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flat walk vs running walk

This is a discussion on flat walk vs running walk within the Gaited Horses forums, part of the Horse Breeds category
  • Conditioning an out of shape gaited horse
  • If a horse can flat walk can he running walk

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    09-25-2011, 06:17 PM
  #11
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hennessy    
I'm not just talking about soring. Yeah, that's obvious that some are sored. But the overall stress that lifting their limbs ridiculously high brings upon their bodies. If horses were meant to march high like that, they'd do it naturally. Now imagine lifting your limbs high like that whilst carrying a human upon your back that's being stressed from every flexation of your muscles whenever you lift your limbs high like that. That can cause major spinal issues for some horses, and others can end up crippled. In all it's a stressful sport for their bodies. Then of course, so are many others so. ;Shrug.;

Many diciplines put stress on a horse. That's what conditioning is for.
I am from the saddlebred world......they DO move like that naturally. I personally don't like the big shoe packages either ( My saddle seat horse trots level and square barefoot, hasnt had a shoe since I've had her) , but they don't cause crippled horses unless someone ignorant ran them into the ground without the proper conditioning. I know of many horses that worked until late 20s....its no diffrent than any other dicipline......they all have skeletons in the closet.


Asking a horse to drop its head, causes pressure along the back, but if conditioned and muscled properly its not a problem. Its about the muscling to do the job. Not much in the horse world doesnt stress a horses body in one way or another.
     
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    09-26-2011, 01:08 PM
  #12
Trained
From somebody who's owned several TWH crosses, 1 TWH and 2 Mountain Horses, the difference is flat (natural, trail-riding and ground covering gait), what you are calling, "Running Walk," is a show ring movement where the horse is expected to overstep the hoofprints of the front feet with the back feet, while snapping the front legs up, very much like a Hackney. TWH's naturally drop their hindquarters and elevate the front when they are moving at a running walk (or amble), but in the show ring they reward an exaggerated movement of it. Walkers are fussy--they get tired of ring work and like to perform better on an open outdoor stretch.
There is more than one way to achieve this. I personally prefer going to the dressage world to look for solutions. Work over poles or cavaletti force ANY horse to pick up his feet. Exercises such as walking to a cavaletti then cueing for a lope as he crosses over it at the 18" setting creates a good lift without using chains around the fetlocks, or other such devices. Pretty much ANY exercise that creates collection will improve the overall performance of your TWH.
     
    09-26-2011, 01:35 PM
  #13
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hennessy    
I'm not just talking about soring. Yeah, that's obvious that some are sored. But the overall stress that lifting their limbs ridiculously high brings upon their bodies. If horses were meant to march high like that, they'd do it naturally. Now imagine lifting your limbs high like that whilst carrying a human upon your back that's being stressed from every flexation of your muscles whenever you lift your limbs high like that. That can cause major spinal issues for some horses, and others can end up crippled. In all it's a stressful sport for their bodies. Then of course, so are many others so. ;Shrug.;
Some two will naturally "step" so to speak with that high stepping reading action. We have two that will. They have never been padded either. Some two when they get in a group will become proud or a little energetic and with pick this action up. So, some of these horses it comes more natural to. And just like any sport, jumping, polo, barrel racing etc.... Condition means everything in a horse. You can't take an out of shape walker and ask him to do this. You also can't can't take an out of shape horse and at them to jump 3'6" without causing harm to themselves. It just doesn't work like that. That's like trying to run a ten mile marathon and never exercising. I'm around a lot of walking horse breeders and showers and they she no more "abuse" to there horses than any other discipline. We are extensive trail ride and I mean eight nine hours in the saddle at a time in very rocky steep terrain. My horses are very conditioned to this type of riding. During the spring or fall you are lucky if they even break a sweat under the saddle. They are worked long and hard but also are very well taken care of. I have never had one of my trail horses come up lame or sore from a ride. I intend to keep it that way as much as possible. Give your horse the respect he deserves and condition him for whatever you want to do with them and they will show promising results. Not all walking horses are mistreated by this. Some of them are very proud horses in the show ring and live for it. Just like horses that love to jump.
Corporal and SaddleDragon like this.
     
    09-26-2011, 02:05 PM
  #14
Yearling
As for the flat walk verses running walk. Flat walk like someone stated wary is a good ground covering gait. It allows trail rides to be able to cover a lot more ground in a shorter amount of time. The running gait is fancier gait. It is used a lot in the show ring. Many walkers carry this trait but it's hard to bring out in some of them because it takes good training and a lot of persistence. Some just do it naturally. The running walk too can cover more ground quicker than a regular walk. We ride with a lot of qh people becomes challenging in the mountains because a walker will climb a steep hillside in half the time of most qh but that all comes down to that elongated stride they have and the ability to go at this pace all day, if conditioned properly. I just got into walking horses two years ago and boy do I love it!!!


My app also covers ground quickly and can keep up with the walkers but at the end of the day I can't move because of the agonizing back pain and I'm only twenty three years old. They make a huge difference with the flat/running walk
     

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