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Old 11-26-2008, 12:04 PM  
Halter broke
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 76
Gaited Horse

I own a TW/SSH whom I purchased almost three years ago. She is a very sweet animal, but riding her can be....tricky.

Her previous owner did trail riding only and not to be nasty did not have the knowledge of what a walking horse gait is and what it is not. He just kinda hung on for the ride.

I'm looking for some help on the issues that we have been having. This is my first gaited horse and I'm kinda at a loss.

1) She paces - I actually had someone come up to me and ask me what is wrong with my horse and why does she do that -what I mean is very rarely can we get her into that nice walking gait. It is by no means easy to ride (is funny to watch someone ride it). I need some help/cues on how to get her into her gait. What seems to work is to sit really deep in the saddle but keeping her in the gait is the 2nd issue.

2) Bending - not sure if this is a gaited horse thing, but she does not bend in the ring...at all. I've been working on pushing her into the corners but I'd appreciate some other advise if anyone has some.

3) Canter - when we are not in the ring she will pick up a wonderful canter. When we are in the ring we will canter - pace - canter - pace. I think this has to do with #2 as the paceing startes when we hit the corners.

As always, thanks in advance!!!
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Old 11-26-2008, 12:57 PM  
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I'd say the previous owner just let her get away w/ the pace way to much and it is now a habit.

Does she lounge or do you have a round pen? If so, you could try starting there. Walk her, ask her to walk faster, but not let her pace. At this point you want the brisk walk, even if it is not a full out running walk but not a pace or trot. If she starts pacing or trotting, calmly bring her walk slower and ask her for the gait again. The important thing is to stop her each time she starts pacing. This may help her to get back to the running walk instead of pacing. Same goes when you are riding her- as soon as she starts pacing, bring her back to a walk and ask again till she understands what you are asking for and be consistent w/ it.
As to the bending- my older mare did the same thing. I did find taking her for chiro work helped tons- she had ribs out and something in the pole area..once that was adjusted she did worlds better. But also, there are mild stretches and arena exercises you can do to help w/ her flexibility...just lots of repetition of those helps w/ any horse's bending.
As for the canter- I do lots of transitions- canter for a few strides, then back to a walk, canter then back to a walk..circles, figure eights are great. Your horse sounds alot like my older mare- but w/ lots of time and practice, she goes along very nicely now and the above is what I did to improve her. It took me about 2 years! (But, she was quite older -27 this year- and had not been ridden for 12 years prior to me having purchased her so we had other stuff goin on to.) Good Luck.
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Old 11-26-2008, 01:06 PM  
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Last edited by oveywon : 01-11-2009 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 11-26-2008, 01:11 PM  
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I don't ride gaited horses all the time but my stepdad is really into them and has been for about 40 years. I know he does something different in shoeing if he has a pacy horse. From what I understand they usually fall to one side of the spectrum they are either pacy or trotty. My mom has always done hunters and dressage and does dressage on her walking horse. He's very flexible and bends well but most gaited horses don't hold their gait well in a circle or tight areas. I think some lines have a better canter than others and I've known of some that don't canter or were never taught to. I wouldn't try to canter her in the ring much unless it's a very large one. My only advice is keep her in her gait as much as possible, try to do something else when she starts pacing. she has to develop the muscles to stay in her gait. Sending her to a walking horse trainer could help get her better set in her gait and might make it easier for you too.
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Old 11-26-2008, 02:26 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oveywon View Post
I think Brenda Imus just wrote a new article on the subject....

check http://www.gaitsofgold.net/

I haven't read it myself yet, but I think she does a good job of breaking down the training/retraining of gaited horses.

On this same website there is a forum that you could join and get more experienced answers...

Also there is a book Easy Gaited Horses by Lee Zeigler - will talk about all different issues about gaited horses including exercises that will help strength the back to help with pacing...my MFT paces. Though I haven't seen him do it in awhile though...
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Old 11-26-2008, 05:12 PM  
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gaited horse

Hi, I'M new here but to fix a gaited horse that is pacey just put shoes on the front that weigh more and no shoes on the back. If you have to have shoes on the back use shoes that are lighter. work him/her uphill and get them using there back end.
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Old 11-27-2008, 07:49 PM  
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I am not very knowledgable about gaited horses but I have one...when I got him I went to gaitedhorses.net. They also have a forum. I think Lee Zeigler helps run that board. It is free up to like 75 posts, so just make your posts longer!

One thing they say on there is that if you have a pacey horse you can work them up a slight incline and it helps. (correct me if I am wrong...maybe that is for a trotty horse!) Also if they start pacing bring them all the way back to a stop or walk and try again. dont try to correct the pace from a pace.
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Old 11-28-2008, 12:36 PM  
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Work a pacey horse uphill, a trotty horse downhill is what I have always heard. A pacey horse needs to work more off the hind end. Pacey horses benefit from working over ground poles too. as well as working in deep sand.

It's much easier for a gaited horse to canter than it is to gait, so I might hold off on the cantering until the gait is set.

An ill fitting saddle can result in a pacey horse too. Anything that causes them to hollow their backs (saddle, head too high, etc.) can get them pacing.
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Old 11-28-2008, 01:52 PM  
Halter broke
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Pennsylvania
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Thanks everyone for your replys and suggestions.

I do not feel that it is a saddle issue, more just a habit issue. When she is turned out in the morning or after a ride she will pace as fast as she can accross the field. Its pretty ridiculous and funny to see...
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