Help with a Pacey horse and trainer! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 11-12-2013, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Missouri!
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Help with a Pacey horse and trainer!

I got my horse Skyy in January this year. He's a registered TWH with The Pusher as his grandsire. - He is the first gaited horse I have owned. He was trained EXTREMELY well by a teen I mean very very verrrrrrrrrrry well. When I got him he could do his FW, RW, Rack. She even said she had used him for jumping. She said he did canter but didn't really like it.

Now my problem - I feel like some of this is my fault, maybe not being as knowledgeable as I should have been but now he has become SUPER pacey. - I do have a trainer and she has taught me a lot. She has been a show judge nominated as horse person of the year yadayada and had some experience with gaited horses. - Anyways, I've been working with her for a month and a half maybe longer. We're riding english (I never have before so it's new for me), my old western saddle did not fit him one bit. My current saddle does, he rides in a snaffle but I cannot get him to gait for the LIFE of me. - My trainer when she comes out works on tons of stuff, half halts, transitions, etc. but it's always whatever gait he is comfortable doing...........which is the pace. Unless we're working on his canter which has improved significantly. If it's up to him it's going to be the pace and I have no idea how to even get him into the fw or rw anymore. - On the way back from trail rides he'll do it but really thats it. - He was very heavy on the front and i've seen a significant change with that as well he's lighter on my hands and using his rear end more.

And not that this might be any useful information when i'm on the ground he will trot and canter PERFECTLY. He has a VERY nice extended trot which obviously I had no part in developing. - He jumps jumps perfectly...I just don't knwo what to do. I can't get him trot under saddle either. I almost feel as if it has to be one way or the other walk trot canter, or work on his gaits. I really don't care but I rather not have him pace since everything i've researched says it's bad...

I do eventually want to do fun shows with him, maybe some jumping for fun...i'm definitely not an avid shower - I never have. I just want to train him right and safely.

I guess my question is....should she even suggest working him in the pace...I mean like it is almost the whole lesson sometimes unless we're walking or working on his canter. I'm posting his pace which is SUPER hard to do and I just don't feel like I know everything to start giving her advice. She is SO nice and such a good trainer, I'm just not sure if it's okay to let him pace constantly.

I'm worried the more I work in him the pace the harder it'll be to get him out of it. It didn't click until my lesson last night when we were discussing fun shows that when they call for the trot or whatever i'd do my/his favorite gait.......................and right now his favorite is the pace and thats what we've been working on.

Sorry this is SO long...I just don't have a lot of gaited people...actually ANY that I can ask for advice. Thank you for taking the time to read this it really means a lot.
Chelseafar is offline  
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post #2 of 24 Old 11-12-2013, 12:10 PM
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My best advice is to ask the previous owner what cues she used to get him to gait. If she's the one who trained him the two of you just might not be on the same wavelength. Maybe she could even give you some "lessons"
Yogiwick is offline  
post #3 of 24 Old 11-12-2013, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Missouri!
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Unfortunately I moved and I got a new phone so I lost her number. I've been hoping she would contact me since she wanted to stay in touch but I haven't herd from her in a while now. :(
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post #4 of 24 Old 11-12-2013, 12:25 PM
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I hate that. Is your trainer used to working with gaited horses? It might be good to find a "gaited" trainer for the time being.
My trainers advice was to just worry about trotting him and doing what I want with him (though I don't know what I want) and not to worry so much about gaits, but I think that depends on which direction you want to go.
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post #5 of 24 Old 11-13-2013, 12:06 AM
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I'll throw out my two cents and offer this simple advice. Check her feet. If she has too long of toe it really does seem to throw a pace. If her feet are good, then just take her down to the Walk and correct her when she paces.

By going back to the walk, and spending time developing that 4 beat walk, it really helps to break up that pace. I found that especially with a snaffle (is
..that the bit the teenager worked her in?) they can gait but it takes a little bit more effort on your end especially if they are used to using the bit as leverage to gait.

Just walk, squeeze with your legs and have a firm by yielding hand, and get a more forward walk. As soon as you hit that stride give the "good girl" and as soon as she starts getting pacy, take her down to a flat walk, then cue for the RW.

Here are my "cues" for gaits, and everybody is different but this is what works for my multigaited Standardbred:

Forward Walk (Running Walk on my TWH) is a light hold on the mouth (as you would for cuing a trot) and squeeze with the thighs.

Rack: I hold my hands up higher (my walk is lower almost on withers same as trot) sit a little deeper on my hip bones, and squeeze and give a "kissy" noise.

