Squirrely on the straight n narrow
I have tried all my geldings show tack on him. Its gorgeous! He did very well doing the pattern today, minus a barrel though :( It went missing. lol
He is a little squirrely on the straight lines, but that went away after practicing it over and over.
Any suggestions for me tomorrow on helping with his squiggly lines?
I know once I got him good and warmed up and gave him alot of figure 8's, gate changes and diagonals he stopped doing it so much.
Thanks in advance.
Just do lots and lots of slow work until he gets it. Then build up faster and faster. Dont let him go crazy (; And when you come off the barrel, drive him STRAIGHT forward. Arms out, keep him under you (:
What are you doing to WARM UP your horse before you begin pattern work?
Some horses need a long warm-up before they can actually focus on what they are doing. My horse Red always gets a minimum of 1 to 2 miles of normal riding to get some of the silly out of him so that he can focus on the job at hand. And certainly warming up with various exercises (spirals, serpentines, perfect circles, etc) can get your horse in tune to your body and legs.
Also, make sure you aren't nagging on the horse too much when asking them to walk in a straight line. And what I mean by that, is don't try to correct every little thing or you may start to over-correct and cause them to be squirrley on the straight. Think of a car: You drive smoother and straighter if you typically leave the steering wheel alone and only correct with small, smooth movements when you need it. If you constantly moved the wheel to try to stay perfectly between the lines, you'd eventually start over-correcting your driving and wouuld start swerving. Does that make sense?
What we do is we have a a big gate and a runway (Like an alley) on our arena so we walk out, lope in straight, let the horse stop at the fence (Don't say whoa or pull back, just let them find it) then relax. Haunch turn, lope out again. Stop, trot halfway in, walk halfway. Maybe lope halfway then trot. Maybe lope, trot, then lope again. Just so long as it's straight. When you get in there, they relax. Pretty soon you can set them on any straight line calmly I've found. Also teaches them to CHILL when they lope in the alley.
When I am doing my straight lines in reining, it helped me a lot to quit correcting, trust my horse, keep my eyes straight ahead, focused on something in the distance and ride him between my legs. The more I try and correct the worse it was. Sometimes we looked like drunken sailors.
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