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cantering a gaited horse

This is a discussion on cantering a gaited horse within the Gaited Horses forums, part of the Horse Breeds category
  • Gaited horses and reasons for tripping
  • Best gait for inexperienced rider

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    01-05-2013, 12:34 PM
  #21
Weanling
My walker likes to canter, and she wants to easily break into a canter, I have to hold her back to keep the gait. Last fall I was letting her canter more b/c I was reading here it helped get a horse in shape, which would improve her gait.

I have to say, I found this to be not good advice to some degree. Yes it helps get them into shape but then they prefer this over gaiting, and now the gait is even rougher. I was told by an old timer you don't let them canter, or gallop b/c this will ruin them from the standpoint, that is all they want to do, and then the gait is rougher.
I found this to be the case. She still is naturally gaited, and will gait but she naturally likes to go, and I have to hold her back more to hold that gait than going immediately right into the canter, when I first got her.
     
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    01-05-2013, 12:42 PM
  #22
Green Broke
I own a Missouri Foxtrotter. She does canter - it's a big forward moving canter with lots of knee action, definitely not conducive to cantering around an arena. I bought her with my husband in mind (green rider, bad back, no need to get any place in a hurry). I chose the Foxtrotter breed (and her in particular - great personality) because of the smoothness of the gait. Had we wanted to canter places, then we would have gone with somebody from the traditional three-gaited breeds. Therefore, will we ever bother to canter her? No, probably not because that defeats the purpose of the purchase.

I like what Pattilou has said on the subject (Post No. 20). I think it speaks great truth about most of us "pleasure" riders. So, I guess my question to you, OP, then is: Based on those comments (and tossing in some thought about skill level), do you want to commit a good portion of your riding time schooling or riding out?

If I may, I'd like to make comments about the tripping you've experienced. The occasional trip is likely of no concern - that happens to all of us (human and horse) from time to time for any number of insignificant reasons. However, if you think they are happening too often then: 1) If the hooves are in need of trimming because they are either overgrown or trimmed at an inappropriate angle, you will see tripping; that is corrected by engaging a good farrier. 2) If the areas you are riding are rough (as in stones, tree stumps, hard ground, etc.), your horse may be experiencing some pain; that is corrected by being more circumspect about picking the spots where you want to travel and a discussion with your farrier on protection. 3) Finally, if you've addressed this issue with the farrier and it's still happening, it's probably worthwhile to get a vet involved as there may be something going on internally with the hoof.

I'm glad you've got into riding - it's great fun and very satisfying being around horses and out and about in the great outdoors. Enjoy yourself.
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    01-05-2013, 01:14 PM
  #23
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dead Rabbit    
my walker likes to canter, and she wants to easily break into a canter, I have to hold her back to keep the gait. Last fall I was letting her canter more b/c I was reading here it helped get a horse in shape, which would improve her gait.

I have to say, I found this to be not good advice to some degree. Yes it helps get them into shape but then they prefer this over gaiting, and now the gait is even rougher. I was told by an old timer you don't let them canter, or gallop b/c this will ruin them from the standpoint, that is all they want to do, and then the gait is rougher.
I found this to be the case. She still is naturally gaited, and will gait but she naturally likes to go, and I have to hold her back more to hold that gait than going immediately right into the canter, when I first got her.
The problem is not the horse. The problem is the rider.

You are the rider. YOU set the gait and the cadence of the gait. If you are having trouble with this then find an instructor or coach to teach you how to effectively sit and rate the horse. Once you do this you'll find that the "old timer's advice" was not correct.

G.
     
    01-05-2013, 02:07 PM
  #24
Foal
My foxtrotter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lockwood    
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?

Thanks for all the great info. I think I will forget about cantering this
Horse. I'm not in any big hurry anyway. When he was stumbling,he was in a reg. Trot and the terain had something to do with it. His feet are fine.
A bigger concern right now is a barn sour problem. He will suddenly turn around and head back to the barn. Kinda scarry if your not ready for it. I smacked him on the neck with my hand and it seems to wake him up, so I think more saddle time will help. Too bad the weather turned bad. I have only had him 2 months, and the old owner had not ridden him for about a year. Thanks all.
     
    01-05-2013, 08:53 PM
  #25
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guilherme    
The problem is not the horse. The problem is the rider.

You are the rider. YOU set the gait and the cadence of the gait. If you are having trouble with this then find an instructor or coach to teach you how to effectively sit and rate the horse. Once you do this you'll find that the "old timer's advice" was not correct.

G.