Canter: If going to the right, tilt head slightly to the right to open up the left shoulder, sit on my hip bones, and with my right leg behind the girth along with "clucky" noise cue for canter. Opposite if going to the left.

My OTSTB also does a Foxtrot but I've yet to get a cue for that as he is really inconsistent with even picking it up and he seems to slide into it when I ride with Foxtrotters. He will almost Running Walk with TWHs and his rack is just smooth as silk. His canter is actually really good, he just doesn't do it well under saddle, yet picks it up wonderfully when doing marathon in CDEs.

Good luck!! My TWH mare is very pacy but she is in need of a lot of groceries and her feet is a work in process. She hasn't had proper farrier care in months and her feet are really bad. Her gaits at liberty are just breathtaking and with those bad feet, so hopefully she can keep those with healthy feet :)
Idrivetrotters is offline  
post #6 of 24 Old 11-13-2013, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Missouri!
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Ooooooooh rats. I typed this intense post and it somehow got deleted. I'll try again!

Thanks for all your help!!

His feet are due for a trim, when I got him he never wore shoes, I put fronts on him once I moved since it's rocky and gravely terrain. I found someone to check his hoof angle so i'll be doing that once the shoes come off but it's online so i have to take a picture send it etc.

Okay so when I first got him he was using a D ring myler mullen Mouth bit. - I switched a D ring snaffle because he was bracing against it and heavy on my hands.. Switching has helped but so has working on half halts etc.

I do use the same cue for canter as you but maybe i'll try using your cues and see if he responds. It took me awhile to figure out his canter cue, and since then I can almost always get him to do it (we still have to work on it but SO much progress has been made in that department).

I was practicing with him yesterday walking walking walking. He does do a nice Flat walk, which I guess has never been the problem it's that running walk I can't get him to do. OR maybe i'm just REALLY bad at realizing when he's doing it? I know it's the same 1234 train chugging footfalls but maybe he's doing a really slow Running walk? I have a hard time telling if it's a faster flat walk or slower running walk....if that makes sense? I was pushing him to go as fast as he could and if he paced I slowed him down again. It seemed to help a lot but i'm not sure if he ever did the RW....

As for the Rack I KNOW he's done it and he knows how to do it but I feel I would not know if he did it because I have no idea how it feels compared to the pace. Sometimes Skyy's pace can be so smooth other times it can be so bumpy! lol Is there a certain feeling I would get or could I hear the foot falls? I'm going to be videoing it so I can watch and have this one gaited guy watch...but my non gaited boyfriend is usually out with me. Unfortunately he doesn't know much in the gaited horse department so...yeah. :/

Again thanks for all your help!
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post #7 of 24 Old 11-13-2013, 02:30 PM
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It's odd that you mention he is working more off his back end, pacing is generally indicative of a hollow back and being strung out. I would discourage the pace at all costs, allowing him to work in this gait only encourages it & as you mentioned it is not good for the horse and uncomfortable. When my mare breaks into a pace I immediately bring her down to a walk & then continue to encourage her forward. Over time she's figured out I won't let her pace so she is looking for an alternative and is developing a decent RW. You need to find a gaited horse trainer, it's a whole 'nuther world from "regular" horses.
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post #8 of 24 Old 11-13-2013, 03:49 PM
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I think you are getting some really good advice here. There is a web site called Ivy's Horse Training. There are some free training videos and you can also send her a video to be analyzed and she can give you some suggestions.
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post #9 of 24 Old 11-14-2013, 11:51 AM
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Idrivetrotters method is similar to the one I use. Walk walk walk. Walk up to the point where you feel she's breaking into a pace. Don't let her. Slow her down to where she's 4 even beats again. The previous owner may have just not let her break to a pace, and worked on getting more speed on a flat walk to running walk. Muscle memory. You also need to get to where you feel her start to invert and not be round. That's usually when the head starts to come up and stops nodding. Put the racking off for a while. What helped me immensely was taking mine away from the barn on a firm road, then heading back to the barn listening to those 4 equal beats and listening to where they start to become uneven. Watch for when the nodding stops. That's usually when she's heading for a pace. Do lots of circles, serpentines, figure 8's and an occasional stop and back up. These things will lead her to developing a longer stride with the hind legs which is connected to the head nod and flat or running walk. Be sure to have some soft contact with the bit, to where you can feel her nod. Hope this helps a bit.
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post #10 of 24 Old 11-14-2013, 02:27 PM
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I'm going to add, since I'm sort of in the same boat here. What works for both my horses is to "push" into gait as opposed to "stepping" into trot. Almost as if asking for collection. More of a mental thing.
Yogiwick is offline  

gait , gaited horse , pace , pacing horse , twh

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