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shamone6 05-18-2013 02:35 PM

Teaching a green horse to go straight
Hi guys,

New here so hope ye can help.
Iv got a new horse, shes a tb who didng get broken till she was 6 went into training for racing as 7, never raced and now t 8 im trying to convert her to eventing.

Things arent going too bad, she cat leaped over everything when I got her and had no jumping technique at all but I can say that certainly has changed.

However one problem I have yet to fix is teaching her to go straight, she is very crooked, probably from doing so little work in her life and when Im getting her straight at a jump its almost like sitting on a drunk horse shes so wobbly.

Needless to say this has become a very big problem for fencesthat are narrower than normal and she can end up running out.

So any tips please :D

smrobs 05-18-2013 03:37 PM

Now, keep in mind that this is coming from a cowgirl who's never rode an eventer in her life, but the way I get a green horse to straighten out and just move on without being all "drunkard" is to just take them out and cover country on them. Give them a loose rein, point them in a general direction, and ride them for hours. They'll weeble-wobble all over the place at first, but they eventually even out and start going the way they should.

JaphyJaphy 05-18-2013 03:56 PM

Just about every green horse I've ridden has had a difficult time going straight. It's almost like they need to get their "sea legs". They need to develop balance, coordination, and strength with the weight of a rider on their back, so with time she'll improve. As Smrobs said, just put miles on her. Best of luck!

Cherie 05-18-2013 09:40 PM

It would be my opinion that this horse is not 'broke enough' to be going over fences. This horse is not 'between the rider's reins' and is definitely not 'between the rider's legs'. This is part of teaching a horse to guide properly. For me, it is a prerequisite for jumping even small jumps at the trot much less going over bigger fences at the canter / gallop.

You must be able to effectively guide a horse through small and large circles. These circles should be round, not egg shaped or with square corners. Then, you practice cantering 'squares'. I teach squares, out in a large pasture, with the horse on the inside lead making tight, well-ridden rounded corners with the horse's head slightly to the inside on the corners and its head straight in front of it on the straight sides. Then I teach cantering squares on the outside lead with a small, round 3/4 circle to the outside at each corner. Again, I teach straightness on the long sides and a small, round circle at each corner.

When I teach a horse and a rider to lope round circles and straight sided squares, I use cones or markers so the rider can aim for the markers. I like teaching the rider to ride through 'gates' made of 2 cones that start out 8 feet apart and end up 2-3 feet apart. The rider should be able to guide the horse through these 'gates' with the horse's head as straight in front of it as possible, or with a slight bend to the inside, if the gates are located on a circle. This tests the rider more than the horse. If a rider is not able to successfully guide a horse through these narrow gates, the horse is not broke enough -- is not responsive enough to the rider's legs and rein aids to stay centered. When the horse can do this while being rated from a slow canter to a 2 point gallop and back to a slow collected canter, it is NOT going to run out on fences, miss turns or flags and will be well rated and under complete control.

Going over fences with a horse that is not broke enough is like running barrels or roping off of a horse that is not broke enough. It is a wreck looking for a place to happen. It is riding without the control and the foundation to keep things headed the right direction - literally. The rider does not have the tools to fix a small problems before it becomes a huge one.

mollymay 05-18-2013 10:16 PM

I started breaking my current horse almost exactly a year ago. He had this issue of going every direction, but forward. We broke him of that by ponying him to another mature horse. I was on my horse and my trainer on his. We walked that arena for maybe 20 minutes. Everytime he tried to go somewhere else that lead rope would pull him forward and I would encourage him with my legs and reins. It took only one time doing that to get it right. Occasionally he will get his "drunk legs" back, but rarely. Now I will point out his main issue was backing and going opposite directions, and I did this with someone who ponied hundreds of horses in his life and the other horse we used was bomb proof. I don't know if this helps but good luck!
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Dustbunny 05-18-2013 10:25 PM

Welcome to the board...and I appreciate this thread.
The information given will also help me with my 15 year old green trail horse.
Good luck to you with your new eventing horse.

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