Controlling Gaits - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 03-03-2013, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
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Controlling Gaits

I've always ridden western, and now that I'm getting into English, I have a few questions, namely about controlling speed of gaits ( I think this will be useful in Western too ) especially reining ( cause it's the Western equivalent of dressage)

Back to the question. Collecting your horse's gaits... Is that having shorter strides or slower leg motion? When I think of collected, I think of a Western Pleasure horse (though I'm sure that's very far off)

Is a working trot just a fast trot? Nothing special with the horse's legs, just faster motion?

Extended trot, I know it's about having your horse reach further with his legs, but how do I get him to do that. (Note: My horse is NOT dressage trained, but I would like to teach him how to do this and what the cues are)

Please also list other types of trots and canters and the cues for them and how to train your horse to do them. Thank you!

Also, I would like my horse to have more suspension, how do I achieve this?

Again, thanks so much, and have a wonderful day!
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post #2 of 4 Old 03-03-2013, 08:36 PM
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Collected trot is simply an increase in amplitude and a reduction of stride (and body) length. And slowing of the gait is incorrect.

I highly suggest you watch some good dressage on YouTube and read along the tests with the video. Ie here is an FEI Prix St Georges test:
and it being ridden:

That will help with "what is collection/extension".

Secondly, you're not going to have to worry about collected or extended gaits until second and third level, respectively. It is not about "cues", it's about systematic training. These are not party tricks, but ways to show that the horse has developed sufficient carrying power and strength to perform these movements.
Again, look at the tests on the USDF website. Pay careful attention to the directives on each test, that is what the judge will be looking for. USDF also has a very useful YouTube page with awesome videos, and again, search YouTube for first level, second level tests to help you learn what is required.

Some random pretty good first level tests to get you started.

Good luck!

Also another post which may clarify some things
The mysterious half halt...
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Last edited by ~*~anebel~*~; 03-03-2013 at 08:39 PM.
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post #3 of 4 Old 03-03-2013, 08:42 PM
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What are you going to be showing in English? Not that the gaits would be different, but it could make a difference in what to tell you.

Are you working with a coach?

It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows. --Epictetus
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post #4 of 4 Old 03-03-2013, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by VelvetsAB View Post
What are you going to be showing in English? Not that the gaits would be different, but it could make a difference in what to tell you.

Are you working with a coach?
I'm not sure exactly :) Yes, I will be. I don't have one now, which is fine, since I'm not working on English right this second, but I will definitely get one. My cousin used to do a ton of dressage showing, so she might help me get started :) All plans up in the air!
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