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MustangGirl 08-21-2013 09:50 PM

Odd training kink... Straight line.
I'm currently working with a clients horse, a grey unregistered mare whose age is unknown, but she is under 5 I believe. He was given the horse by a friend and I'm not sure of her background, but she seemingly had no ground work and very little work under saddle.

I'm on the 4th ride with her now and we've moved into some rides in an arena, but I've noticed she does not like to walk in a straight line. She seems to want to veer to either the right or left and not walk in a straight line down the middle of the arena. She's OK on the straight edges but I do have to correct her occasionally. On a typical slow walk down the middle of the arena I have to correct her direction about 4-5 times.

Not sure if it could be a pain issue, but she doesn't do the same at a trot or canter, on lead line or out in the field.

She is current on all vet work. Saddle fit seems to be OK.

She isn't really weaving at all, if I let her she would veer off a ways and then kinda straighten back up, but I want a straight line out of her as she is in training for lower level play days and stock events.

Right now, I'm just walking her down straight fence lines and just correcting her everytime she veers. If she peels off really blatantly, I will make her trot a circle. I've only worked two days on this so it's soon, but any insight/opinions would be appreciated.
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toto 08-21-2013 10:00 PM

Just keep her in a straight line and dont let her veer off- correct it before she veers-- i think you quit riding her and let her do her own thing when she needs you to keep on her till she learns you want her to go straight.

BreakableRider 08-21-2013 10:12 PM

I do just the opposite. I put my horses on a big loose rein and let them make their mistakes. If the horse veers to the left I over correct and steer to the right. If they go right I over correct to the left.

I practice this at a walk, trot and lope. They learn pretty quick to be responsible for their own feet and stay in the direction you ask until you ask for something else.

When that is good I do the same thing along a fence, when they veer off I over correct and put them a little bit closer, again they learn to be responsible for their own feet.

IMO, you can't teach anything, horse, dog, person etc to do things if you don't let them make their own mistakes. You'll be able to relax much more as a rider instead of needing to micromanage things.

Skyseternalangel 08-21-2013 10:29 PM

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A horse cannot go straight without impulsion. They need that forward active energy.. not speed... energy!

Just the best thing to do is focus on a point on the other end and ride to it. Correct if they start veering all over like a drunk person but concentrate on making sure you aren't favoring one side or the other (seat bones, leaning, stretching one leg down more, etc.) and forward forward forward!

Cherie 08-22-2013 07:36 AM

How many green horses have you ridden? None of them can maintain a straight line without help. They all weave like drunks for a while -- a lot longer if theyhave been started in a round pen.

My advice:
Get her out of an arena and away from a fence-line.
Stay out of a round pen. Horses are a lot worse about this if they have been ridden in a round pen very much.
Ride out in a pasture and ride like you have a purpose and a destination.
Look ahead of you instead of down.
OVER-CORRECT with both leg pressure and a rein when she veers off and then quickly get out of her mouth.
Make real sure she does not rely on a rein to stay straight. If they don't have a fence to 'lean on', a lot of them try to lean on a rein.

Elana 08-22-2013 09:03 AM

Agree with both Cherie and Skyseternalangel.

First your horse needs to be FORWARD (with energy from behind) and needs to be straight off the fence and out of an arena. The less impulsion, the more veering will occur. You describe a "slow walk." No slow walking.. forward is what you want!

Horses can walk with impulsion. It is not usually attained on the 4th ride on a green horse.

MustangGirl 08-22-2013 10:50 AM

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MustangGirl 08-22-2013 10:57 AM

I've ridden quite a few green horses but usually I start those horses from the ground myself, but I just recently started working with this mare who had already had a tiny bit of work done. I worked with her from scratch and usually, most horses I've ridden will walk like a drunkard but get out of it after a few sessions on a lose rein like someone mentioned but she really hasn't. Some horses don't respond to the same training techniques so I was hoping to hear how some of you got your horses out of "weaving." Some of my green horses have actually never been weavers at all, but others have been. This mare is definitely the worst case I've seen!

I've ridden her outside the arena. Never in the roundpen, I like to use it for groundriving basics and groundwork only. Outside of the arena she still weaves just a but not as bad as in the arena. Usually I would avoid riding in an arena so many times but this horse did not have anything the resembled a gas pedal, and an arena really comes in handy for teaching that.

I know she will get better with more rides but just wanted some new, fresh ideas going forward with her training! Thanks all !
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Muppetgirl 08-22-2013 11:10 AM

Have you got pictures of your mustang yet? We'd love to see him:wink:

smrobs 08-22-2013 12:28 PM

The weebly-wobbly drunken weaving is common to green horses. Just do like Cherie, Sky, and Breakablerider said. Don't give her anything to rely on, make sure she's moving out, and overcorrect when she screws up.

And cover a few thousand miles.

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