One more questions that strikes me as odd. Do you normally hold the reins up high with a gaited horse? My bf is convinced this is how you do it when holding the reins with one hand. He was taught this by his uncle. I'm from H/J so this is very very different to me.
No, no, and never.
I see that a lot in recent times and I honestly can't tell you why people think they need to learn that way if all they're doing is trail riding. Where's your balance when the horse jigs/spooks for one thing.
Speed rackers hold the reins up and you will see that in the show ring but, personally, I would love to duct tape somebody's arms to their sides every time I see pictures of hands held high and one rein in each hand.
I've been trail riding my entire life and nobody I've ever ridden with holds the reins like that on a gaited horse.
Except for getting the horse into its intermediate gait and holding it in that gait, just pretend you're riding your Arab
I'm sorry he's so bouncy - my old Arab has a pretty smooth little Quarter Horse jog on him but he's also the laziest Arab you'll ever see - lol
Hope you have room and $$ to keep one of the TWH's as once you start "glide riding" you'll be hooked. TWHBEA makes a sticker that says "ride one today, own one tomorrow" lol lol lol
Also, even if both horses perform the running walk, it may not feel the same on both horses. Their body structure and how far their "reach" is, can make a big difference in how the gait feels to the rider.
My 16.1H lanky/athletic built TWH doesn't feel at all like the 15.3H built-like-a-Quarter Horse TWH, yet they both perform the running walk.
The 16.1H Guy has that champagne-smooth RW that you could carry the proverbial glass of champagne and not spill it.
My 14.3H TWH is a hard lateral pacer in the field and performs the Stepping Pace, rather than the running walk. His Stepping Pace is exceptionally smooth but when he gets in a huff (we've been buds 22+ years) he will start that lateral pacing to where it feels like every capped tooth I own is going to need fixed
I bring him back to a dog walk and make him start over. Generally one dog walk is enough but it depends just how upset he is with me - lol lol
He cast himself for the first time ever this morning and I had to pull him around with a lead rope, so he owes me for awhile
If the horse nods its head from side-to-side it's performing a rack or the Stepping Pace, or a plain old hard lateral pace.
If the horse bobs it's head up and down, it's performing the running walk.
There are varying degrees of nods and bobs, just depends on the horse. None of my current horses get too enthusiastic but the four year old I lost had such a big head-bob that his ears would sometimes flop
Don't be alarmed if you see the Walkers trot at liberty, that isn't uncommon. Especially if they're close to your Arab. My 16.1H champagne-smooth guy trots every time he gets beside or behind the Arab in the pasture but has never trotted in the bridle
There's some UG-LEEE bits out there for Walking Horses but if you really want to see some awful-looking bits, Google Paso Fino bits. I gag just looking at the pictures
Go with whatever makes the horse happy and keeps it in control. I have always used the low port curb with swivel shanks because they worked well on my Arab crosses, once the Amishman told me about them.
I also ride with a pretty loose rein unless we were in a parade, then I'd ask the horse to get its head up "Carosel Style". They pretty-much would keep it there with little help from me, except to get a little closer hold on the reins and some extra kissing to amp them up a bit
I am excited for you; you're going to have a really fun time with these two. I hope you can keep updating
Here's a pic of my 16.1H fella, hittin' a pretty good lick coming home. I did have one rein in each hand in this instance but, my hands are touching each other. Looking at this picture, my hands are high as far as I'm concerned but, riding him, they weren't. This was his first ride in nearly three years, so relaxing back and dropping the reins on the way home wasn't going to happen with this fella - lol lol He's a horse that will take five miles if you give him an inch.
Rusty is wearing a hackamore.
This is the horse in my avatar; this pic was taken when Duke (the 14.3H Step Pacer) was 22. He's also headed home but a lot more laid back about it - lol lol
Further to the point that you have two TWH's, two body styles, two different mindsets, although they are all very people-oriented and kind-hearted:)