What do you do when a horse does not come underneath themselves equally?

When a horse does not come under itself equally it can be caused by different things. One first needs to check the muscle flexibility or inflexibility from the ground to see if the horse has the ability to use each leg equally. If not, gentle stretch and release exercises done before you ride will help tremendously. The next step would be the usual – chiropractic, saddle fit, or physical exam. These are also things I encourage you to check into, if you have not already done so. It is important that you know what you are dealing with before you start exercises with your horse through riding.

Once anatomical problems such as lower hip, or tipped pelvis are ruled out, your exercises will be more productive. It has been my experience in the past that quite often the horse is somehow locked up. Once the rider knows what the cause is they are able to put together the proper program for their horse.

When you are working in the saddle with your horse, simple and straight forward is the cure. Do numerous upward to downward transitions with your horse from walk to trot giving him lots of breaks. Think of these transitions as reps, no more than eight at a time between rest periods, building the amount of times you do it slowly. Once your horse is comfortable and consistent, then go to adding trot to canter on a straight line.

Your horse must learn to engage his hind end equally. The muscles must be redeveloped and strengthened. Please make sure that on your downward transitions that you are not sitting too deep into your horse’s back. A dragging leg can only be improved by the horse lifting his back so that it can soften his stifle and hock in the transition. If you are using too much seat into your hand the horse may be disconnecting his back which will cause pelvis to tip wrong way.

Are you yourself less flexible, or do you sit heavier on one side than the other? If so, is the problem with your horse’s hind leg on the same side? The position of the rider has to be equally balanced and centered to support the exercises that will develop the horse – I hope this has helped!