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Gaited horses, newbie questions

This is a discussion on Gaited horses, newbie questions within the Gaited Horses forums, part of the Horse Breeds category

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        08-13-2013, 06:35 AM
      #11
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by trailwalker    
    Bbsmfg3 how is the rack the same as a corto or especially the fino ? They are not the same gait at all as I can tell and I own both a paso and a racking walker. Not being contrary just wondering how you came up with that comparison.
    Posted via Mobile Device
    The footfall may be the same, and the timing may be the same, but they are not the same gaits. As I understand it, in a **true rack** the horse has only one foot on the ground at a time. That's definitely not the case with the fino or the corto as the horse is not moving fast enough or reaching far enough to have only one leg on the ground at a time.

    Here's are link to a nice video that shows the rack. The single support foot on the ground is especially clear on the second horse:
         
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        08-13-2013, 10:04 AM
      #12
    Weanling
    "The footfall may be the same, and the timing may be the same, but they are not the same gaits"


    Gait by definition is foot fall. How else would you define gait? It is really too bad all gaits of the same foot fall are not called by one name. It would make it much easier. Or perhaps, better yet, do as the Paso does, with the corto and fino, the THW could do with the running walk of the big lick vs the running walk of the pleasure horse and call the big lick a different name than that of the pleasure horse. Ditto, big lick rack vs pleasure rack.

    At any rate, it helps to understand what the foot fall(gait) of your horse should be, if your going to try and fix a problem. Other than that, it makes little difference what the gait is called so long as it is "ok" with the rider.
         
        08-13-2013, 12:05 PM
      #13
    Green Broke
    Gaited horses can be very cool! TWHs are just dolls--I rode one for a couple of months for a lady. It was a great experience, but a little hard on someone (logistically) who has only ever been a H/J rider.

    Definitely try out a Paso or Peruvian Paso! They are a very cool breed.
         
        08-13-2013, 01:23 PM
      #14
    Green Broke
    bbsmfg3, I think in your list of common gaits you forgot the fox trot.

    To me, the difference between a gaited head bob and a lame head bob are very different. When a horse is lame they bob the head when the lame foot sets down. So it's always in time with one foot. When a gaited horse head bobs with it's gait, it is a up and down rhythm that is like an impulsion system for the gait. I can't explain quite why, but they don't look anything alike to me. I think if a person has any confusion about that it will go away when they ride one. I have a Fox Trotter and I can definitely tell when she is tender footed or hits a rock, vs. having a good, strong, head nod. It is not even close. A good head nod remind me of an oil rig pump going up and down....it's like a fulcrum that gives them their momentum.

    I personally don't use special tack. I use a regular western saddle and that seems to work well with my Fox Trotter and her son. If I were filthy rich, sure, I would probably try different gaited saddles to see if they are all what they are cracked up to be, but that's not the case and my Quarter Horse saddles seem to work just fine. It's really about fitting the saddle to the horse, the same with any other breed of horse. A gaited saddle probably increases your chances of good fit, if your horse has a typical gaited shape as determined by the tree manufacturer, but that's about it. It is still all about getting a saddle that fits your individual horse.

    I do agree they need room for their shoulders. I tried a narrowish western saddle on my Fox Trotter one time (she IS fairly narrow under her withers) and I couldn't get it off her quick enough. She was a stumbling mess with that saddle. I couldn't believe it made THAT much of a difference.

    I can't speak for other breeds, but my Fox Trotter can fox trot all day. She LOVES to move out. Of course the faster she goes, the rougher she gets, so I try to keep her energy contained. I suspect she is close to a hard trot when she gets going too fast.

    "They" say that the pacing type gaits are hard on a horse because the horse has to be in a hollow frame to do them, but I don't know much personally about that. My horse occasionally paces (when I'm trying to canter mainly) but that isn't her main gait. If I had a pacy type horse I would just make sure I mixed up my gaits and didn't ONLY ride at a pace (the stepping pace is actually nice and smooth).
    kbg7506 likes this.
         
        08-13-2013, 07:09 PM
      #15
    Foal
    "Gait by definition is foot fall. How else would you define gait? It is really too bad all gaits of the same foot fall are not called by one name."

