Dear forum members,
I have a 7 year old unraced TB mare. We have done a few lower level dressage tests with reasonable scores ranging from mid 60’s in prelim and upper 50’s in novice. The issues are that she tends to fuss a bit and bob her head with a contact. BUT the biggest issue is her canter, especially to the right.
She gets tense in her back and has a short, choppy stride with her head tending to hollow when she canters to the right ON A CONTACT. If i am lunged in side reins, without any contact, she canters a huge stride in both directions (less balanced to the right) in a long and low frame. if i take a soft contact even on one side, she remains in this frame. The minute i take a contact with both reins, she comes up and shortens. In the school, i can sometimes play her round with my outside hand or widening my hands; but i find that my hands end up by my knees, and eventually the reins get too long, and i can no longer be effective in transitions.
For noting is that she has a stunning, ground-covering walk (despite a bit of head bobbing from time to time) and a lovely cadenced trot where she holds a novice frame well.
I have had her back checked, saddle checked, teeth done twice a year, chiro, physio. I am a bit asymmetrical myself with a spinal fusion on one side, but the problem occurs on both reins, just more to the right- so i think this is only part of the problem. I have and do ride her in elliptical full-cheek, or sprenger ultra-d bits and a flash.
It is so frustrating, particularly as this lunging in side reins was a new discovery and we see that there is a lovely big canter stride that is waiting to be developed if i can resolve the resistance which i seem to create with the contact. i want to avoid gadgets if possible.
thanks for any help