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Newbie seeking basic advice about aids used with gaited horses.

This is a discussion on Newbie seeking basic advice about aids used with gaited horses. within the Gaited Horses forums, part of the Horse Breeds category
  • Aids for a gaited horse to trot

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    07-28-2013, 11:40 AM
  #21
Weanling
If you want to teach the horse to trot do the following:
"Study dressage to ride (any horse) a good well balanced seat from your feet to the top of your head should be a nice straight line (no legs forward or sitting on pockets)"

Basic dressage is for the trotting horse, yes, there are dressage movements helpful to the gaited horse, BUT, not the seat. The dressage seat is well balanced for the trotting horse not the gaited horse.

Gaited horses need your weight back, not forward, hence, the legs forward, and sitting on you pockets.

AND YES, you will hear of the dressage riders claiming they ride the gaited horses the same as they do the trotting horses, and there are a few that do, but for the most of us, the gaited horse responds much better without the dressage seat.

Ditto, the gaited saddle is not the same as a saddle used for trotting horses. It is very uncomfortable to try and ride a dressage(trotting horse oriented) saddle on a gaited horse. The gaited horse needs a saddle that lets you comfortably sit on your pockets and move the legs forward. The trot is a "forward" seat, a rack or runningwalk, is a "back" seat.

Many, many very good gaited horses completely loose their gait when "expert" dressage or trotting horse riders, do not ride the gaited horses as a gaited horse and force the horse to their forward, trotting methods.

We learned the hard way. We rode trotting horses for a lot of years before switching to gaited. And ruined a lot of good horses before we found our way.
     
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    07-28-2013, 02:27 PM
  #22
Weanling
Bob has given you the classical, gaited seat. He's also told you how to sore up your horse's back.

When you move your weight to the back of the saddle and put your legs forward you shift your weight back and create two, large pressure points under your buttocks. This digs the cantle into the horse's back, causing it to hollow and the front to rise. This does move the gait to the more lateral, but at the cost of soring up the horse's back. If you don't believe me get a pressure sensing pad and put it under your saddle. Then ride in a balanced seat. Note the pressure distribution. Now try Bob's method and watch the pressure distribution. It is illuminating to say the least.

For further information review the work of Dr. Deb Bennett. She's said the same thing.

You can ride any gaited horse in a balanced seat and achieve a comfortable gait at no cost to the horse's back (all else being equal and correct).

As to the "dressage" seat do you mean a "Dressage Seat" or a dressage seat? With a capital "D" it means something very specific. With the lower case "d" it has a much more general meaning.

A good, balanced seat is always correct no matter how the horse is moving. The faster the horse is moving the more the body (from the waist up) needs to compensate. The base of support (from the waist down) should always remain stable.

G.
Gaited07 and Idrivetrotters like this.
     
    07-28-2013, 03:09 PM
  #23
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbsmfg3    
If you want to teach the horse to trot do the following:
"Study dressage to ride (any horse) a good well balanced seat from your feet to the top of your head should be a nice straight line (no legs forward or sitting on pockets)"

Basic dressage is for the trotting horse, yes, there are dressage movements helpful to the gaited horse, BUT, not the seat. The dressage seat is well balanced for the trotting horse not the gaited horse.

Gaited horses need your weight back, not forward, hence, the legs forward, and sitting on you pockets.

AND YES, you will hear of the dressage riders claiming they ride the gaited horses the same as they do the trotting horses, and there are a few that do, but for the most of us, the gaited horse responds much better without the dressage seat.

Ditto, the gaited saddle is not the same as a saddle used for trotting horses. It is very uncomfortable to try and ride a dressage(trotting horse oriented) saddle on a gaited horse. The gaited horse needs a saddle that lets you comfortably sit on your pockets and move the legs forward. The trot is a "forward" seat, a rack or runningwalk, is a "back" seat.

Many, many very good gaited horses completely loose their gait when "expert" dressage or trotting horse riders, do not ride the gaited horses as a gaited horse and force the horse to their forward, trotting methods.

We learned the hard way. We rode trotting horses for a lot of years before switching to gaited. And ruined a lot of good horses before we found our way.

