Thanks for your response. It isn't just the walkers, it's the fox trotters, the racking horses, the rocky mountain horses, etc. They all pace, no one gaits. I can get a horse to gait a few steps, I just don't know if that's all they can do or they can be trained to hold the gait. The way I look at it, any gaited horse I buy is going to need tons of training, I'm just trying to find one that is quiet and safe to ride.
I agree, good riding is good riding; gaited horses are still horses. However, different disciplines have different training. Hunters take a tap with the outside leg to canter, I've been on western horses that were trained to pick up the canter with three taps with the outside leg. There's little variations, so I thought maybe I just didn't know the cues for TWH's, (or any other gaited breed).
Lol the icelandic. The owner ignored my question about age in the email (I assumed she didn't see it), then the trainer said she had no idea and didn't want to guess when I talked to her to set up an appointment. I could cancel, but what the heck. I've never ridden an icelandic so I might as well try and see if it's a breed I'm interested in.
BTW, I did get one TWH to do a running walk and not a rack. That head! He had such a big nod that his mane was moving!
Originally Posted by Guilherme
Good training is good training; bad training is bad training.
Many show Walkers are trained to be very heavily on the bit and the rider drives them forward with the spur. So they do get the idea that "heavy in the hand" means "go faster."
The vast majority of modern TWHs are pacers of some variety. This, too, flows from the show world where pacy horses are bred and then "squared up" with devices. While a true running walk can be found, it's difficult. A pacer can be retrained to a point with good riding. I don't know of an upper age limit.
Anybody who "tap dances" on age of a horse is not to be trusted.
Good riding is good riding. You sit a gaited horse like you sit any other horse: square, in the middle. If you're going to jump then shorten your stirrup a bit. For long trail rides drop them a notch (will ease the pressure on your knees). Not all gaited horses are trained this way, but they should be.
Good luck in your search.