Getting a horse to go in a straight line undersaddle - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 07-31-2013, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Getting a horse to go in a straight line undersaddle

So I'm working with a gelding, he got the first "official" person on his back 2-3 months ago so he's still pretty green. We've got the basics down, "whoa" "go" "turn" and sidepass, but when it comes down to getting from point "A" to point "B"(without a fence on one side) in a generally straight line, he keeps straying off to one or the other side. I've made sure I'm not leaning one way or the other etc, but I still can't seem to figure out how to get him to go in a straight line! Any suggestions?

Oh, and just because a thread needs a picture... here's the horse in question
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post #2 of 21 Old 07-31-2013, 07:04 PM
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One of the hardest things to do - keep a horse straight underneath you! What I do is nearly always ride OFF the rail, it can become a crutch for some riders and horses. If my horse horse is 'wobbling' on a straight line, and they wobbling usually gets worse the faster you go, I widen my hands and drive the horse forward with wide hands and keep him between my reins - it tends to work well for my horse, every horse is different.
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post #3 of 21 Old 07-31-2013, 07:12 PM
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Give it a few months yet.
It is very difficult for a green horse to go straight and depending on the frequency and quality of rides can take 6 months to a few years to develop the strength and coordination required to go straight.

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post #4 of 21 Old 07-31-2013, 07:21 PM
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He is just a baby and if you overthink this situation you could make him even more confused
As long as he's walking quietly in the general direction you are asking then sit quietly and be sure you're giving the same even pressure from both legs
Horses at this stage tend to respond better to a more open handed rein style - just don't get tempted to yank or pull in any direction - just gentle encouragement
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post #5 of 21 Old 07-31-2013, 08:09 PM
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Unless there is a distraction, it is not normal for them to not go in a straight line. Some thing is wrong.
1. Check the saddle and pad fit.
2. Check to see if the horse is symmetrical, ie, especially just behind the withers and both side of the back.
3. Check him from the rear, is one hock or the other dissimilar, ditto, rear hips.
4. Look for a vertabrae that's displaced.
5. Look for one of the ribs just behind the front shoulders being unsymmetrical from side to side.
6. Check his teeth to make sure they are not causing an irritation on one side.
7. Have chiropractor, a pro, check him

Bob
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post #6 of 21 Old 07-31-2013, 08:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbsmfg3 View Post
Unless there is a distraction, it is not normal for them to not go in a straight line. Some thing is wrong.
1. Check the saddle and pad fit.
2. Check to see if the horse is symmetrical, ie, especially just behind the withers and both side of the back.
3. Check him from the rear, is one hock or the other dissimilar, ditto, rear hips.
4. Look for a vertabrae that's displaced.
5. Look for one of the ribs just behind the front shoulders being unsymmetrical from side to side.
6. Check his teeth to make sure they are not causing an irritation on one side.
7. Have chiropractor, a pro, check him
I've ridden him in a saddle and bareback and he does the same thing. I also ride him in a halter so his teeth shouldn't be a problem... Hmm, I don't think it's physical since he will go straight when next to a fence.

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post #7 of 21 Old 07-31-2013, 09:01 PM
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Keep looking, something is causing it. Not natural, not to.

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post #8 of 21 Old 07-31-2013, 09:09 PM
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It is NOT normal for a green horse to wobble all over Well I guess all those green horses I rode were sick or my saddle didn't fit....
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post #9 of 21 Old 07-31-2013, 09:09 PM
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How old is the horse? And, for how long do you ride?

I ask because young-ish horses can sometimes be like little kids. They wander about, their attention being caught by... only they know. I used to love the comic "The Family Circle" when they had a cartoon about the mom or dad asking one of the kids to get something or deliver a message and the drawing would show the 8 times longer route that the kid would take. Young/green horses can be like that.

And, if you are not riding the horse until it is tired, you a) aren't developing a real good work ethic in it, and b) it isn't learning to conserve energy for what the day might bring. Some horse owners may disagree (we do that!), but I really see a benefit in both of those traits. I'm not recommending riding a young horse until it stops from exhaustion, just long enough until it isn't thinking of anything else but one foot in front of the other. They relax, don't make up directions to take on their own, etc.
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post #10 of 21 Old 07-31-2013, 09:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbsmfg3 View Post
Keep looking, something is causing it. Not natural, not to.
You must be joking. Most of my horses go like weeble wobbles at times. It took me years to learn to ride them between your legs, do NOT overcorrect.....which is easy to do, and LOOK STRAIGHT AHEAD. Focus on a spot you want to go to and concentrate on that. That helped me immensely. Of course I have had a bad habit of looking down.....and we all know what that does.
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