That made a lot of sense. So... how would you start with a 14 year old gelding? He is well trained. (I got the GREATEST compliment about a month ago. I was told by one of the other boarders that he is the best trained horse she had ever met!) He gives to cues, works well off leg, light on the bit (unless his brains have fallen out then it is hang on for dear life). He can be ridden with just seat and leg cues at w/t/c.
Now, he is Western, but he also drives, so he understands direct rein also.
The way we get to his gait at a trot is when he wants to go and I say no. He offers it up as a compromise. He is not allowed to pull on me (I have a broken back) so his neck comes up he tucks his head and speeds up. I can keep him it in longer if I click at him to encourage him faster and occasionally tap him with my heals (which for him is a MAJOR correction). But he sweats up fast doing this. However, he is not going very fast, more like a decent trot in speed (not as fast as his working or extended trot).
Now, at the canter he has only done this at BAD times. He thought he saw a bear (it was a cow) and did this wonderfully smooth gait I had never ridden before all the way home. His neck was up, his head tucked to his chest (I wanted a slower speed) it was four beat and we made it three miles home in about 20 minutes.
He really is a good boy... he just has his days... sigh. HE is a Dork Fish.