Fixing a Polo Pony That Runs with it's Head to the Side - Answering Your Questions

answering your polo questions polo pony training Jul 23, 2021

We had the following question come in: "My horse always runs with its head to the right - how do I fix this?"

This lesson will help you figure out why your horse might be running with its head to one side. There are a handful of easy checks for you to do...

Number 1, do some basic checks...

Watch to find out more.

Fixing a Polo Pony That Runs with it's Head to the Side


My horse always rides with its head to the right. How do I fix this? Okay. So, number one, you've got to do some basic checks. Okay. Have you checked the teeth? Does it get its tongue over the bit? Is it maybe? Has it got holes in the bars, because it's got it's tongue over the bit? So it's trying to protect itself and moving one way.

Is the saddle fitting correctly? because if the saddle is not fitting correctly, you know, no horse is symmetrical. Okay. If you stand straight in front of your horse and you put your arm around its shoulders, around its neck, and onto his shoulders, you will see that the one shoulder is actually ahead of the other shoulder.

And like us, you know, you either right-handed or left-handed okay. And, and your right side, if you right-handed will be stronger than your left side.

Now, with a horse, unfortunately, what happens with that, let's say that the left shoulder is forward. Okay. So, if the left shoulders forward, and the right shoulders back, then where the left shoulder is forward, behind it, is where the withers dip. So, you're going to have your saddle sitting into that hollow. Okay?

Because the other side is where the shoulder, the scapula, the shoulder blade is sitting, and it's higher than where the other shoulder is forward. So, the saddle sits and twists.

So, possibly you've got a saddle fitting issue, where the horse is uncomfortable and that scapula is moving back into that. You've got to put a proper pad there, that alleviates the scapula and lets the scapula move under the saddle. Okay.

Have you checked it's feet for example. Because that's something that we will be bringing you in time. Where, if the bars have overgrown the feet, and you've got problematic feet, and the horse is uncomfortable there, and can't move comfortably. Then it's going to carry and try and alleviate those pressures.

If you go through all those checks and everything is good. Now, just go back and start to supple the horse to the other side. Let's say it carries it's head right. You need to actually, at a standstill to start, just bend the horse, bend it, hold the pressure until it gives, now give back.

So, you're going to work that suppleness to the left hand side. Now, go to, when you've done that, okay. Now go to a walk and get a one rein stop, bend it left.

And when you pull, the horse might go run in a circle. Let it go around in a circle till it stops, then let the pressure go. Pretty soon, when you touch that left-hand side, the horse is already putting it's head there.

So, now that one rein stop at a walk. You then go to a trot. And every time it starts to put the head to the right, touch the left rein, get the head straight, bump it straight. Let go.

The minute it's in, where you want it, let the pressure go. But you bump it back all the time. And if it won't, now get a bit stronger. Don't jerk. You never go from a loose rein to a tight rein. But you go, and you then bend it, and you make the one rein stop.

Till it knows, when you touch on that left rein, it's got to put it's head there. Now you teach the horse to rate that way, because, it's trotting along, you want it to slow down, you touch the left rein. It slows down, but you touching that rein more gently. So, the horse slows down, you let go. But you're bumping that horse's head back to the left all the time.

Okay. So, if you've done your medical checks, that's the next way that you're going to get a horse traveling in the correct position. And we'll chat a little bit later about where the head should be. Because that's one of the questions later, but just get that head back. And every time it puts it in the right place, let the pressure go.

It goes back, pressure. Let go, pressure, let go. Until it's got it's head in the right place and will carry it there, and leave it there. And it's just, you will build that side up very quickly, and that horse will straighten out for you very, very quickly.