TWH "hopping" at the gait? - Page 2
 
 

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TWH "hopping" at the gait?

This is a discussion on TWH "hopping" at the gait? within the Gaited Horses forums, part of the Horse Breeds category
  • What is the gait right above the walk
  • Videos showing horses with choppy gaits

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    08-14-2012, 10:51 AM
  #11
Weanling
trailhorserider

The method you promote is the common way taught by many trainers, including me, until I found out differently. The walk, walk, head down, approach will not work for some horses. What I found out, just this year, works for nearly all of them. And works much faster. I saw horses that had 5 month of professional training under the walk, walk method do nothing but trot. I had given up on them until I happened on to these trainers. In one afternoon with the head up drowning method they started gaiting.

Like I said. This old dog is not too old to learn new tricks. I had been using the walk, walk, method too, but found out there is a better way. It will not hollow the back, and it doesn't take but days of short rides like this, before you can start slowing them down and bringing the nose in a little bit at a time. We did in weeks, what could not be done in months with the walk, walk method.

Better try it, before you condemn it, an claim it's false. The walk, walk, way works on some, but usually takes a very long time, and will not work, at all, on some.

I little food for thought. When you first start a horse moving, under saddle, at a gait above a walk, and don't restrict the head, where does the head go? So what is more natural the head up, or the forced head down?
     
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    08-15-2012, 12:09 AM
  #12
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbsmfg3    
trailhorserider

The method you promote is the common way taught by many trainers, including me, until I found out differently. The walk, walk, head down, approach will not work for some horses. What I found out, just this year, works for nearly all of them. And works much faster. I saw horses that had 5 month of professional training under the walk, walk method do nothing but trot. I had given up on them until I happened on to these trainers. In one afternoon with the head up drowning method they started gaiting.

Like I said. This old dog is not too old to learn new tricks. I had been using the walk, walk, method too, but found out there is a better way. It will not hollow the back, and it doesn't take but days of short rides like this, before you can start slowing them down and bringing the nose in a little bit at a time. We did in weeks, what could not be done in months with the walk, walk method.

Better try it, before you condemn it, an claim it's false. The walk, walk, way works on some, but usually takes a very long time, and will not work, at all, on some.

I little food for thought. When you first start a horse moving, under saddle, at a gait above a walk, and don't restrict the head, where does the head go? So what is more natural the head up, or the forced head down?
Well, I haven't tried it so I guess I can't say it's false. But the 3 books I have on gaited horses and everything I have read on the internet suggests this is really bad form and bad for the horse. I picture it causing a pacey or racking type gait?

Anyhow, I will assume you and Gary Lane don't agree.

I little food for thought. When you first start a horse moving, under saddle, at a gait above a walk, and don't restrict the head, where does the head go?

I do believe the head goes up.

So what is more natural the head up, or the forced head down?

I'm not advocating forcing the head down. But I'm also not pulling it up. Pulling it up into a drowning-if-it-rains position isn't natural either.

Actually, if you take a regular trotting horse and ask it to trot on a loose rein the head goes up. So maybe we all should just quit worrying about how the horse carries himself. It would make life a lot easier!
HorseCrazyTeen likes this.
     
    08-15-2012, 12:18 AM
  #13
Weanling
Bbsmfg3, you are correct for the most part. You just don't ride a gaited horse like you ride a quarter horse. That's why, when you see a TWH show, the whole carriage of the rider is different, and the horse raises his head. This is what the old-timers called "setting up in the bridle". It really doesn't hollow the back, most of these horses are bred to carry their heads high. Then you can gradually work on bringing the nose in, but the head carriage is high. My smallest Tennessee Walking Horse has a HUGE running walk, and if you ask him to lower his head he will break out of it.

I never understood the difference of riding a gaited horse like a TWH when I first moved here, so I took lessons from some successful old timey TWH people, even though I had been riding for 40 years. I found out you can always learn something new.
     
    08-15-2012, 12:35 AM
  #14
Foal
I've seen the head-up training, several trainers in the area do it and it's popular with icelandic trainers. If the horse can rack, then it forces it into a rather poor rack, the stride is rather choppy and not stepping underneath himself. Otherwise the horse will just pace. Head up, hollow back isn't good for the horse. Any horse, not just gaited.