I wish there was a "DISLIKE" for this post. It's so far fetched and just an old gaited horse myth.

Riding on your pockets or in any UNBALANCED form will do harm to the horses back and HOLLOW the horse out.

Whatever you do, DO NOT FOLLOW THE ABOVE POST FOR ADVICE!
     
    07-28-2013, 05:04 PM
  #24
Weanling
"I wish there was a "DISLIKE" for this post. It's so far fetched and just an old gaited horse myth.

Riding on your pockets or in any UNBALANCED form will do harm to the horses back and HOLLOW the horse out.

Whatever you do, DO NOT FOLLOW THE ABOVE POST FOR ADVICE!"

I wish there was a "Dislike" for comments like these, that do not have a clue about what works, and what doesn't work for gaited horses. This is what makes the switch to gaited so difficult.

Dislike it or not. It's simply the way it is. The sooner you come to realize this, the better off we'll all be. Took a lot of years before we realized what we were doing wrong.

If riding on your pockets is harmful, there would be a whole lot of harmed horses. What is balanced to a trotting horse is different than what is balanced for a gaited horse. There is a huge difference between the way a trotting horse trots and the way a gaited horse gaits.


" He's also told you how to sore up your horse's back."

And NO, I did not tell how to sore your horse's back. I told you how not to sore your horse. If you ride a gaited horse in a "forward" type of seat, like you ride a trotting horse, you will throw them off balance, and that will sore your horse. And you must have a saddle that fits and works with gaited horses. If your saddle makes sitting on your pockets difficult, you will sore your horse, or worse yet, teach the horse to trot.

"A good, balanced seat is always correct no matter how the horse is moving."
NOOOO, NO, what is balanced for the trot is not balanced for the rack or runningwalk, completely different center of gravity. It is no wonder so many gaited horses will not gait, they have been taught not to, by the way the rider rides.
     
    07-28-2013, 06:02 PM
  #25
Weanling
Bob, I did NOT say ride in a "forward" seat I said ride in a BALANCED seat. The Ft. Riley seat is an excellent example.

A three time National Champion at the National Cavalry Competition rides a Walker in Horsemanship, Field Jumping, Mounted Saber, and Mounted Pistol. He does a Confederate impression but rides the Ft. Riley seat. His horse has twice been recognized as an outstanding example of the military horse. IIRC he also does quite well as a Cowboy Mounted Shooter.

It is absolutely incorrect that the balance of the trot and the gait are incompatible. Done correctly both require that you stay in the middle of the horse unless you want to be somewhere else (like forward for a jump or off the side to bull-dog a steer). The base of support is stable and in the the center (unless you want it someplace else) and body from the waist up moves to accomodate the current activity of the horse. This has been right for knowledgeable horsemen from Xenophon through Podhajsky and unto the present day.

The main reasons gaited horses don't gait?

They are poorly bred.

They are weak and out of shape.

They have poorly fitted tack.

They have improper farrier care (long and low as opposed to anatomically correct).

They have sore backs from poor quality equitation.

Anytime you hollow the back you weaken it, rob the horse of the power of its haunches, and put the rider in an potentially unstable position. Your suggestion is a pefect recipe for hollowing the back. That's just a monumentally bad idea.

G.
     
    07-28-2013, 07:41 PM
  #26
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storybook Farm    
Thanks to all who responded!

First of all: I agree; she's a knockout. SWEET as pie, no vices, and willing. To me, she's worth any effort to woo and win! Also, being (ahem) mature... I've learned to wait for the good things in life, so I'm in no rush.

I can't ask Charles for advice because of the distance. I mean, I did ask, and he said that it would come with time, and that she was very forgiving. But he's never seen me ride and can't give me advice on the phone like I am needing.

My current idea is to get a Lane Fox saddle to school her in, instead of the nice Sycamore Tree hybrid trail saddle that I first bought. (Not yet selling the latter, just looking to purchase the former so I can get as close as possible to "familiar" and use muscle memory).

Thanks to whoever suggested books/videos. Now that I remember, I bought Lee Ziegler's *Easy-Gaited Horses* before I purchased Gracie. It was detailed, specific, and technical before I got the horse. Perhaps I should return to that resource now that I've been on her and have some more specific questions about how to proceed. THANKS!
He should be able to give you advice. I would be getting a video of you riding and send it to him asap.
     
