What do you do with a drunken sailor? - Page 2
 
 

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What do you do with a drunken sailor?

This is a discussion on What do you do with a drunken sailor? within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Drunken sailor horse

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    11-15-2011, 10:50 AM
  #11
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by iridehorses    
Bonnie is 14 years old and I've owned her for just about 6 months. She was the dictionary definition of a drunken sailor and it drove me crazy. It's taken a lot of work and constant attention to keep her on the path. She's gotten much better - it just took consistency.

What still gets me concerned is when we are on a narrow path with a steep drop off on one side; she will walk very close to the wrong side and I've got to keep my aids on her.
This might seem a bit odd at first.

Lean your body slightly (just enough to shift your center of gravity) to the outside, you know that side where the long fall exists. Our natural reaction is to lean away from danger but this causes your horse problems. He now has to adjust his weight the other direction to counter balance you, aka closer to the edge. So you go against your natural instincts and lean into the danger so your horse has to go away from the danger to counter balance you.

OR, just force yourself to stay centered in the saddle and not lean away from danger.
     
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    11-15-2011, 11:01 AM
  #12
Showing
Thanks for the tip, Darrin. When I'm on a trail like that I ride center, keep my inside leg on her (leg towards the drop off) and rein her as in a side pass. It can get pretty unnerving at times but she is pretty sure footed despite riding too close to the edge for my comfort.

Sunday we were riding a ledge between a drop off of ~30' to a lake on one side and a steeper drop off to a rock filled catch basin on the other. There were hikers coming from the other side and it did get a little hairy for a bit but she is a steady trail horse, thank goodness.
     
    11-15-2011, 08:45 PM
  #13
Yearling
It's fun causing the flatlanders to cry for dramaine when they ride with us.

The horses don't want to roll down the hill any more than you do, So they are pretty sure footed even though most folks fret about it.

One thing you can do is push your weight down on the inside stirup every time the horse lifts that leg. This will force the horse to take a shorter stride with that step. Short steps on one side and long steps on the outside and pretty soon the horse is working his way into the center of the trail.



It's just natural for the horses to want to walk the edge to get away from anything in the bushes on the uphill side






Now everybody go take your dramamine
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    11-17-2011, 10:45 AM
  #14
Weanling
Quote:
I find that when my horse turns into a 'drunken sailor' it's because I'm not looking where I want him to go. I'm looking sideways at my friend, body follows. I'm looking down at his feet, or just down in front of his nose..etc etc. When I raise my eyes an look down the trail straight out into the distance, he tends to walk straighter.
I think this is a really good point (and thanks also to those who agreed or added to it). It makes perfect sense because she is very sensitive to leg movements and body weight shifts. It really does always end up being our fault doesn't it!

So then here is my follow up question. How do I fix this if the reason I go on a trail ride to look around and to chat with the person riding next to my horse? If I sit straight, look ahead (with my hands and feet inside the vehicle) then I'm missing the cool looking oak tree or the hawk flying over head, aren't I?

Or am I supposed to be able to keep my body "looking" forward while I actually look elsewhere? Or am I just as distractable as my horse? Or do I just learn to live with it?
     
    11-18-2011, 10:12 AM
  #15
Trained
I think it's likely that your horse has sore feet. Try what has been suggested and if that doesn't work then try a set of shoes. If you trail ride very often then it's quite likely that your horse is wearing his feet off faster than they are growing and leaving him tender. There is no trimming technique that will correct this. You will either have to use boots or horseshoes. Judging by the number of hoof boots I've found on trails they don't stay on real well.
Celeste likes this.
     
    11-19-2011, 11:59 AM
  #16
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinshorses    
I think it's likely that your horse has sore feet. Try what has been suggested and if that doesn't work then try a set of shoes. If you trail ride very often then it's quite likely that your horse is wearing his feet off faster than they are growing and leaving him tender. There is no trimming technique that will correct this. You will either have to use boots or horseshoes. Judging by the number of hoof boots I've found on trails they don't stay on real well.
Shoes arent always the solution. There are things that will toughen up a horses feet if they are just being sensitive. I found that venice turpentine works well. And if your doing more riding than thier feet can handle, there are also many boots that do actually stay on well. All my horses are barefoot and when we trail ride I use Easyboot Epic. Best boot I have found, and being an endurance rider I have really put them to the test. With out the boots my horses will tend to wander to the edge of the road to avoid rocks.

But I also have a 5 year old I just started trail riding alone with and she does the drunken sailor walk bad. With her though its not so much how my body is positioned as it is lack of confidence so when she looks to the left at the garbage can we wander over that way, then when we look back to the right at a mailbox we wander back the other way. In her case the cure is just more outings
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    11-19-2011, 04:26 PM
  #17
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Endurance Chica    
Shoes arent always the solution. There are things that will toughen up a horses feet if they are just being sensitive. I found that venice turpentine works well. And if your doing more riding than thier feet can handle, there are also many boots that do actually stay on well. All my horses are barefoot and when we trail ride I use Easyboot Epic. Best boot I have found, and being an endurance rider I have really put them to the test. With out the boots my horses will tend to wander to the edge of the road to avoid rocks.
I thought I was being quite open minded to suggest boots in the first place. Properly applied shoes do no harm to a horses hooves.
     
    11-19-2011, 05:08 PM
  #18
Trained
The only reason to avoid shoes in a normal horse is to save money. The horse is not injured by properly applied shoes that are reset or changed on a regular basis.
     
    11-19-2011, 11:03 PM
  #19
Trained
And just for the record Celeste, what is your education and profession?
     
    11-20-2011, 04:53 AM
  #20
Trained
No one has mentioned yet - push her forward! Generally the faster a horse travels, the straighter they will travel. Applies more at a gallop but the same principal applies at the walk. Most of mine will wander when they are being lazy, but at a good march we travel pretty true.
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iridehorses likes this.
     

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