Mare doesn't turn correctly when I ask, or move in a straight line.
I have a spotted saddle horse mare (she's about 7, but they man I bought her from 3 years ago told me she was 10, but her teeth say otherwise). Anyway, she does great on the trail. She makes sure she turns just fine going around trees and such, but when I am in the open and I just simply want to ask her to do something such as a figure-eight, or go around a barrel, she turns her head, runs sideways with her head thrown up in the air, and just will not calm down. I don't understand. Maybe I am doing something wrong with... how/when/where I am applying leg pressure? Ha, I am not sure anymore. She really makes me question myself about everything, lol.
She also has this thing about never going in a straight line for very long. She swerves everywhere no matter how straight I try to keep her.
I know that I should probably work on the straight-line thing first.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
I know you said you looked at her teeth but did you get them floated? Also what bit are you using. A picture of her head stall and saddle would be great.
To answer your question-- you give pressure to the side you want their body to move away from.. if she is side stepping out to the left you put your left leg on her.. if she doesnt move over wiggle your heal around to get her attention..
-my guess is- too much bit or youre being too heavy handed with her. Try to relax more stay calm and keep your hands low. You shouldnt have to use too much pressure on the reins to get her to turn.. im also wondering if youre trying to neck rein a horse who only plow reins? (Direct reins)
Why cant you keep her straight? Is she not paying attention to you or.. ?
I have a picture of her and you can see her gear on my "horses" tab. She'll turn on the slightest bit of pressure, it probably is because she isn't paying attention. I was just wondering what y'all thought about it. I do relax, though, lol. And I direct rein. And she isn't really side-stepping, she just takes off and turns about 40 feet away from where I was trying to originally get her to turn.
She sure is pretty!
My guess is that she doesn't pay attention because she doesn't really UNDERSTAND.
On the trail, if you turn her, it probably makes sense: maybe there's another trail to follow, or you're going around something. So she takes your "hint" and goes.
But now you want her to turn for "no reason." So first make sure she knows that she will yield to pressure and that the pull on the bit means "turn." Do it on the ground first.
Then when you're riding, go slowly, and make sure she understands. Use your body to help, turn in the direction you want, look where you want to go, and urge her on as you usually do. Just keep the pressure on until she turns, then ease up, give it a rest, so she knows she did the right thing, then do it again. She has to feel as if it's something important, so try to stay concentrated.
I've ridden trail horses like that, and sometimes it takes some time for them to realize that "going nowhere" is important, but most of the time they pick it up pretty easily.
By the way, going on a straight line is harder I think than going in big circles, so stay on big curves for awhile.
To address posts like these, it's really best to have a video. Without being able to SEE what's happening, you get a whole lot of speculation. Then arguments spark up because everyone has a different idea of what they 'think' is happening.
I'll throw in some ideas anyway I suppose.
The horse is probably pretty green and not bridle-wise. Also likely doesn't understand the leg pressure you're using. And that's about it. No need to look too far into it
Where are you looking. If you watch the ground there's an old saying that you are picking out the spot to come off when you get dumped. When you look down it changes your body position. Your horse sees the ground ahead, you don't have to. Pick out something way down the trail and don't allow your chin to drop. Now your body is telling your horse this is where you are going. It sure helps to take the wobble out of the ride.
^^TOTALLY, Saddlebag. Remember that your head is a good portion of your body weight. ALWAYS make sure you are looking where you want to go-even before you "ask" her. If you have another area to ride in, I personally would spend time there on steering. That means use your eyes first, with some leg, then use your hands, gently ask, then if she doesn't listen get stronger until she does, but as soon as she makes an effort, let off. Teach her to yield to leg pressure.
I looked at the picture, which is great, but that does not tell any of us what is in her mouth, which is important. At least you don't have a shank on her.
As far as straight-I used to think I was riding a drunken sailor with my guy. Get your steering down first, then practice straight. I think going straight is more difficult the slower you are going, sort of like riding a bike. But, again, it is critical that you look ahead-focus on ONE thing,straight ahead (in the distance and off the ground!)and ride to it. Keep her between your legs, but try-and this is the hard part-not to overcorrect. Again-just like riding a bike. I have found that if I focus on straight and learn to trust my horse, he is pretty straight if left alone. I only have issues if I keep messing with him.
Are you saying that when you use a direct rein (that means backwards action or a closed hand) on the right that she leg yields to the outside? And that she is hollowing because of the (continous) action? Have you tried pulsing the aids? Or an opening rein? Sounds like she is uneducated as to rein effects, or perhaps has been taught to neck rein? Are you riding with split reins or ?? What are you doing with your body, weight, leg placement?
If the horse is swerving as she goes straight, what are you doing? Even closing the fingers, trying to correct the line, will make it worse. Sit up, widen the hands (not lower) and just go straight ahead.
Just saying: probably not the best advice. But my gelding will randomly do that when we are out. A lot of times its just cause he's not paying attention and its probably because im not either. Like looking at things off to the sides of me or talk to friends. Other times he just does it to be full of tude and barn sour.
Could very well be a respect thing too.
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