cantering a gaited horse - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 42 Old 01-04-2013, 04:39 PM
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I lope my Paso Fino all the time :) He has a super slow, relaxed rocking horse lope. It's soooo smooth.

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post #12 of 42 Old 01-04-2013, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by bbsmfg3 View Post
If your not a very good trainer and want to keep your gaits, forget the cantering and galloping. Yes, some do it and get by with it, most don't, then they wonder what happened.

The canter and gallop require a completing different set of muscle than a foxtrot, running walk or rack. Hence, your training them not to gait when you canter or gallop.
I agree with Guilherme, this is very old school advice.

When training my TWH to canter under saddle, it really helped her loosen up and shake even bigger at the running walk. My mare has a real big, real slow rocking horse canter. Her cantering has not "trained her not to gait" since the mare does nothing but walk, run walk and canter. Even in pasture, she will run walk or rack, never trot.

If you feel confident to canter, go for it.
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post #13 of 42 Old 01-04-2013, 10:43 PM
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im not in the know about the foxtrotters. but the OP is talking about trotting a gaited horse. shouldnt the first thing he needs to focus on is the gait. and get away from that trotting? then comes the cantering with more experience?
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post #14 of 42 Old 01-04-2013, 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Dead Rabbit View Post
im not in the know about the foxtrotters. but the OP is talking about trotting a gaited horse. shouldnt the first thing he needs to focus on is the gait. and get away from that trotting? then comes the cantering with more experience?
Not necessarily. If a horse is extreme in it's lateral, four beat gait it may be incapable of executing the three beat canter without an intermediate step.

Teaching the trot is one way to "bridge" the gap. It does no harm to "gaitedness." The biggest danger is ineptitude in teaching the trot. Frankly, it's not something for the novice to attempt.

We must NEVER forget that gait lies on a continuum. It's not just a progression of "points." This means that each horse will be a bit different and there are few, if any, "universal rules."

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post #15 of 42 Old 01-04-2013, 11:53 PM
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Hey, how great you got a horse after all this time. I have a just 6yo TWH and he canters like an octopus with every leg going in a different direction.... needless to say we are a work in progress ! I personally am working on the canter only on trail . He is more relaxed , we will progress to the arena later.

Gaited horses are horses , other than the gait part, they need no special bits, saddles, shoes or whatever. They can walk, gait and canter ( plus a few extra )
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post #16 of 42 Old 01-05-2013, 12:18 AM
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I too was told NOT to ever canter or trot my Rocky. What I found was a horse that had never been pushed and would totally overreact when asked for more than his gait. Allowing him to canter (he did it on his own in the field) on lunge line, in the round pen and under saddle helped him learn how to be pushed a little and free himself up some. His gait is actually better now that he canters regularly.

I had a fox trotter who had a wonderful canter and fox trot. He was a delight to ride. I regret ever selling him. He tripped occasionally too but it was always due to laziness and not picking up his feet. If he trips in rough country I wouldn't worry too much. If he trips on a road or flat level ground you may want to have him checked by a vet. Could a sign of all sorts of things from mild to serious.

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post #17 of 42 Old 01-05-2013, 10:06 AM
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After dealing with a whole lot of these gaited horses, in an effort to find what we wanted, we have found more folks loose the gait than keep it, by trotting and cantering their gaited horses.

Very few are even ridden enough to keep them in shape, let alone, try cantering.

It is not old school, it is reality. Unless your a very good trainer, forget the cantering and concentrate on the signature gait of your gaited horse and you'll have a lot, lot fewer problems. Yes, there are always exceptions, but very few.

I never canter mine, why should I, they can rack upwards of 20 mph. That's faster than most canters, and a whole lot easier ride. The wife canters her's occasionally, and just about as frequently as she does, I have give him a tune up, back to his signature gait.

There is a really odd relationship between quality of gaited horse and cantering and/or trotting them. The better and smoother the ride of good gaited horses the worse they are about loosing that gait from cantering, and the harder they are to get it back. Don't know why, but have seen a lot of them completely ruined from it, if fact, that's a good place to find your self some very inexpensive gaited horses, if you can get them back to their signature gait. Sometimes it takes months to get them back, but once their back, and you stop the nonsense, they make excellent rides.

There is a school, that says you can get a tough one to gait, by cantering them as fast as they will go, then pushing them faster they will start. Most of these do not turn out very well, they seldom ever have a nice slow gait. They are speed demons only. Many of the pacing Standardbreds are started like this, and I have yet to see one of these have a nice slow gait.

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post #18 of 42 Old 01-05-2013, 10:27 AM
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Add me to the "ok to canter" camp. But only if you have some general riding experience.
My current Rocky doesn't like to canter, but he will if I ask him too and he does have a nice floaty trot too on rare occasions.
I"ve had or ridden TWH, Saddlebreds, and Pasos before and none had any issues with cantering ruining anything, and the farms they belonged to (or my farm) canted all their gaited horses with no issues.
Now there are plenty of gaited horses with movement issues or lack of development issues and there may be times where it is appropriate to concentrate on certain gaits for a time, but a well rounded gaited horse should be able to move like, well... a horse.

Donemoven, when you say your MFT is trotting, are you referring to an actual trot or are you calling the Foxtrot a trot?

Last edited by Lockwood; 01-05-2013 at 10:31 AM.
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post #19 of 42 Old 01-05-2013, 11:15 AM
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" well rounded gaited horse should be able to move like, well... a horse."

Exactly, that's why we have walk/trot/canter horses and why we have gaited horse.

You gait the gaited and canter the walk/trots.

You can teach an Arab to do the Spanish Fiesta, and Arabs taught to Rack, and TWH taught to Foxtrot, I've seen all of these done. Does that mean all Arabs should be taught the Fiesta, and the rack, and TWH the Foxtrot?

The real issue is keeping the gaited, gaiting. Why mess with it. It is not something the everyday rider should be trying. Their lucky to ride them enough to keep them in shape.
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post #20 of 42 Old 01-05-2013, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by bbsmfg3 View Post
Their lucky to ride them enough to keep them in shape.
I agree with you here. Not just for gaited horse owners, but in general most average horse owners do not ride enough to keep their horses in shape and when they do it's a quick yee-ha and then back to the barn.

I am not being critical (hey in the winter I defiantly fall into this category). I think keeping a good gait takes work and time, and with all the other commitments in life time can be an issue. Other breeds are taught early to walk,trot,canter.... gaited horses are not, so if you get an average age gaited horse for recreation , your going to have to put some descent work into developing a canter.

Another thing I agree with is gait over canter. The friend I ride with most has an endurance Arab , she canters.... I gait and I am usually always ahead I ride recreationaly and camp frequently .... I surely don't need more going fast ... I would be back to camp first and have to do all the cooking
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