I've never seen a horse's head "go up" when it trots, unless it's a poorly trained horse or it has a poor rider who is hanging on to the horse's mouth.

I'm like the other posters who hope the op isn't taking the head-up advice. There are no shortcuts to training, and I'm sure if they just work the walk, and push the horse as fast as he can hold the gait, that they'll have a nicely gaiting horse in no time. :)
     
    08-15-2012, 10:20 AM
  #15
Green Broke
This thread leaves me feeling frustrated because I AM new to gaited horses and I went through great lengths to try to learn the right way. I mean I research the hell out of everything and have read three books on the subject. Now someone is telling me everything I have learned is wrong.

So what's a person to do? Just say the heck with it and ride anyway they want I guess. But I really want to learn the "right" way. The problem is, there doesn't seem to be a right way.

Everyone in the trotting horse world pretty well agrees you don't want to pop their head up. But in the gaited horse world???? I am at a loss.

Everything I have read pretty much suggests that you want to walk them into gait with increasing speed (at the walk) until they are conditioned enough to switch into their natural gait. Now I am hearing crank their head up and you will be there in no time at all.

My horse is so forgiving and I have started out riding into contact, then decided it would be better to ride her like a "normal" western trained horse and back her off of contact. Now I am back to riding with contact again. And now I'm supposed to pull her head in the air as high as it goes? (Not going to happen by the way).

Maybe this kind of stuff is why gaited horses never gained the popularity I always thought they should. I mean, they SHOULD be the cadillac of trail horses. Too bad no one can agree how it's best to ride them to nurture their best gaits. It's easier to just learn to ride a trotting horse and hit the trails.

PS. These are books by gaited horse trainers I've been reading and have told me to walk them into gait. Gee I should have just saved myself all the trouble and imitated the old TWH folks. But if they are the same folks that ride like hunchbacks, pad them up to high heaven and sore them why would I want to learn from them? That's certainly not how I trail ride (no to mention what I REALLY think of them). I give up! Just pull their heads up and be done with it.
     
    08-15-2012, 10:51 AM
  #16
Weanling
Let's not forget this discussion is all about training for the gait. And that is the last thing I want to do with gaited horses. I prefer those that are naturally gaited and require no training to get them to gait. BUT, we all wind up with one sometimes, that we have to train for gait. OR, one that needs just a little tuneup once in awhile.

Just a quick note about the gait you get when you use the nose drowning method. Most of the time it will be the gait they are conformed to do. If they are built for the running walk, that's what you get, if they are built for the rack, then you get a rack. And if they are not conformed for either, it will be rough and undesirable, if this is the case, they are not usually worth fooling with. Send them to the trotting/pacing folks, because you can spend huge amounts of time and never get a smooth desirable gait. Now, if you want a running walk, and they start gaiting with the rack, and they have the conformation to do a running walk, you can usually get them to shift into the running walk when you get them slower and ride them up some relative steep hills.

Most of them time when I teach a racking horse to RW, I simply slow them down as slow as they will go and hold gait, then start them up a hill and slow them down just a bit more, and the fall right into a RW. Then it doesn't take much more and you can start queing for the rack or RW.

Let's also not forget, that most horses that are built to rack, and do a rack, can usually do a nice slow running walk. The reverse is not true. All of my racking horses will do a nice slow running walk. I've had a few TWH that were conformed for the RW, and did a pleasure RW, would do a smooth rack. Most of the time they will pace. AND we also do not want to forget that the majority of the TWHs are breed to pace, because that is the gait the big lick, high dollar breeders prefer, in order to get the big lick running walk. Very, very seldom is one of these even worth trying to make a pleasure trail horse. That type of bred in pace is tough to turn into a pleasure RW. AND that is exactly why you see so many TWH on the trail that only slow walk. Any thing else is too rough to ride.

When they are bred to pace and have the conformation for pacing, it doesn't make any difference which method you use, it will be slow, slow, slow and most of the time they will not maintain the pleasure RW or Rack for any length of time, before they transition back to the pace, then you have start all over again, OR be good enough to continually train for the gait.
     
    08-15-2012, 11:08 AM
  #17
Weanling
trailhorserider

It is the flexibility of the gaited horse and it's smooth ride that makes it all worth while.

Unfortunately, money gets in the way big time. The majority of all gaited horses are TWHs that were bred to pace so they can get the big lick.

