Staying straight and better circles? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 10-13-2012, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
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Staying straight and better circles?

I have two questions:
How can I teach my horse to travel with his body straighter/more aligned? And how can I get him to travel on a straighter line?
My horse usually tries to cut off circles on the far side away from the arena gate while riding and while lungeing. I try pushing him over with my inside leg, but then I can't really keep him bent, he just sort of moves away from the pressure. But I really don't know what to do while lungeing. Any suggestions? Thanks!
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post #2 of 5 Old 10-14-2012, 11:30 PM Thread Starter
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post #3 of 5 Old 10-15-2012, 05:55 PM
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For straightness - a hose has wider hips than shoulders - so when riding on the rail you should ride in (slight) shoulder-fore. Find a good dressage trainer in your are to explain how to ask for/ride shoulder-fore. Other tips are looking PAST the line where you want him to travel - so pick a tree that you are heading straight for, and the cloder you get to the trr the more you think of riding THROUGH the tree. That will keep you straight, and in turn help keep the horse straight.

For riding - use your weight (more weight in the direction you want to go) to correct irregular circles. The key here is to detect as he STARTS to fall-in - not 2-3 steps into the circle cut-in. Also use outside rein away from he shoulder to get his shoulders straight and your legs to control both his hind legs (inside to control circle bend, outside to keep him from throwing butt to the side).

For the lunging crack the lunge whip at him and or use it to push him out on to the circle.

Dressage is for Trainers!
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post #4 of 5 Old 10-23-2012, 07:31 AM
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post #5 of 5 Old 10-25-2012, 10:07 PM
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Basically it sounds like a possible submission problem. You cannot move your horse's body around easily because he is ignoring your aids. I hate to ever blame the horse, because it's usually a rider error. As with every other problem, always eliminate a physical problem. After that is done, you need to take it back to the walk work on leg-yields, sidepasses, flexion and counter flexion so that he listens to your leg. If he is dead to your leg, I'd recommend a mild spur.

The big issue with not having good circles and straight lines is because your horse isn't balanced between the reins and your legs. So you yourself need to be balanced in the saddle. That way you can help him out. Like said above...get him so that you can easily move any part of his body around so that you can control the circles and lines.

Not sure of you know any dressage but shoulder-ins, half-pass, hauches in and haunches out are all great lateral exercises which incorporate getting him off your leg.

DRESSAGE, n.: the passionate pursuit of perfection by the obsessively imperfect -Author Unknown
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