Advice on training my TWH to have a nice canter - Page 5 - The Horse Forum
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post #41 of 46 Old 09-06-2013, 12:02 PM
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Here is another video showing a horse doing many gaits including a canter. It's obvious that the canter did not RUIN this horses ability to gait :)

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post #42 of 46 Old 09-06-2013, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Zexious View Post
Gait faster than any horse can canter? How interesting: that's not something I've heard about very many gaited breeds.

There's the speed rackers who can travel a good 20+ MPH
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post #43 of 46 Old 09-06-2013, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by bbsmfg3 View Post
There is no "bunk" or "BS" to it. This lady is trying to learn something. If you can't
be objective about it, then shut the "you know what" up. I don't mind trying to
help someone, especially if it prevents a down the road disaster. If you continue
to try and get a consistant canter out of this horse, you'll eventually wind up
with a pacing/canter horse only. If that is what she wants fine. Unfortunately,
too many of us wind up there and then wonder how it happened.

If I can get the job done I''ll post a picture of a up hill horse so you can see
the difference.

Compare this image to the one of the daughter riding in the arena. Look at how
much lighter in the front, this horse is, than the daughter in the arena. If they
are down hill horses it is very, very tough to pick them up and get the easy
moving canter. There is more than one reason why big lick horse have long
heavy front feet. Yes, the weight helps, put they take many a down hill horse
and make then artificially uphill. If they don't, they can't get a consistent canter either.
I think everyone here is trying to give pertinent information. My gelding is a direct son of The Skywatch, very pacey and easily could have been ruined under the wrong hands, but he is also very high headed and built uphill and once he was trained to walk and runwalk he was set in his gaits. He has won Trail Pleasure and Lite Shod repeatedly in a simple keg shoe and barefoot. He also has a huge rocking chair canter that has never prevented him from continuing to have a show winning runwalk. That being said we do not typically canter our horses and train for it until they are solidly set with a flat walk and runwalk...personal choice.

I understand what you are saying to some degree, and I agree on the feet, he could use more heel -but just because a horse is pacey does not mean they are downhill inevitably.

Actually, the pictures of him in the roundpen where she has caught him in gait is showing him to move more uphill IMO. I imagine were his feet done with more heel he wouldbe even more uphill.
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Last edited by bellagris; 09-06-2013 at 01:01 PM.
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post #44 of 46 Old 09-07-2013, 02:44 PM
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'but just because a horse is pacey does not mean they are downhill inevitably."

Very true, being pacey has nothing to do with being downhill. BUT, if they are downhill it is easier for them to pace than it is to do a running walk or rack. In order to do be natural at the running walk or rack, they must be light in the front. Downhill horse are not naturally light in the front, by definition(unless they are terrible mal form, and this horse is not mal formed, his major flaw is being downhill). And with some breeds they prefer them down hill. The QH is a classic example. They have an easier time going with the head down if they are down hill, however, the more athletic QHs that do cutting and the like are more athletic, and do better if they are uphill. So what do the do? They train the athletic ones to go with the head down. And with some of them, that is a major undertaking.

I assume everyone knows how to tell if one is up or down hill. That may be a bad assumption. Just to refresh. You measure from the dimple in the gaskin to the ground, then measure from the point of the elbow on the front leg to the ground. Then compare the results. This horse is about 3" down hill. Even big lick shoes and/or growing a reasonable heal will not make him uphill.

I know you can not measure the legs of the horse I pictured, but you can tell how he is light in the front and doing it easily. He measures a little over 4" uphill.

Now if you have a horse that is exactly equal(or nearly equal) front to back, then the toe lengths front and back may be very critical. You can take a trotty horse that is equal and lower him as little as a 1/4" in the rear and make a huge difference in getting him to be more natural with his gait(running walk or rack). Or increase the front toe by as little as 1/8" and do the same. These horses are the ones that require a pro farrier, to keep them going. They are also the ones that will very often have problems either immediately after being trimmed or just before they need a trim. Seldom do they grow equally, with time, from front to back.


Last edited by bbsmfg3; 09-07-2013 at 02:52 PM.
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post #45 of 46 Old 09-09-2013, 02:29 PM
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"There is more than one reason why big lick horse have long
Heavy front feet. Yes, the weight helps, put they take many a down hill horse
And make then artificially uphill. If they don't, they can't get a consistent canter either."

My misunderstanding, I had thought you meant in general that pacey horses with big lick builds were downhill. My point was to differentiate that just because they are pacey (big lick as your example) does not always mean they are downhill. You have elaborated and that makes sense. Some of those big lick horses walk beautifully on their own and sadly owners pad them up to exaggerate it even more. My mother in law brought a mare up from Tennessee (joses red hot chile pepper) she was a padded show mare before coming to the barn. She has a hard pace because it was trained into her from pads but naturally she gaits extremely well and canters naturally too.

Perhaps Trailriderr can measure her horse to see if he is in fact me, he doesnt look downhill but rather like a horse with zero experience cantering with a rider who is not exactly sure how to position/communicate on her horse what she wants from him so he dcan understand it ... My mare is not downhill whatsoever, with that being said when I first started cantering her she would put her head down and get clumsy, rush into it, be unbalanced, start pacing ...part of that was me and part of that was her learning what to do with her feet and how to in fact canter. It is easy for a horse to break into a fast canter with their herd on whatever lead they want and follow their body. Not so easy for them to be told where to put it -but when you are teaching a horse to do something for the first time they can be clumsy too.

Trailriderr, are you able to measure your boy as bbsmfg3 has outlined?

Some other info on balance and conformation
Evaluating Horse Conformation | CAES Publications | UGA
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post #46 of 46 Old 09-09-2013, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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Hi everyone! just measured Memphis and he was 32" from elbow to the ground and about 35" from dimple of gaskin to the ground, so he is about 3" down hill. I took him on a 5 hr trail ride Saturday and he did really good. He was really smooth with his running walk, we racked, I think. And a little bit of cantering! I still have not tried it in the arena as I think a BIG part of it is me. I caught my self quite a bit leaning forward when he would start. I think because I am anticipating him doing something uncomfortable or jumping into it at a gallop. He is smoother and much nicer on the trail so I think I am going to keep practicing out there until we both get our confidence up and then go back to the arena. Oh and I did notice his running walk is getting smooth and faster since I have been cantering him though...Thanks everyone for all the help and words of advice!!! I will love my boy no matter if he never can get the canter down in the arena or not because trail riding is my thing anyway. And like I said it is smoothing out a LOT out there!!! :)))
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