Originally Posted by walkinthewalk
The part about riding the horse with the other gaited horse is a good idea:) Horses do tend to mimic each other.
I'd love to throttle my champagne-smooth TWH, every time he gets behind the trotting Arab in the pasture
Hollering "Rusty! Stop that trotting!" doesn't do a bit of good
If horses REALLY "mimicked" each other we could un-employ a legion or two of trainers!!!
They will "match speeds" and that can mean the gaited horse will move outside it's normal "speed range" and loose form. That will generally mean loss of smoothness. Depending upon native gait they may move to either
the diagonal or the lateral. This, however, is not "mimicking."
For a horse long out of work and not either fit or strong the word is "walk." Lots of it for a couple of weeks at a minimum. This, by the way, is monumentally boring for the human. During this time working on lateral movements, turns, halts, and the other fundamentals of sound equitation (for horse and rider) should be accomplished.
After the horse is strong enough and fit enough to perform the intermediate gait then the rider should ask and see what they get. This will likely be the "native gait" the horse was born with. Now the rider can honestly evaluate the horse's way of going and make such changes as they wish to make.
Use of any sort of "action device" in contraindicated. They will more than likely "distort" the horse's native way of going and the rider won't know what they really have. Even after they've made an honest evaluation the "action device" causes "action" but it trains nothing
. Take the device off and the action goes away.
Rehabbing a horse like the OPs is not a "weekend" project. It will take several months of work. There are no shortcuts.