    That's not exactly true. The walk is a four beat gait. The walk is the same in all breeds whether the horse is a "gaited" horse or a trotting horse. That's why all breeds have a "walk"; because it IS the same from breed to breed. But there are other 4-beat gaits with the same footfall as the walk that are NOT the walk. The speed of the gait and the timing of the footfall are what make the difference. That's why the 4-beat rack is not a walk, the 4-beat fino is not a walk, the 4-beat paso llano is not a walk.
         
        08-13-2013, 08:04 PM
      #16
    Foal
    I own 5 walkers, and I don't know all the technical lingo, but what I have found out is the better condition they are in the better they gait. I ride in the mountains and on the beach I couldn't ask for a better ride. Also not all walkers are smooth gaited some you have to work at it like my 7 year old, and some like my 5 year old had a natural gait from the day he was born. Just my 2 cents, and good luck with your horse search.
         
        08-14-2013, 01:12 AM
      #17
    Yearling
    I agree with walkingwest. Some gait more consistently than others, just have to work on it. With mine, we practice getting a good head nod/hind leg reach at faster tempos, and holding it. And if I raise my hands a bit, she knows I want a rack, which is a shorter higher step. And although she's not a speed racker, we get out on the road and rack as fast as she can and pretend!
    kbg7506 likes this.
         
        08-15-2013, 10:26 AM
      #18
    Foal
    I find that my horse can pick up her gait readily, but that she consistently changes gaits (in the way a bike does when it slips gears... she continues going but the feel or speed (or both) of the gait change under me) OR she drops out of a smooth gait into either a pace or hard trot. Anyone have an idea about that?

    Some videos suggest that gaiting is most related to relaxation and the balance of the rider. Other resources suggest that gaiting is hard on the horse, and they tire easily. For those of us who are new to gaiting, it's all pretty confusing... what is and is not a gait (witness the back and forth in just this thread alone!), whether or not gaits are good for the horse, whether to ride set back or in an upright (more like dressage) position, what saddle/bits to use, whether to collect or relax them, etc. I wish I had just one instructor to follow where I live, but I don't. Sigh. We beginners sure could use some simplicity and clarity!
         
        08-15-2013, 10:43 AM
      #19
    Yearling
    In analyzing gait you got multiple parameters, including footfall (discussed as the difference between impacts, both for one limb and for differences between limbs) and liftoff (where you have timing between the foot leaving the ground and its subsequent impact).

    So an identical set of footfalls can have dramatically different representations based upon liftoff. This can easily explain differences between gaits that might otherwise appear quite similar.

    G.
         
        08-15-2013, 11:46 AM
      #20
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Storybook Farm    
    I find that my horse can pick up her gait readily, but that she consistently changes gaits (in the way a bike does when it slips gears... she continues going but the feel or speed (or both) of the gait change under me) OR she drops out of a smooth gait into either a pace or hard trot. Anyone have an idea about that?

    Some videos suggest that gaiting is most related to relaxation and the balance of the rider. Other resources suggest that gaiting is hard on the horse, and they tire easily. For those of us who are new to gaiting, it's all pretty confusing... what is and is not a gait (witness the back and forth in just this thread alone!), whether or not gaits are good for the horse, whether to ride set back or in an upright (more like dressage) position, what saddle/bits to use, whether to collect or relax them, etc. I wish I had just one instructor to follow where I live, but I don't. Sigh. We beginners sure could use some simplicity and clarity!
    Welcome to the confusing world of gaited horses. Been there done that. We had the same problem when we switched to gaited horses. The folks that know how, will seldom tell you, because of the arguments they get. When we finally found someone that would share their info, many of our gaiting problems went away. Quite simply put, you don't ride gaited horses like trotting horses. Yes, you'll hear those that say you can, but, that's only the case in a very small percentage of us. We ride with a lot of gaited horses and the majority of the problems gaited riders have is related to the way they ride. They are trying to ride them like trotting horses. For most of us, that simply will not work. If you ride them like a trotting horse, you are teaching them to trot or pace.

    This gets even more confusing when we don't know what gait the horse has as it's signature gait, and/or the signature gait of the horse is a trot. Just because they have the name of gaited horse doesn't mean their signature gait is gaited.

    If your horse is gaiting and then "switches gears" to something that is not smooth, it is probably something with the way it is being ridden. That is a good example of teaching a horse to trot with the way it is being ridden, ie, the horse is probably naturally gaited, and it starts off gaiting, then the way it is ridden tells it to do something different, like trot.
    kbg7506 likes this.
         

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