Just walk straight - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 10 Old 10-23-2012, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
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Just walk straight

Hi! I am new to this site and thought I would just put my problem out there and see what you all might think. I have a horse that is 15 which I got from a feed lot. He is everything I could ask for. Just a big puppy dog. My husband and I trail ride and that is all. When I take my horse Dollar out he is very observant to say the least. He is constantly looking around so much he will not walk straight. He kind of wanders. I don't like to pull on his mouth. I was correcting him back into line at the begining, but it happens every few minutes so I feel like I'm nagging him all of the time. I try not to nag him, but this is just so annoying to the point of making me not enjoy the ride. I have ridden him on fence lines and he does great. It has nothing to do with his feet, he doesn't have any issues with walking on pavement, dirt or grass. Any suggestions? Thanks!
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post #2 of 10 Old 10-23-2012, 12:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Dirty Dollar View Post
Hi! I am new to this site and thought I would just put my problem out there and see what you all might think. I have a horse that is 15 which I got from a feed lot. He is everything I could ask for. Just a big puppy dog. My husband and I trail ride and that is all. When I take my horse Dollar out he is very observant to say the least. He is constantly looking around so much he will not walk straight. He kind of wanders. I don't like to pull on his mouth. I was correcting him back into line at the begining, but it happens every few minutes so I feel like I'm nagging him all of the time. I try not to nag him, but this is just so annoying to the point of making me not enjoy the ride. I have ridden him on fence lines and he does great. It has nothing to do with his feet, he doesn't have any issues with walking on pavement, dirt or grass. Any suggestions? Thanks!
Get his attention back on you and what you're doing. Push him back to the middle of the trail with your leg and a gentle squeeze on the rein. It only takes a little while of "nagging" to get rid of the problem. If you just let him do it then of course he won't stop doing it.

Does he do it when he follows or just when he is in front?


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post #3 of 10 Old 10-23-2012, 12:15 AM
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You know, from my perspective.....I can't even get my horse to walk a straight ine in the arena! I am openly honest about my riding ability! Makes it easier to ask for help!

Your horse sounds 'busy' and that's ok. What I would do, if it bothers you so much, is really work on him responding to your legs....think of him being in a straight line from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail.....do nag him, nag him to be straight for a few strides or more than a few strides then let him relax, and the more he gets used to being straight, then ask a little more until it becomes second nature for him to go/walk where you guide him, and if that's straight, then so be it.

With a puppy dog type horse, a little nagging won't hurt....he needs to pay a little more attention to you.....he's a world observer
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post #4 of 10 Old 10-23-2012, 12:20 AM
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Yes, I forgot to mention, looking around isn't so bad. I try not to let my horses look around too much because it gives them ideas, like "Oh man... that's a big tree. You know, jaguars live in trees. I wonder if there's a jaguar in that tree. Holy crap, there might actually be a jaguar in that tree!" It's a downward spiral for horses when they are allowed to dwell on the possibility of jaguars, trust me.

But some horses just like to look. If they're in a new place and they aren't particularly spooky, just let him look. If it bothers you so bad then nagging is what you'll have to do.


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post #5 of 10 Old 10-23-2012, 12:31 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for the replies! Dollar does this on a trail or road in the front back or side. Lol love the jaguar comment. I had a mare like that once. Dollar does not spook or seem to worry. I try my best to keep his attention on me, and do nag, I guess I will just have to keep it up. Thanks all!
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post #6 of 10 Old 10-23-2012, 12:42 AM
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Haha the perfect marriage.....nag and release, nag and release
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post #7 of 10 Old 10-23-2012, 12:49 AM
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LOL ! Nag and release...Good one!
Does he neck rein ? Maybe you don't have to be pulling on his mouth.
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post #8 of 10 Old 10-23-2012, 01:00 AM Thread Starter
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He does neck rein but takes his sweet time when I ask with that cue. I do get a better response with my legs.
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post #9 of 10 Old 10-23-2012, 07:19 AM
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He does neck rein but takes his sweet time when I ask with that cue. I do get a better response with my legs.
And this is important....always use leg first followed up with hand. I horse should stay straight JUST by using your legs as guides.
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post #10 of 10 Old 10-23-2012, 03:49 PM
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The issue is your horse isn't paying attention to you the rider....

When the horse wants to do his own thing then make him work until he gives you his compete attention.

So, for the mean time....forget neck reining....two hands on the reins. Shorten the reins up and hold your hands low and in front of the horn. Keep the reins taunt but not tight and use as light a pressure as required to keep the horse attentive. Keep your heels down and weight slightly back.

Circles, circles and more circles. 15 to twenty feet or so....not real tight circles...then figure 8's......never let the horse guess what you're going to ask him to do next....that's the key to keeping his attention and thus the power steering that goes with it.

When you're on the trail and neck reining and this starts then go back to both hands on the reins.

Hope this helps you some....

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Last edited by gunslinger; 10-23-2012 at 03:52 PM.
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