Kind of a positive sign I think - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 12-16-2013, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
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Kind of a positive sign I think

My horse is 12. She is nicely gaited , but will get pacey when pushed beyond her capability. At liberty in the pasture, she's always paced away. Not unusual. However, yesterday when let go in the pasture, she trotted away! I have never seen her trot. I took over her hoof trimming 6 weeks ago. I'm seeing that as a step towards being closer to the middle of the trot/gait/pace scale. I'm pretty happy about it. Should I be?
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post #2 of 10 Old 12-16-2013, 01:50 PM
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I've got one that naturally paces and one that is trotty. To be honest I don't care what they do on pasture. You said she paces when you push her beyond her limit. My though is to keep working her on the razors edge of pacing and work on that muscle memory. Now, that said every horse has a limit to both speed and smoothness. But, I'd say you might be seeing some improvement.

Jim
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post #3 of 10 Old 12-17-2013, 03:39 PM
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Mine will pace when pushed "beyond"....

She can only go so fast....

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
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post #4 of 10 Old 12-21-2013, 04:39 AM
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Some horses just dont gait fast........I stay within thier limit. I will slow them down, square them up and then ask for more speed slowly pressing little by little before they break out into a pace. In many instances medium speed is the best they can do.....I work with it.

Many gaited breeds will do a little bit of everything in the pasture but that does not mean that is thier primary chosen gait.

"The question is not, can they reason? nor, can they talk? but, can they suffer?" Jeremy Bentham
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post #5 of 10 Old 12-29-2013, 09:14 PM
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Thanks. I've often wondered if my gelding was just lazy or what. He gaits nice but isn't speedy. When pushed hard I can feel him stiffen then trot. I usually pull him back down as soon as he stiffens. This again made me wonder was I making him slow/lazy. Reading this confirms I should continue asking for speed gradually.
This past summer we began canter and gallop exercisee and I noticed right away he gaited better (faster) after a run. But would slow back down after a minute or so. Any thoughts?
I've also used trails to speed him up. He likes to lead so if another horse is behind he tends to move out a little more. If he gets passed he won't race the other horse though for lead. If there's a gap he will speed up momentairly to catch up. Its an odd thing though the horses I rode with will stop (much to riders chagrin) to put my gelding in lead.
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post #6 of 10 Old 12-29-2013, 09:51 PM
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I've noticed with our KSMH made that she gaits most quickly going up and down hills on trails.
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post #7 of 10 Old 12-29-2013, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pebbs View Post
Thanks. I've often wondered if my gelding was just lazy or what. He gaits nice but isn't speedy. When pushed hard I can feel him stiffen then trot. I usually pull him back down as soon as he stiffens. This again made me wonder was I making him slow/lazy. Reading this confirms I should continue asking for speed gradually.
This past summer we began canter and gallop exercisee and I noticed right away he gaited better (faster) after a run. But would slow back down after a minute or so. Any thoughts?
I've also used trails to speed him up. He likes to lead so if another horse is behind he tends to move out a little more. If he gets passed he won't race the other horse though for lead. If there's a gap he will speed up momentairly to catch up. Its an odd thing though the horses I rode with will stop (much to riders chagrin) to put my gelding in lead.

Funny, I can go out and gait, or I can get a nicer steadier gait after letting her speed around.
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post #8 of 10 Old 12-30-2013, 08:20 AM
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Pebbs

Gait or training for gait is essentially about muscle memory, and even though these horses will gait naturally under saddle, they will revert back to what is easiest whether that is the pace or trot or whatever. Just like any athlete the goal is to run them right to the ragged edge of their gait before they break over to a pace or a trot. Once you build that muscle memory then you can progress to more speed.
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post #9 of 10 Old 12-31-2013, 03:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pebbs View Post
Thanks. I've often wondered if my gelding was just lazy or what. He gaits nice but isn't speedy. When pushed hard I can feel him stiffen then trot. I usually pull him back down as soon as he stiffens. This again made me wonder was I making him slow/lazy. Reading this confirms I should continue asking for speed gradually.
This past summer we began canter and gallop exercisee and I noticed right away he gaited better (faster) after a run. But would slow back down after a minute or so. Any thoughts?
I've also used trails to speed him up. He likes to lead so if another horse is behind he tends to move out a little more. If he gets passed he won't race the other horse though for lead. If there's a gap he will speed up momentairly to catch up. Its an odd thing though the horses I rode with will stop (much to riders chagrin) to put my gelding in lead.

Stiffening is usualy associated with imbalance (goes along with being out of condition), pain or rider action/ reaction. I do alot of flexion exercises esp while warming up. I mean lateral flexion. Working with polls (or cavelleti) can help strengthen muscles, help a horse to drop his head, flex his back and use his hocks along with a plethera of things... granted he is not expressing pain related stiffness. Be sure that he is relaxed before asking for more speed and that he is working from his hind end and that your not riding off your pockets. (hips rotated to far backwards.) ONce I have them moving pretty square at a lower speed I will rotate my hips forward, give them a touch more rein (not so much as to lose contact) and if I need to, a little bump with my leg. IF they break or hollow out or if thier head/nose goes up or out I will bring them back down, relax them again and start over. If you ask him for more speed before he is round, relaxed, square and balanced he will break apart much quicker, will get frustrated and then eventualy develope bad habits like evasion tactics and a plethera of other things. Also how much leverage your using on the bit can play a role and weather he is dropping shoulders (imbalanced problems and evasion problems) and even the way they are shod/trimmed can affect speed issues.

Sometimes I will let a horse blow out a little (let them travel some at liberty with me mounted) but I always bring them back down and work on keeping them supple, square and round. This falls back on muscle memory.

"The question is not, can they reason? nor, can they talk? but, can they suffer?" Jeremy Bentham

Last edited by ZaneyZanne123; 12-31-2013 at 03:10 AM.
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post #10 of 10 Old 12-31-2013, 09:37 AM
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All gaited horses have a "form" that is native to them. The range of speed within this form can vary; some are faster than others. Some are smoother than others. Over-ride the form and the horse must compensate. Sometimes the gait becomes a trot or pace; sometimes the horse will canter. It all depends on the horse and rider.

The smart rider knows their horses form and lives within it. Training and conditioning can broaden the form tosome degree, but it's always there.

G.
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