Keeping a Walking Horse "In Gait"
 
 

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Keeping a Walking Horse "In Gait"

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  • How to make my walker horse gait
  • Keeping a horse in his gait

 
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    03-08-2009, 01:17 PM
  #1
Weanling
Keeping a Walking Horse "In Gait"

Hey guys!!

Dreamer (my Spotted Saddle Horse) just had his 3rd ride yesterday! (yay!!!) And.. though i've broke multiple trotting horses to ride, this is one of my first Walkers. I have done some riding on Walkers before, but they were already very well established in their gaits. When I rode them I kept a slight feel on their mouth and gently asked them to step up their gait. My hands were also elevated and held about 3 inches above the horn.

So... my questions are...

How do you keep a young Walking Horse in their "Running Walk" without them breaking into a trot.

What are you supposed to do if they gait one day, then only trot the next? (Dreamer trotted his entire second ride).

Do I -need- to use one of those high port long shank Walking Horse bits to get him to maintain/keep gait? If so, im not sure I want him to gait =/ (I have soft hands, but still.. no 3 year old should have one of those in their mouth).

Anything else I should know? Tips? Etc?

I really look forward to learning something new today =)!!
     
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    03-08-2009, 01:21 PM
  #2
Foal
To keep a horse in their correct gait, you have to use your legs and hands at the same time. Keep nudging with your feet while keeping your reins semi-tight. He will soon learn to keep his pace up without breaking into a trot. I am working with a horse right now that is green and is doing the same thing and this is what has been working for me.
     
    03-08-2009, 01:34 PM
  #3
Weanling
What bit are you currently using on him? I meant to mention in my first post I am using a full cheek snaffle because he is still learning how to steer.

So if I ask him to move forward and he trots, I continue to hold his face and nudge with my legs until he starts gaiting?

Sorry for the questions! I just want to make sure im doing it right ^^
     
    03-09-2009, 05:49 AM
  #4
Foal
...mmmhm
     
    03-09-2009, 11:04 AM
  #5
Trained
Its been awhile but I'll give it a try. I have/had TWH for most of my life. One of the mares didn't really walk that often, she preferred to trot (she was a tripper too). Anyways, to get her to walk and maintain the gait I would push her forward with my legs and seat to get her working on the bit (is that's what its called?). Basically I would get her to collect herself and move forward instead of doing a lazy strung out trot, which was what she preferred. This had the added benefit of keeping her from tripping because it got her to pick up her feet. I did not put a lot of pressure in her mouth, but was steady light pressure... kinda pick her up and push her forward with my seat/legs/hands? Alright I think I'm failing miserably at this!!

Oh yeah and the bit we used with her was a bit "for" TWH, but she would do this in a regular snaffle too & our other horses would walk in a snaffle too. She just had a very hard mouth & we found we could use much less pressure (little tweaks & very light hands) with the walker bit. Whereas with the snaffle it was a constant fight to get her to pay attn to it (she would basically walk through it). Hope this helps at least a little.
     
    03-09-2009, 11:28 AM
  #6
Started
Lean back and sort of jiggle each rein in time with each stride (like a soft, rhythmic see-saw). And make sure you bring him down to a walk as soon as he starts trotting. That'll help him realize that it's wrong to trot.
     
    03-11-2009, 11:38 PM
  #7
Foal
I have found that working a young walker you have to do a lot of flat walking , ask for a little more speed each time and when they brake the gait you are asking for bring them back down to a flat walk. It takes time for them to build the muscle they need to mantian a good running walk. I've never had a walker that trots , but I would stop it as soon as it starts. I use many types of bits , I have found that each of my 4 walkers all like a different bit. Good Luck
     
    03-18-2009, 07:04 AM
  #8
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by AFTER MIDNIGHT 2    
I have found that working a young walker you have to do a lot of flat walking , ask for a little more speed each time and when they brake the gait you are asking for bring them back down to a flat walk. It takes time for them to build the muscle they need to mantian a good running walk. I've never had a walker that trots , but I would stop it as soon as it starts. I use many types of bits , I have found that each of my 4 walkers all like a different bit. Good Luck
Ditto all of that except for the trotting.

Two of mine will occasionally mimic my Arab in the pasture, but they gait consistently when under saddle.

The only time I ever had one of my Walkers trot and not hold his gait while being ridden I decided to call the chiropractor. It turned out that his Atlas bone and sacrum were both out of place.

He was just past three and evidently all his busy playfulness in the pasture got his skeletal system out of whack.

Because of work, it ended up that I gave him two weeks off instead of one. When I got back on him, he was a gaitin' fool with a beautiful head shake.

Point-being if a purebred Walking Horse consistently cannot hold its intermediate gait and insists on trotting , something is wrong and my suggestion would be to have a chiropractor look at it
     
    05-05-2009, 03:11 PM
  #9
Weanling
Tips to keep your young walker in gait:
Something that I found out while working with a 3 year old walker a while back is keep constant forward pressure with your legs as well as keeping their head in, use half halts to keep his nose in, that will keep some slight pressure on his mouth as well as keeping him rounded and balanced beneath you.
As far as building muscle and keeping him out of the trot, use a field with tall grass, hills and or mountains will help also, that will get him to build hind muscle as well as making him use his butt muscles and gait. It may just be a lack of muscle, or it could be something more.
Good luck! Hope this helps!
     

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