Pie and I have struggled with tracking right at trot in the arena. He tends to want to bend to the outside and fall to the inside around the corners. This tracking-right issue is a long standing problem, and although I've been able to make adjustments to my riding that have helped - keeping my right hip open, keeping my right leg at the girth rather than too far back, making sure I don't inadvertently use left leg, and keeping my eyes up and posture open - it's a constant struggle, almost every time we ride.
And none of my other horses have any problems tracking right. Dawn used to, but the changes I've made in how I ride have eliminated that issue.
So, even though I almost always know that if something's not right, it's me that's the problem, this time I thought the issue might be with Pie. To be clear, I'm not blaming him and he's certainly trying his best to do what I ask. I thought there might be something physical going on.
Those of you who've been reading along for a while may remember that Pie's had EPM - twice (two different infections with two different phenotypes) - as well as Lyme. He's been treated for all of those things, and each time made a complete recovery, as evidenced by soundness and also blood tests. But sometimes there are lingering neurological effects, which in Pie's case, if they exist, are very slight - he's very sound and willing to work.
When he had his chiro treatment last week, our vet/chiro remarked that his right hind was slightly less muscled that the left hind, and that the right hind might be just a touch weaker as a result. That got me thinking.
So today just for fun I tried something completely different, to see what would happen, and if the issue was related to the right hind. When I'm posting on the correct diagonal, I'm rising and falling with the left front/right hind pair. This weights this pair of feet slightly more and is supposed to help the horse balance around a turn. But what if, due to a slight weakness in the right hind, weighing that diagonal was actually slightly impairing Pie's balance, causing him to try to rebalance by falling in?
Easy way to test that - so I posted on the wrong diagonal, rising and falling with the right front/left hind pair as we tracked right.
All of a sudden, things were fine tracking right - no falling in and he seemed much happier. Hmmm . . . We'll experiment some more, and see where we get to.