Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Brokenheartsville, just north of Styxtown :)
Well, there are a few things you should do when riding gaited breeds.
First, collection. Yes, many gaited horses can gait fine without contact, but--if you are ever have problems with their gait, try collecting them (not to be confused with being in their mouths). When you collect them, try asking for a faster pace.
Secondly, DO NOT LEAN FORWARD! When riding TWHs it's best to use a nice deep seat. When a horse gaits, it's butt is lowered. I find whenever my horse is having a "lazy gaiting day", if you maybe raise a rein next to their butt or tap them with it (not hit or beat),they will lower their butts and smoothe out. But make sure they don't get used to this--then they may begin ignoreing it or fearing it, depending on how you choose to use it.
Gaited saddles are great saddles to use; designed especially for the movement of their body. Also, as seen in showing, the cutback saddle is a good saddle to practice in. It allows free movement in their shoulders, and gives the rider a deep seat which is BEST for a gaited horse. You do not have to use them, it is only a suggestion. Many do fine with regular everyday saddles.
If people say you absolutely HAVE to use curbs on gaited horses, they are wrong. They will gait with anything, but curbs are known to aid in better head positioning that helps gaited breeds to perform their gait.
Hope this helped--happy gaiting!
Most people are like Slinkies; they serve no real purpose, but they bring a smile to your face when you push them down the stairs.
When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on for dear life.