TWH, Gaiting- Teaching her to keep her rear end low.

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TWH, Gaiting- Teaching her to keep her rear end low.

This is a discussion on TWH, Gaiting- Teaching her to keep her rear end low. within the Gaited Horses forums, part of the Horse Breeds category
  • How do you build muscle in the rearend of a horse
  • Big back end horses

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  • 1 Post By Darrin

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    04-16-2012, 04:18 PM
TWH, Gaiting- Teaching her to keep her rear end low.

How do I get her to keep her rear end squatted and stay in her gait? I have had her several weeks now, before that it had been probably close to a year since she has been ridden much at all.

I'm working with her and I'm just not sure how to keep her squatted low on her back end.
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    04-16-2012, 08:49 PM
You don't keep her rear end squatted to gait. Sounds like you don't have much or any experience with gaited horses. My advice is to find someone who gives lessons for gaited horses and take some. There are different things you need to learn to keep them in gait and that is the best way to do it.

Also, gaiting takes muscle. If she hasn't been ridden much over the past year then you'll have to build her back up. For now, stick to a dog walk and don't worry about gaiting. That will build her up. Once she has some muscle and you've taken at least a few lessons you can worry about gaiting.
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    04-16-2012, 09:29 PM
Green Broke
You are talking about what is referred to as Big Lick horses, those are the ones that are "squatting" and they are padded heavily, as well as other nefarious things.

A gaited horse should not be "squatting" at all. The gaits of these breeds are designed to be easy riding, and enjoyable, for both rider and horse.

Unless you are competing in the "Big Lick" classes, you won't want your horse to do this. It is not comfortable for the horse, and much goes into doing it too, that is cruel.
    04-16-2012, 09:38 PM
Green Broke
A horse would have to be traveling hollow to get that form and you really don't want that because it is bad for their hocks. They shouldn't be collected like a dressage horse, but they should not be hollow either. A nice happy medium.
    04-16-2012, 10:28 PM
What a relief!!!

Darrin, You are on the money. She is my first gaited horse. I am very inexperienced (gaited) other than riding a few fabulous times when I was much younger. I have actually found a trainer who came out and spent the whole weekend working with her on other things such as standing still for mounting, and some other ground work. I just felt that she has been dormant for longer than I have experience to pretend to train her myself.

The trainer and I have not really gotten into the details of her gait yet. He did invite my family and I to a horseshow where there were both show horses (of course) and just trail horses. He did this so I could point out what type of walk I would like to see my horse perform. - I told him I don't want all the fancy stuff, I just want a well behaved horse with a natural gait. I just want a smooth riding trail horse. He said "Perfect, we will discuss the details later and I will show you how to get her into and to hold her gait". So I figured that meant we would discuss it later. -- While at the show, I had wondered away from him and was mingling. Some people told me that my horse wasn't "walking right" and I needed to make her squat her hind end. -- I thought I would ask here since I had no idea what they meant and I am waiting until next week to allow the trainer to work on my learning the "gaiting thing".

What a relief to know that I don't need to figure out how to do that. I don't recall the times I rode being on a horse that "squatted" but my memory is not always that keen.

Palomine, Thank you for your input. Very helpful info. I am so happy to know that what she is doing now is probably correct. She is very smooth, I just need to learn what is happening under my rump.

Trailhorserider, As mentioned above, all I want is a well behaved, smooth trail horse. Sounds like it should be fairly simple. A happy medium.

Since our trainer said "perfect" when I described what I wanted, I feel like I will continue to be happy with his training of Bama and myself.

Some of the people at the show had me pretty worried that this was going to be a big complicated mess.. I guess I must have been speaking with the Big Lick 'ers. That would explain why I didn't sleep last night. I should have told my trainer, who's name is also Darrin, and he probably would have put my mind at ease.

Thank you all so much... :)
    04-16-2012, 10:41 PM
Originally Posted by Darrin    
Also, gaiting takes muscle. If she hasn't been ridden much over the past year then you'll have to build her back up. For now, stick to a dog walk and don't worry about gaiting. That will build her up. Once she has some muscle and you've taken at least a few lessons you can worry about gaiting.
Good advice. This is what I will do. She definitely can use some muscle building and I feel sure some of this is because she has gotten lazy. It's pretty apparent when Darrin or I show her something "new" you can tell this is not her first rodeo. ---Btw, She is 7 years old.

She is smooth when I'm just riding her. I just don't really know what is going on under me. I need to learn that stuff but it will come in time.

You have no idea how happy I was to see all the replies were, though kind, correcting me.
    04-17-2012, 12:18 AM
Well, since his name is also Darrin and rides walkers I must assume he'll be an awesome teacher for you!

Good luck, listen, watch and also read some books.
    04-17-2012, 11:15 AM
Do you have a video camera? Maybe the trainer would be willing to let you have someone come out and take some video of you while you are riding so that you can watch it later and see how you and your horse look when things are going well, and what he sees when he's telling you to fix something. No matter what discipline or breed you ride, it's really helpful to be able to evaluate your own riding, or your horse's movement, from another set of eyes.

Sounds like you have a good person to work with you and help you develop your new horse into a sound trail partner. Good luck and happy trails!
    04-24-2012, 10:58 AM
The idea to me is to keep the hind end engaged, not necessarily squatted. With my mare, if she stops using her rear end, I slow her down and squeeze her up releasing immediately when she engages again. She learns to use her back end and use it herself. I ride her on floppy reins and she stays collected, but it takes a bit of time to get them there...just like any discipline. :)

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