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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm working with a gelding, he got the first "official" person on his back 2-3 months ago so he's still pretty green. We've got the basics down, "whoa" "go" "turn" and sidepass, but when it comes down to getting from point "A" to point "B"(without a fence on one side) in a generally straight line, he keeps straying off to one or the other side. I've made sure I'm not leaning one way or the other etc, but I still can't seem to figure out how to get him to go in a straight line! Any suggestions?

Oh, and just because a thread needs a picture... here's the horse in question :wink:
 

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One of the hardest things to do - keep a horse straight underneath you! What I do is nearly always ride OFF the rail, it can become a crutch for some riders and horses. If my horse horse is 'wobbling' on a straight line, and they wobbling usually gets worse the faster you go, I widen my hands and drive the horse forward with wide hands and keep him between my reins - it tends to work well for my horse, every horse is different.
 

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Give it a few months yet.
It is very difficult for a green horse to go straight and depending on the frequency and quality of rides can take 6 months to a few years to develop the strength and coordination required to go straight.
 

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He is just a baby and if you overthink this situation you could make him even more confused
As long as he's walking quietly in the general direction you are asking then sit quietly and be sure you're giving the same even pressure from both legs
Horses at this stage tend to respond better to a more open handed rein style - just don't get tempted to yank or pull in any direction - just gentle encouragement
 

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Unless there is a distraction, it is not normal for them to not go in a straight line. Some thing is wrong.
1. Check the saddle and pad fit.
2. Check to see if the horse is symmetrical, ie, especially just behind the withers and both side of the back.
3. Check him from the rear, is one hock or the other dissimilar, ditto, rear hips.
4. Look for a vertabrae that's displaced.
5. Look for one of the ribs just behind the front shoulders being unsymmetrical from side to side.
6. Check his teeth to make sure they are not causing an irritation on one side.
7. Have chiropractor, a pro, check him
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Unless there is a distraction, it is not normal for them to not go in a straight line. Some thing is wrong.
1. Check the saddle and pad fit.
2. Check to see if the horse is symmetrical, ie, especially just behind the withers and both side of the back.
3. Check him from the rear, is one hock or the other dissimilar, ditto, rear hips.
4. Look for a vertabrae that's displaced.
5. Look for one of the ribs just behind the front shoulders being unsymmetrical from side to side.
6. Check his teeth to make sure they are not causing an irritation on one side.
7. Have chiropractor, a pro, check him
I've ridden him in a saddle and bareback and he does the same thing. I also ride him in a halter so his teeth shouldn't be a problem... Hmm, I don't think it's physical since he will go straight when next to a fence.
 

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It is NOT normal for a green horse to wobble all over:? Well I guess all those green horses I rode were sick or my saddle didn't fit....:shock:
 
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How old is the horse? And, for how long do you ride?

I ask because young-ish horses can sometimes be like little kids. They wander about, their attention being caught by... only they know. I used to love the comic "The Family Circle" when they had a cartoon about the mom or dad asking one of the kids to get something or deliver a message and the drawing would show the 8 times longer route that the kid would take. Young/green horses can be like that.

And, if you are not riding the horse until it is tired, you a) aren't developing a real good work ethic in it, and b) it isn't learning to conserve energy for what the day might bring. Some horse owners may disagree (we do that!), but I really see a benefit in both of those traits. I'm not recommending riding a young horse until it stops from exhaustion, just long enough until it isn't thinking of anything else but one foot in front of the other. They relax, don't make up directions to take on their own, etc.
 

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Keep looking, something is causing it. Not natural, not to.
You must be joking. Most of my horses go like weeble wobbles at times. It took me years to learn to ride them between your legs, do NOT overcorrect.....which is easy to do, and LOOK STRAIGHT AHEAD. Focus on a spot you want to go to and concentrate on that. That helped me immensely. Of course I have had a bad habit of looking down.....and we all know what that does.:wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
How old is the horse? And, for how long do you ride?

I ask because young-ish horses can sometimes be like little kids. They wander about, their attention being caught by... only they know. I used to love the comic "The Family Circle" when they had a cartoon about the mom or dad asking one of the kids to get something or deliver a message and the drawing would show the 8 times longer route that the kid would take. Young/green horses can be like that.

And, if you are not riding the horse until it is tired, you a) aren't developing a real good work ethic in it, and b) it isn't learning to conserve energy for what the day might bring. Some horse owners may disagree (we do that!), but I really see a benefit in both of those traits. I'm not recommending riding a young horse until it stops from exhaustion, just long enough until it isn't thinking of anything else but one foot in front of the other. They relax, don't make up directions to take on their own, etc.
The horse is 13, so he's not young. I don't specifically know how long, but it's around 40 minutes, depending on the day and how hot it is.

Hmmm, I'll have to think on that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You must be joking. Most of my horses go like weeble wobbles at times. It took me years to learn to ride them between your legs, do NOT overcorrect.....which is easy to do, and LOOK STRAIGHT AHEAD. Focus on a spot you want to go to and concentrate on that. That helped me immensely. Of course I have had a bad habit of looking down.....and we all know what that does.:wink:
Ok, yeah, I might be making too big a deal about it with him, seems the most likely thing at this point. The lady who I used to "work for" was always telling me, and anyone else she would help, to "Look where you want to go!!!". Thanks for your comments, it's good to get reminded of some simple things :D

bbsmfg3, he's not acting as if it was physical, its more like "Oh, hmm, I think I'd rather set my foot over there..." type thing.
 

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Ok, yeah, I might be making too big a deal about it with him, seems the most likely thing at this point. The lady who I used to "work for" was always telling me, and anyone else she would help, to "Look where you want to go!!!". Thanks for your comments, it's good to get reminded of some simple things :D

bbsmfg3, he's not acting as if it was physical, its more like "Oh, hmm, I think I'd rather set my foot over there..." type thing.
It really DOES work. lol. And there definitely IS huge value if you have a big field-mow a straight line and use that as a guide. We have what we call the "polo field" at our barn. About 2 acre rectangle, just mowed around the edge-about 6 ft wide. Fabulous place to go run straight lines, do roll backs etc. they tend to have much more "Go" out there and it is FUN! AND, you are getting something accomplished!
 

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you can help him by being very focused yourself. look down the arena (or trail) and focus on a point that you WANT to get to. get some life up in your body, get excited and be very much wanting to go THERE! as directly as possible. Keep looking there with your eyes, and your spirit, and encourage him to feel that focus off of you. lift up the rein, open up and let him go forward, toward that goal, with a purpose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Noooo! Stop tempting me with a big field, franknbeans... I live in the "city", fields, much less big ones, are hard to come by :p
 

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Give him time :) it takes a long time to be able to go in a perfect straight line! IMO it's one of the simplest but most difficult things about basic riding
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There is something to be said for getting a horse out of the arena, pitching him his slack and moving out. He will learn to line out.
^^This. A horse who has only been schooled on circles or in an arena or on contact will find it nearly impossible to just move out in a straight line with no direction from the human.

Take him out of the arena/schooling area, give him his head, and let him line out. If he stays basically on course, leave him alone. Don't try to make his line of travel perfectly straight. He'll weave around like an old drunk man for a while but he'll slowly start to straighten out more and more until he's moving comfortably and confidently in a straight line.

The drunken weave is a very common green horse thing, regardless of how old they are.
 

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My horse used to do this when I first started riding. Would no go in a straight line. Would wander wherever she pleased. She wasn't a young horse or anything, she just had never really been ridden without a horse's butt in front of her telling her where to go (she was a commercial trail horse).
 
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