Originally Posted by jillybean19
I think what I need is something along the lines of "Gaits for Dummies" descriptions, because I'm watching my friend ride and I don't think I even know what I'm seeing, so maybe let me know in VERY simple and obvious terms what I'm looking for when I watch her move (both the good and bad things), and whether it's right or wrong.
LOL! Simple.......hmmm hehee...I will try a version of GAITED FOR DUMMIES..LOL!
When you are talking to 'gaited horse' people, you will here the terms 'lateral' and 'diagonal'. The former meaning that the horse's legs on the same side of the body will move as a pair (almost exactly, or just slightly off - the difference makes different gaits) whereas diagonal means the opposite legs (diagonal from each other ) tend to work as a pair.
Next, there are many names for the different gaits that gaited horses can do depending on the breed - and just because it might be a TWH, it still could have the tendency to rack or foxtrot or pace, etc....even careful breeding might have a horse with a throwback gene or predisposition to do something uncharacteristic of what his breed standard dictates.
So when talking about gaiting, that means the horse in question has other ways of going other than the walk, trot and canter - therefore he is qualifies as a 'gaited' horse.
A TWH usually has a couple of variations of the walk (a regular walk and a little faster head swinging walk called a dogwalk) and then the fast one called a running walk that can get up to 10mph in some horses, then the canter usually comes next.
If a horse has a tendency to be more diagonal (such as the foxtrotting breed) they too, will possess a bit of a dogwalk but then upon asking for faster speed, the foxtrot will pop out (sort of like the back legs trotting while the front legs just walk really wide and big). Then the canter can follow from there.
Some horses have a mixture of things in between and with rider influence (change in collection, speed or drive from the rear) out pops a rack or in the case of no collection or less rider influence, the pace.
That's a very SMALL version of gait explanation....maybe that will help! It will give you a different way to perceive your friend's TWH when you see him/her next...maybe it will help you SEE the gait better...