At my work, there's a little TWH [named Skippy, in case I refer to him by name]. He's not set in his gaits whatsoever and my feeling is that he's had very little training geared towards his gaited side. They were previously working with him on "flexibilty" and, to that end, lunging him on the end of an 12ft lead rope to "encourage him to bend".
ANYWAY, my goal is doing this the right way! Only problem is that the only gaited horse I've ever worked with is my mare and she's about as ungaited as you can get for a horse that pops out a gait every once in a awhile. I've tried to "set" her gaits and failed miserably but she's really not very gaited at all - just a little flat walk and a little rack.
My boss is hoping [this horse is a therapy horse for kids with disabilities - he has a great mind for that...but is a huge brat the rest of the time
] that we'll eventually get him set enough in his gait that we'll be able to "lunge him at a gait with a kid on his back" or at least predict what gait he'll choose when we gait him in hand, with a kid on his back.
He does seem to be 'extremely' gaited, in that I've never seen him do any kind of "normal" horse gait outside a walk. I've heard that he will canter, but I've never seen it or asked him for it.
He definitely has at least 2-3 gaits in between walk and canter. He happily does an identifiable flat-walk, then some kind of maybe-pace [to my untrained eye, it looked like the legs on one side were hitting the ground together...but I really don't know, both legs on each side were definitely moving together], and then some other kind of head-shaking, higher-stepping, FAST thing.
Anyhoo, I'm inclined to think that getting a 'good' gait on a lungeline might be a sort of pipe-dream since I've read that circles=/=gaited horses...but who knows!
It would be great to know if that^ was possible and how I might begin to train him to do one gait or another on command. He'll gait if you ask him to go faster than a walk...just which gait is up for grabs! haha
Thanks! I know you gaited horse people are super on top of it. I'm excited. :)