    07-28-2013, 08:10 PM
  #27
Weanling
"It is absolutely incorrect that the balance of the trot and the gait are incompatible."

I see you still don't understand the difference between a trot and a rack or running walk. See if this explanations rings a bell.

In the trot, the horse is driving(I know this can be debated also, but) with the front end and with most quarter type breeds this is with the head down.
Gaited horses are high headed by definition( and yes, some will even argue this, but) and they drive with the rear end. So, if you have the same horse with a low head, and trotting the center of gravity will be farther forward, than the same horse with a high head and doing the runningwalk. To be balanced you must have the riders weight over the horse's center of gravity. And it really does not matter what posture the rider is in, so long as the riders weight is over the horse's center of gravity. You could ride them upside down or backwards, it makes no difference. It is only we humans that like to see the upright, meticulous posture. The horse doesn't care how you look, so long as the rider is balanced over it's center of gravity.

Now, I have seen some "die hard" dressage riders, move their saddle back a lot and still maintain their same posture when they ride gaited horses.

The main reason naturally gaited horses don't gait, is the rider, 9 out of 10 times.

At one time I bought into the hollowing the back as bad. Not anymore, I've seen too many moving very well with a hollow back and do it for many, many years. I do prefer not to have a hollow back, and you won't if you ride a gaited horse correcty(sitting on your pockets, with a properly fit saddle)
     
    07-28-2013, 09:34 PM
  #28
Foal
The QH peanut roller trot is NOT a true trot, a true trot is from the haunches NOT the shoulder. The base of power for the trot must come from the hind end to be able to round out well. Look at a Standardbred trotter, their heads are not level with the withers and they are driving from the hindend.

A hollow back is bad no matter what, the horse may stay sound but does that mean it is correct? Yes, horses who hollow their backs can and do gait well but it is not correct and not healthy for the long term. The goal is to build them up to gait properly and that takes time. A hollow back is just cheating and it cheats the horse in the long run because they do not properly develop the muscling needed to gait properly.
     
    07-29-2013, 03:18 PM
  #29
Weanling
If the gait is truly bred in, it takes no special riding style. You can ride them bareback in a halter and the gait it there. The rider should not have to "force" the horse into gait but sitting on their butt and shoving their feet out front.
Good horsemanship is good horsemanship on any breed. Sorry bbsmgg3, I agree on the balanced seat being the right way to ride any horse.
     
    07-29-2013, 06:44 PM
  #30
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by G8tdh0rse    
If the gait is truly bred in, it takes no special riding style. You can ride them bareback in a halter and the gait it there. The rider should not have to "force" the horse into gait but sitting on their butt and shoving their feet out front.
Good horsemanship is good horsemanship on any breed. Sorry bbsmgg3, I agree on the balanced seat being the right way to ride any horse.

I agree a balanced seat is the right way, however, the balanced seat is by definition putting the riders weight over the center of gravity of the horse. The center of gravity is different in a trot than in a running walk and/or rack.

You can destroy the gait of a naturally gaited horse by riding them with the riders weight too far forward, ie, where it would be in the trot. I know this all too well. We completely ruined several of them when we switched to gaited and continued our riding as if they were trotting horses.

I know the trot is driven from the rear, BUT, it is normally with the head down and the back horizontal to slightly up in the rear. I was just trying to make a point. A rack and/or running walk has the back slightly higher in the front than in the back, ie, you try to get the back end "up under". AND, in some trotting horses the head is up and the back is slightly higher in the front, ie, park horses, and saddlebreds, with these, you want your weight further back also, over the center of gravity. I hate to think of all the Arab park horses, we used to see, that had the action, but the trainer/rider could not get it out of them, because of the way they rode them(too far forward). We've taken many, many of these and got the park action out of them, with nothing more than moving the saddle back.

Many horses do well bareback because the rider will almost automatically find the horse's center of gravity. There's nothing between the rider and the horse to interfere with the rider balancing on the horse's center of gravity.
     

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