Train Your Horse to Travel Straight

Training your horse to walk, trot or lope in a straight line is easy with this step-by-step article by John Lyons Certified Trainer Keith Hosman.

By Keith Hosman
Training your horse to walk, trot or lope in a straight line is a crazy idea for your horse - but it's easy to train with this step-by-step article.

Train Your Horse to Travel Straight

A proviso: It must be stipulated that your success with the following has everything to do with whether you and your horse are ready for the material. This is rather simple green horse stuff, sure - but like everything learned, there are prerequisites: You need a horse that will move his hips when you ask and a horse that's soft from chin to withers. More importantly, you need to have a fundamental understanding of how to get these things if your horse is a bit rusty or "not in the mood." If you need a brush up course on these things, refer to Horsemanship101.com/Articles. For the softening, look specifically for two articles called "Steer the Tail" and "Three-Step Stop." Also look for articles addressing the use of your reins (eg: "Reins, 5 Tips to Improve Your Use" and "How to Pick Up the Reins Like a Pro"). Regarding the hips, look for "Hip Shoulder Shoulder."

In the world of horse training, there are a few tricks we humans can quickly and easily teach our horses: How to bang on the stall door at feeding time; how to run away at the sight of an advancing halter; how to dance when they see a saddle, and so on. But then, there's the simple stuff like, y'know, just walking in a darned straight line that they never seem to "get." I mean, horse, are you trying to make me nuts? How simple can this be? And why can't you carry the same speed for even ten minutes? You go two miles per hour walking away from the barn, point two mph up the hill, nine down the hill and ninety-seven pointed toward the barn. And is it really so hard to figure out that when I pick up the left rein it means go left?

How many of us have taken this a step further and trained our equine friends to think "out of the box"? Horses are hip to Einstein's description of acting crazy: Repeating the same thing that doesn't work, hoping for a different outcome. Most humans ignore this principle and blindly repeat their horse-training ways day after day, approaching...

 
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