Horse won't walk straight, and he trips a lot
Hi there! I am new to the forum, & am so glad I found a place with so much helpful information! My question is about a horse I've been riding, I'd appreciate any advice or tips!
So, I've been riding a retired Standardbred harness racer named Jim, he's not mine, but his owners have been kind enough to let me ride since he needs the exercise. He's been off the track for about a year, and he isn't ridden very much, at the moment I'm the only one riding him, but I can only get there about once a week. I am a fairly experienced rider, but have never trained, or retrained a horse.
So the problem I'm having now is that he keeps turning to the right, it's more like sidestepping, and refusing to walk in a straight line. He only does it part of the time, & especially when I turn him around and he doesn't want to go that way. I've been riding him in a small field, and on a grass/dirt full size track, they don't have a ring. We only walk & trot, he's still learning to collect his trot, & has no clue how to canter (i'm not sure how to teach him that, but maybe that's another post!). He moves so far to the right, he starts going off the track, even toward the fence sometimes. I tried turning him in a circle to kind of reorient him, but he gets frustrated until we either get past the part of the track he's doing it in, or turn around.
He also trips over his feet a lot, I don't know if that's related, if there's some foot problem, or I was worried something might be hurting or iritating him instead of him just being stubborn. His hooves could use a trim, but they've said his legs are fine, I'm thinking he might be a little stiff because he's pretty much in the stall all day.
Sorry for the long post, I hope it's clear enough! Thanks!