zig zag walking
What am I doing wrong that makes my horse zig zag while we are walking. It is usually when we first get started out on our ride. He sorta goes a little to the left and a little to the right and back and forth. I feel like I spend the first 10 minutes of our ride straightening him out. Keep in mind when you answer that I am a beginner so please explain in basic terms that I might understand.
How well trained is the horse? Is the horse barn or buddy sour, meaning that he doesn't like leaving? Is he used to the area or are his surroundings new, as in you've moved him? How long have you had him and have been riding him?
It is not unusual for horses that are green(training wise), not familiar with the surroundings, or don't like leaving their buddy or barn, to weave. If you are a new owner or new rider to him, he very well might have trust issues. Weaving is basically resisting or trying to avoid going forward. I would bet he tries to rush back also. That is normal too.
You won't change him over night but he should get better in time. Be firm that he follows what you ask of him. Correct him when he doesn't.
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A number of possibilities come to mind. Does it happen with others too? How about when he's not being ridden?
- The horse could have a physical issue that is causing him to walk like that. The horse should be looked over for pain and perhaps evaluated by a vet for a neurological issue.
- The horse could be unbalanced and trying to adjust to you.
- As a beginner rider, you may not be strong enough in your aids (reins, legs, seat) to keep the horse straight, so his attention could be wandering around and then his body is following. You have to ride straight to help the horse be straight.
Try focusing on something about a hundred yards away. When you do this your body tells the horse where you are headed.
Are you using your legs to keep him straight? That's the only one to do it....it's not about using your hand to keep him straight, but ALL about using your legs.
My horse used to do that. Most of the time it's just them not actually wanting to leave the barn and hoping that maybe they'll get away with it and get to turn around and go home. For me and my gelding, whenever he started that I'd kick him up to a trot and make him move forward so he had more to think about and was too busy to keep doing such silliness. I call it his 'drunk walk.' Be strict and cut him off with leg and rein if necessary when he tries it and make him move forward with purpose. It is a pretty common horse behavior to have to deal with.
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