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Symptoms & problems

Here are a few questions:

  • Is your horse tense whilst being ridden?
  • Does he not want to turn to one side?
  • Or does he always walk too fast or too slow?
  • Does your horse often strike or does he even rear or buck?
  • Perhaps he is often lame when you ride him?
  • Does your riding sometimes feel more like a fight, because your horse always pulls at one side of the bit?

Could you answer some questions with ‘yes’?

Well, you are not the only one who sometimes feels this way!

A lot of riders face these problems when they ride and the natural asymmetry might be the cause!

I experienced a lot of issues too with my horse Maestro.

If you scroll down this article I show you a video in which I tell you more about the struggle with my so-called ‘problem’ horse Maestro.

What I’ve learned is that the natural asymmetry and the natural imbalance of the horse can lead to problems when the rider’s weight is added to a horse.

Let me show you this video first:

Video #1: Overview Natural Asymmetry

This video gives you an overview of symptoms and problems that can arise from natural asymmetry:

The problems can be categorized in:

Let’s take a closer look.

Natural asymmetry Riding problems:

  • Struggle to bend one way, the other is easy
  • Can do an exercise to one side, but not to the other
  • Lean on one rein
  • Lean in, or out, on a circle
  • Having a ‘hard’ mouth
  • No suppleness/giving in the reins
  • ‘Taking’ the bit
  • High head carriage
  • Heavy in the hand
  • Balance issues
  • Rider and saddle slide to one side

Natural asymmetry

  • No stretching of the neck forward-downwards
  • Canter lead problems
  • False canter
  • Disunited canter
  • Lateral walk or canter
  • Does not stop square
  • Cannot back up in a straight line
  • Going forward reluctantly
  • Speeding up automatically
  • Prancing
  • Rider cannot sit in trot

Natural asymmetry

  • Little shoulder freedom
  • No pure tact
  • Short steps
  • Irregularities
  • Bridle lameness
  • Moving downhill

Mental and behavioral problems:

  • Alertness

Natural asymmetry

  •  Nervousness
  • Bad attitude
  • Ears flat when doing a specific exercise
  • Protesting
  • Panicking
  • Striking
  • Bucking
  • Rearing

Natural asymmetryPhysical symptoms & problems:

  • Tilting the head
  • Headshaking
  • Grinding the teeth
  • Tongue hangs out of the mouth
  • Kissing spines
  • Dull coat
  • Lumps on the back
  • Strain injuries in the front leg(s)
  • Irregularities in the gaits
  • Lameness
  • Navicular disease
  • SI joint problems
  • Knee problems
  • Hip problems
  • Bone spavin
  • Galls

Well, it’s quite a list, isn’t it?

Let me now show you the video about my horse Maestro, who had many of these issues:

Video #2: Natural asymmetry and my horse Maestro

This video gives you an insight into what troubles my horse Maestro caused me when I was not aware of his natural asymmetry:

Other causes

The problems listed above can of course also have other causes besides natural asymmetry.

The following aspects should always be considered first since the horse is a herd Grazing horsesanimal that needs movement and social contact:

  • Proper feed, plenty of roughage
  • Fresh air and sunlight
  • Freedom to move in a paddock or field
  • Contact with other horses
  • A saddle, bridle and bit that fit correctly
  • Using a block to mount the horse prevents back problems.

Now, what to do when you recognize one or more of the issues mentioned in this article?

The solution

When all possible causes of your problems are considered and specialists such as veterinarians, dentists, and others do not offer a solution, natural asymmetry might be considered as the cause of the problems.

Obviously, it is then important to reduce the natural asymmetry in order to make the problems disappear.

Straightness Training can help you and will guide you in the process of developing your horse symmetrically in body and limbs.

And if you need help in getting started, you’re warmly invited to:

Join My Free Training

Jump on over to my free training were you get a three-step process for implementing Straightness Training in your training sessions right now.

Watch two videos and download your free eBook which will help you put the information into action right away:

6 thoughts on “Symptoms & problems

Comment author said

By Salah on 13 January 2015 at 18:54

A great and useful information , much thanks and appreciation and respect for Marijke .


Comment author said

By Sandy Whisler on 13 January 2015 at 19:54

Thanks for trying to reach many people with a kind and thoughtful approach to working with horses. The problem may be (in part) the horse, but it is the trainer’s (rider’s) job to think about approaches that can work to improve the horse without violence or force. Those who take time to read and re-read the masters will eventually find their beautiful horses.

“Anything forced or misunderstood can never be beautiful”


Comment author said

By Julie on 13 January 2015 at 21:32

very interesting, I can’t wait to read and watch more. I have a cob pony that isn’t very forward, I’m trying to help him loose weight as he has recently be diagnosed with Metibolic syndrome then I will have his saddle checked.


Comment author said

By Ilona Marianna Staikou on 4 March 2016 at 13:14

Great video and very clear explanation Marijke. It is a wonderful study. Thank you sharing it with us.


Comment author said

By Judy Rothwell on 5 April 2016 at 14:31

Since a major back operation 2 months ago I won’t be riding my pretty mare until I can trust that she will stop bucking. She has been upset by conventional teaching methods, so I have had a little success just by being understanding and gentle with her. However I can now see with the help of your free information, that she doesn’t have strength in her inside hind leg to hold her. I will be going to spectate at a clinic next month and hope to implement your method with my darling Poppy. I can’t wait to start, and be part of your straightness training!


Comment author said

By Georgie on 6 June 2017 at 17:37

Yes, I agree with comments above, and have really enjoyed and benefitted from your short course as well as this and your website. It all makes sense. Thanks for sharing the knowledge I would love to take the full course but finances restrict me.


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