Encouraging gaiting?...

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Encouraging gaiting?...

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  • How to cue a twh horse to gait using your hands
  • gaiting a horse

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    06-23-2012, 06:48 PM
Super Moderator
Encouraging gaiting?...

So maybe this has been asked before BUT my mare is a gaited Arab who has lovely gaits when I can get her to do them (I thiiiink she definitely flat walks and I'm pretty sure she racks - her head bobs like crazy, her back end feels like it's gliding, etc). Only problem is that she's not set in her gaits at all and I'd love to get them on cue so I don't have finesse her into them all the time.

I think there was probably a time in her life where she was discouraged from doing them because she acts very concerned about them and used to try her hardest to evade doing them. Nowadays, I've encouraged her to gait enough that she will offer it up if I ask but she'll break as soon as she can (I assume due to a lack of muscle). Since they've never been worked on, she acts totally confused when I request one gait or the other but she will do it if I keep asking.

Anyway, I've found that she does better at them going uphill and if I have quite a bit of contact with her mouth while I'm leaning sort of back (not a lot, but my center of gravity is farther back than normal).

Are there any "tricks" people use to get their horses into gait? What you guys use to encourage gaiting?

It really doesn't matter to me a ton but it'd be really nice to be able to have her gait sometimes. Her trot is just awful but these two other gaits, whatever they are, feel wonderful. It'd be nice to be able to go "fast" and not want to die! Haha

For the record, her Arabian 4xgreat grandfather was actually double registered as a TWH due to the "quality" of his gait. And, for that matter, her mom's side is 100% unknown so her mom could even have been a legitimately gaited horse. There's no telling.

I'm going to try to get a video of Lacey doing her "thing" and maybe you guys will be able to identify what she's doing exactly. I'm sure that would probably help you guys tell me what to do in any case. :)
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    06-23-2012, 10:44 PM
Green Broke
Gaiting takes muscle as it is harder to do for most than a normal gait. For walkers, you generally dog walk (really slow walk) to build up those muscles.

For actually gaiting you your horse will need her shoulders free to move. Can't see a saddle in your picture there, you ride english? I ask because most english saddles will leave your horses shoulders free and if you ride western you have to get choosier about your saddle.

Sand is a good place to work your horse for gaiting too. I think you told me once what part of Oregon you live in but don't recall so not sure how convenient the beach is. Bob Straub park in Pacific City is my favorite area at the coast to ride.

Play with your center of gravity in the saddle. Shift it forward and back, doing so will change the arc of your horses back wich impacts their gait. Here's a hint, going up hill changes your horses back and you also lean forward going uphill like you were taught and she gaits, think on that.
    06-23-2012, 10:50 PM
Super Moderator
I found this website to be helpful.
There are plenty of gaited sites out there, but this one has some videos and info that may help.
Free tips for Gaited Horse Training
    06-24-2012, 07:49 AM
Originally Posted by Lockwood    
I found this website to be helpful.
There are plenty of gaited sites out there, but this one has some videos and info that may help.
Free tips for Gaited Horse Training
Except for the part about not cantering your horse until it's "set in gait" the tips are not bad.

In fact one way to loosen up a horse and get the to use some different muscles is to work at canter. It also builds wind (endurance). Last, and far from least, it's one of those "different" things you can do!

MajorSealstheDeal likes this.
    06-26-2012, 03:15 PM
Well, when training a trotting breed, for example, if the horse is well suited to be a five gaited horse, the rack is usually taught before the canter. Reason being is to not confuse the horse any more than possible. When learning, they will try anything to get the right answer, and learning this new way of moving can be difficult and confusing. If they know the canter cues, which are relatively similar, they may try to cheat you and canter off when you are trying to teach them them something else. Cantering is good, yes, but not when you are teaching them something new. Once they are going well, and understand what you are asking, then you can go on and teach them canter cues. So, I can agree with not cantering until they fully understand. When they are fully trained, then yes, you should work at all gaits. While they are learning, it is better to keep things as simple as possible.

I have an article that explains how my breed is taught to rack, but the site is down for maintenance. I will post it when it goes back up.
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    07-04-2012, 06:36 PM
I have found to get my Walker to gait and not trot (he knows both) I sit back, deep in my seat, hold my hands high and ask foward. Do NOT lean foward, sit back and deep.
I think this is a good example: Good luck-- if you need more help feel free to PM me
    07-04-2012, 06:39 PM
As far as the video, if your horse trots and you don't want him/her to, I would have not pulled so hard back/ turned him into a circle. Just get him into a nice foward walk and try.
Is he/she starts trotting say woah and walk, get collected mentally again and try it again.
Believe me, it will take alot of patience.
Good luck!
Originally Posted by Black Beauty 94    
I have found to get my Walker to gait and not trot (he knows both) I sit back, deep in my seat, hold my hands high and ask foward. Do NOT lean foward, sit back and deep.
I think this is a good example: Good luck-- if you need more help feel free to PM me
Training Tennessee walking horse to gait - Part 2 - YouTube
    07-05-2012, 08:43 PM
For me and my gaited horses its patience, consistency and release for reward when they are doing what you ask. A horse needs to know that they are doing the right thing by some sort of signal. Release and and only correct when she breaks. There is a lot of repitition to it, but that's training. :)
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    07-10-2012, 01:39 PM
Green Broke
Lots of good advice. Uphill work is good.

Just a bit of Arab trivia, if you don't already know:

Raseyn (of the famous brothers Raffles & Raseyn) would rack.

Some claim Raseyn had the natural inclination to gait and it was then enhanced; others claim it was strictly man-made.

Arieana Arabians - Heritage Notebook: R (*Raseyn, Raseyna)

I prefer to believe the gaiting gene is in all breeds. Appaloosas perform the Indian Shuffle naturally.

Morgans have been gaited since the beginning.

The American Saddlebred carries the gaiting gene.

I'm sure there's more trotting horses that have been known to rack but these are the ones that immediately come to mind.

It is we humans who have tried to blow past the gaiting gene and breed these horses to do nothing but trot

Hope you get your Arab racking along
    07-10-2012, 01:51 PM
All equine characteristics (conformation, movement, and temperment) come from their genetic base. AFAIK there is no "gait" gene (anymore than there is an "ill temper" gene). It is probable that gait comes from multiple sources, none of which have definitively been identified.

It would not be correct to say that all horses carry the tendency to gait. More correct would be the idea that all breeds carry some tendency to gait. In the "gaited" breeds this has been selected and concentrated; in the trotting breeds it is generally a reason for non-selection as a brood animal (although there are exceptions, as in some Appy enthusiasts, some Morgan enthusiasts, some Iberian enthusiasts, etc.).


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