important, unfortunately. I'll see if I can shoot a video myself one of these days, while riding. It's not ideal, but it might give you a sense of what is happening.

Author:  Karen [ Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Help - horse wants to circle continuously?

I may be a balance issue. We don't always realize that we cause an imbalance in the horse. You would have to have someone watch and see (and video would be best of course so you can see it too) if she is circling on the forehand and with her inside shoulder dropped, or if she tends to let her haunches swing out of the circle.

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