My new horse runs in a Zigzag manner - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 11-16-2015, 12:33 AM Thread Starter
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My new horse runs in a Zigzag manner

I got a new horse around a month ago. He does not have any bad habits. When he is walking, he does fine. But when I ask him to trot or canter, he does it in a zigzag way. He didn't do that with his old owner. I know this sounds silly. But I really need some help. Thanks.
Inexperienced Rider is offline  
post #2 of 11 Old 11-16-2015, 12:55 AM
Green Broke
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Are you riding in an arena? On the trails? Does he always do it, or only sometimes and in what situation? What do you do when he does it?

My guy will do that (I call it his 'drunk walk') when I'm asking him to go a direction he doesn't want to go, usually away from home/the trailer, if I don't correct him. He'll also occasionally do it during arena work when he's wound up and doesn't want to do what I am asking him to do. With my guy it's him being mildly disobedient. Depending on the situation, your horse could be the same. Or not, depending on the details. Sorry! ;)
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post #3 of 11 Old 11-16-2015, 06:51 AM
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Like Sharpie said, it could simply be a matter of your horse being disobedient, so you'd need to give more details for anyone to really give advice.

Are they big zig zags? My horse, whenever I give him his head, likes to cross back and forth across the trail. If I'm asking for a trot/canter and he doesn't want to do it, he'll do it sideways and zigzag around.

It could possibly be a balance issue too. My horse is a pacer and can get very off balance and uncoordinated in the canter, so he veers from side to side.
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post #4 of 11 Old 11-16-2015, 07:27 AM
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Could it also be your balance? Not sure how long you've been riding, but I know when I was learning it was quite difficult to start with to stay centered in the trot and canter. So if you are at all unbalanced maybe you are unintentionally giving leg or rein cues to cause the zigzagging?

Or maybe you dont keep as steady a contact as the previous rider so the horse takes advantage and wanders from side to side?
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aussiemum is offline  
post #5 of 11 Old 11-16-2015, 07:44 AM Thread Starter
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He does it , what appears to me is when he doesn't feel like working. He doesn't always do it. I get the feeling that he is trying to get out of work.
Please give me some tips about how to correct him. How to deal with a mildly disobedient horse?
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post #6 of 11 Old 11-16-2015, 07:58 AM
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It really sounds like you need someone to help you in person, to see exactly what the horse is doing, and how you are reacting.
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post #7 of 11 Old 11-16-2015, 08:26 AM
Green Broke
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If you are riding in an arena, set a goal, could be a post or the end of the arena and really focus on it yourself and aim right for it. If you are not focused and positive about where you want to go, it's hard for the horse to be.
I have found with some horses that I don't know well that this has worked for me. If I am aiming for a specific spot I have a much better chance of ending up there.
As suggested, try to ride in a balanced position as this helps a lot too.
A forward walk or trot also helps to avoid the wandering.
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post #8 of 11 Old 11-16-2015, 09:23 AM
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If you are not stable and shifting your weight that will cause a horse to follow your body. Most likely it's your riding. Are you taking lessons?
churumbeque is offline  
post #9 of 11 Old 11-16-2015, 02:30 PM
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One of the excercises I have been working on is riding straight lines. It's like if you don't keep your hands on the steering wheel making adjustments, your car won't go straight. Horses don't naturally walk in a straight line anyway. Legs and seat are used for cues.
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Whinnie is offline  
post #10 of 11 Old 11-16-2015, 04:12 PM
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Hm. Sort of sounds like my mare, when she has figured out that her rider is inexperienced. She will "bulge out" in an attempt to ignore leg cues. She only does this when the rider gives a leg cue, and always does it on the side where the leg cue is applied. She ends up becoming very crooked, almost like someone is over-bending her to one side causing her to walk forwards very crookedly.

Straightness is actually a very important part of learning to ride. I'd even go far as to say that straightness is one of the most fundamental basics, but is probably the most overlooked aspect, and is probably even the most difficult to master.

Developing straightness can fix so many problems riders have with their horses under saddle because the whole idea puts your horse "between your legs", right where they need to be to listen and perform. Because any time your horse is not soft to the bridle, seat, AND legs, is a time when your horse is not 100% listening. If your horse isn't straight, they are not truly "there" and ready to work.

But to develop straightness, you will need an instructor or experienced rider with a good eye who can tell/show you how. So many people online and through word-of-mouth had tried to explain the concepts to me for years, but I never quite got it until I had one lesson with an experienced instructor.

I do think your horse is avoiding work.
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