Fortunately, there are enough of us around that only want the smooth trail horse and look for and breed gaited horses that are bred to pleasure trail gait(RW or rack)

Because they are so flexible many differing methods for teaching the gait work, but if you want a true pleasure gaited horse for the trail, find one that is naturally gaited and none of this training for the gait matters. Most of your naturally gaited stock need very light contact with the mouth, very light. Just enough to keep the reins from flopping. Most of the time you need to look at horses that are not TWH, since most of them are bred to pace. My best gaited horses are plugs, no papers at all.

It is different. We bred arab for over 40 years, but switched to gaited horses when we got too beat up, and old, to handle the trot. The only way we can ride is smooth. And we still like to ride fast, but we want fast and smooth. My wife's horse can rack up to a true 36 mph and stay smooth in a rack all they way up. My guy tops out in the lower 20 mph range. Most of them are in the mid teens. And they will all do a nice 7-8 mph running walk. Well not all of them, the wife's horse can rack down to about 5 mph. He doesn't need a RW, so I've never taught him to do it.
     
    08-15-2012, 06:28 PM
  #18
Green Broke
bbsmfg3, my first and second horses were Arabians and I love the breed still! Both of my old Arabians passed away though and my current horses are a BLM Mustang (slow, slow, slow!) and a Missouri Fox Trotter. Maybe I made the mistake of lumping MFT/TWH and the other North American gaited horses together.

My Fox Trotter fox trots, but the faster she goes, the rougher she gets. I don't know if it's always a fox trot or when she gets too fast it goes to a hard trot, but I have learned if I want to keep her smooth it's best to ride just faster than a flat walk. I would consider her naturally gaited but she's spent her whole life basically as a broodmare before I bought her and she goes in and out of gait quite a bit. So that's why I have been on a quest of how to ride her better. It's not that she doesn't gait well. I am just still trying to learn how to hold her in the gear I want when I want it.

What I really love about the gaited horses I've ridden is that they are both fast and smooth at the same time! I can collect my Mustang's trot and make him smooth-ish but it is not fast. Or I can ride him fast but it is not smooth. I love that gaited horses can be both ground covering and smooth. All I do is trail ride and to me they seem like the ultimate trail horse if you want to go faster than a dog walk.

Sorry for getting frustrated, I actually think we probably have more in common than not. I am just trying to put in the effort to learn to ride my mare better......and any other gaited horse I might own in the future.
     
    08-15-2012, 06:36 PM
  #19
Green Broke
PS. I would LOVE to ride a racking horse. And I actually think it's a rack that one of my friend's MFT's does when he gets excited. Like gliding in back and swimming in front? That's what he feels like anyway.

Can you tell me if this is a good example of a racking horse? Or if not, do you know of a video that shows a good example of a racking horse?


Ever since I saw this horse's video I have been infatuated with him. Watching the gliding motion of his back legs is hypnotic. So I'm curious if this is what the rack is supposed to look like. (I think I can also pick out a running walk in there a time or two when he slows down).

Yeah, I would love to try a racking horse!
     
    08-15-2012, 08:58 PM
  #20
Weanling
Willie is doing what they call a slick pace. Many times it is very smooth.
If you pause the video, you'll see that it is almost a full pace. In the rack, the front foot leave the ground before the hind foot on the same side. Willie has the hind foot leaving just a little before the front foot, hence the slick pace. I doubt if Willie would be very smooth down slow.

Don't forget a foxtrot is what they call a capped gait,ie, the front foot sets down in the hoof print of the front foot. If they over reach they are not normally foxtrotting. And it could be any one of a number of variations of gaits. If you use the nose drowning method on a foxtrotter, they will usually rack.

I prefer the rack, because to me, it is a more balanced gait, and they seem to be a lot more manuverable in the rack over the RW. And it is much easier to teach a good racking horse to do a nice slow RW.

Here is a true racking horse. I bought this horse a little over a year ago. He is very nice.
Notice the reins are just tight enough to keep them from flopping. He is naturally gaited, you can not make him doing anything but rack or RW.. I taught him to do the RW, in less than an hour. He will not pace, canter, or trot. I'm sure I could teach him to canter, but why, he can rack over 20 mph, that's fast enough.

     

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