You sir are correct. Im very inexperienced. And that is the problem to a degree.
the original poster, is also inexperienced. So by you posting this you just proved Bob correct in post number 7. Yes its possible to do so, even Bob says that, but someone that is not very experienced does not need to do this. And when you and others recommend that its a positive thing to to do so,,, for an inexperienced rider this is detrimental to them and the horse.

My problem is, I like to go fast. I enjoy the rack and the canter. And so does she. But allowing myself and her to do so is not the best course to take. Even though I enjoy it so.

Imo if advice is to be given to this individual the best advice is not to canter, definitley not trot, keep the horse in its gait and don't hit the horse in the head with your hand. When he turns to go back to the barn, keep his feet moving, in a circle till he gets the point, and turn him in the direction away from the barn, till he acts up again. And go throught the same motions of keeping his feet busy going in a circle.
     
    01-05-2013, 09:09 PM
  #26
Green Broke
I am an inexperienced gaited horse owner. I have had my Missouri Fox Trotter for about 3 years and she is my first gaited horse. She was also used as a broodmare for years and I don't think she was very set in her fox trot to begin with.

She flat walks (her best gait, imo), fox trots, what I assume is a hard trot when she gets going too fast, paces, and canters. I think I have felt a rack or run walk in there too.

Anyway, as we are not showing, she is in her teens, and I am likely to be her last owner, I have decided I have a whole lot more fun with her when I just ride her and enjoy her and not worry about ruining or improving her gaitedness. I have her to have fun out on the trails. And that's what we do. We cantered just today.

She actually has kind of a crappy canter. And she paces going into and out of it. She also cross canters. But we have fun and I am just not going to worry about it. I have found that if I want to get a good, true canter out of her she does best going up hills.

I have a friend with three Fox Trotters that canter just lovely. Smooth and collected and they don't seem to cross-canter. And she never canters them on purpose, it's just occasionally they get going too fast and break into a canter when we are gaiting out on the trails. What a waste! If I had a horse that cantered that wonderful I would use it. My mare canters sucky and I still use it. For me, it's part of the fun of riding.

Now maybe if she racked instead of paced or hard trotted, I wouldn't consider the canter so important.
     
    01-05-2013, 09:18 PM
  #27
Weanling
My apologies to donemoven, I noticed I read the post wrong, you smacked the horse in the neck, not the head. My fault.
     
    01-05-2013, 09:24 PM
  #28
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dead Rabbit    
you sir are correct. Im very inexperienced. And that is the problem to a degree.
The original poster, is also inexperienced. So by you posting this you just proved Bob correct in post number 7. Yes its possible to do so, even Bob says that, but someone that is not very experienced does not need to do this. And when you and others recommend that its a positive thing to to do so,,, for an inexperienced rider this is detrimental to them and the horse.

My problem is, I like to go fast. I enjoy the rack and the canter. And so does she. But allowing myself and her to do so is not the best course to take. Even though I enjoy it so.

Imo if advice is to be given to this individual the best advice is not to canter, definitley not trot, keep the horse in its gait and don't hit the horse in the head with your hand. When he turns to go back to the barn, keep his feet moving, in a circle till he gets the point, and turn him in the direction away from the barn, till he acts up again. And go throught the same motions of keeping his feet busy going in a circle.
Then your skill level is not the "problem to a degree" it's the "problem."

So whether it's you or anyone else the solution to the problem is in your hands. This is where the "traditional" wisdom is false.

G.
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    01-05-2013, 09:39 PM
  #29
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guilherme    
Then your skill level is not the "problem to a degree" it's the "problem."

So whether it's you or anyone else the solution to the problem is in your hands. This is where the "traditional" wisdom is false.

G.
Then its not false. Its actually very good advice for an in expetienced rider. One must remeber that the one asking the question has jusr recently started riding. And when they mentioned they were trotting a gaited horse on uneven ground to where it was tripping that should tell you that they arent ready for cantering. Much less trotting a gaited horse.

Cantering may be good for some experienced riders but not all riders. Not the one that asked the question.

We always seem to be quick to show where others are wrong. Im guilty. But im not alone here.
     
    01-05-2013, 11:02 PM
  #30
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dead Rabbit    
Then its not false. Its actually very good advice for an in expetienced rider. One must remeber that the one asking the question has jusr recently started riding. And when they mentioned they were trotting a gaited horse on uneven ground to where it was tripping that should tell you that they arent ready for cantering. Much less trotting a gaited horse.

Cantering may be good for some experienced riders but not all riders. Not the one that asked the question.

We always seem to be quick to show where others are wrong. Im guilty. But im not alone here.
The one thing that NEVER "depends" is that the rider is responsible for the control of their horse. Always, always, always.

G.
     

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