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Working on a flat walk

This is a discussion on Working on a flat walk within the Gaited Horses forums, part of the Horse Breeds category

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        11-30-2012, 01:21 PM
      #11
    Foal
    Your right what a better place for a friendly debate ! I guess I should have given some background on my horse. He came from TN was 2009 World Champion Trail Pleasure AT AGE 3 ! Which means he was ridden early, he had weighted shoes and a very high, tucked neck and a high step.

    He is now a relaxed California guy, barefoot and in a snaffle ! So we (he) has to re figure where to put his feet, figure out the tempo of his lighter feet and how to adjust his balance. And its on ongoing learning process to learn communication with eachother !!

    We also had another issue, he developed pretty significant EPM shortly after I got him. He was sick and in treatment for about 9 months and had neurological deficits. I was very lucky that he has pulled through without too much residual damage. His right read end tend to be weak and that is still a work in progress to figure out what is permanent and what is just poor tone. As with most things learning is a never ending process, we are just going to enjoy the process !
         
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        11-30-2012, 01:29 PM
      #12
    Foal
    Pattilou, if you had put all the information in your last post in your first one you probably would have had less debate ;). I think a pet peave of many on here is that there are a lot of people who try to either A. Make a horse fit a certain mold. Or B. Get locked into some theory and apply it everywhere. Both of which tend to be based on opinion rather than science. I wish you good fortune in your endeaver to improve the quality of your horses health and life.
    Pattilou, MsBHavin, Malda and 1 others like this.
         
        11-30-2012, 02:45 PM
      #13
    Weanling
    Having been around many many many twh. Raising them from birth to saddle horse in the mountains. I fought many a old timer on how bad they are with there hoofs. How they are clumbsy to high headed and just all around bad horses..lol..well.. alot of them I just ended up taking them riding in the mountains on there favorite mountain horse. Or loaded up on one of mine terrible twh. And with in ten miles they changed there tune. I did learn how not to care to terribly much on what others thought out of it. I have had some really good twh horses for arena work too.roping. Cutting. Gaming. Even cowboy polo. And as old97fan said. And one of the things I love about horses and working with horses. Is that there are so many different ways of getting a horse to the same place. One can always learn. Thanks for the topic of the day..good luck with your twh. Ride safe everyone
    Pattilou likes this.
         
        12-01-2012, 09:57 AM
      #14
    Weanling
    Let's put it yet another way. If you have a gaited horse with a naturally low head set, it is poorly conformed. And if you force it lower than natural you are causing many more problems, ditto, if you force it higher than natural.

    The concept of walk, walk, walk, and lower the head to gain gait and/or relaxation is false, false false, if your forcing the condition.

    Properly conformed gaited horses move better, more relaxed in their natural head set, not the head set we mortals think it should be.

    And why would you put the horse in a snaffle? Have you checked to see if a snaffle fits?
    montcowboy likes this.
         
        12-01-2012, 12:00 PM
      #15
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bbsmfg3    
    Let's put it yet another way. If you have a gaited horse with a naturally low head set, it is poorly conformed. And if you force it lower than natural you are causing many more problems, ditto, if you force it higher than natural.

    The concept of walk, walk, walk, and lower the head to gain gait and/or relaxation is false, false false, if your forcing the condition.

    Properly conformed gaited horses move better, more relaxed in their natural head set, not the head set we mortals think it should be.

    And why would you put the horse in a snaffle? Have you checked to see if a snaffle fits?
    Low head set "defective conformation?" Would that not depend upon breed standard and way of going?

    You "walk*, walk, walk" to build strength and regularity of gait. It should also produce a more relaxed way of going. If you have to "force" a walk then you've already got a problem.

    Concur that "natural headset" is better than "forced headset."

    What's wrong with a snaffle bit?

    G.

    * By "walk" we mean the "dog walk" not any sort of gait.
    HorseCrazyTeen and montcowboy like this.
         
        12-01-2012, 12:46 PM
      #16
    Weanling
    Question:Low head set "defective conformation?" Would that not depend upon breed standard and way of going?
    answer: All gaited horse breeds are high headed horses. They can not perform correctly low headed, impossible, unless a lot of wrong training is used. A gaited horse with a natural low head, is a very poorly conformed horse.


    Question: What's wrong with a snaffle bit?
    Answer: Nothing, if it fits the horse. Very few will work with most gaited horses. One of the inherent characteristics of most gaited breeds, is a shallow mouth floor, ie, there is little room on the floor of the mouth for the tongue. A regular snaffle bit, in the mouth of horse that does not have adequate clearance between the bit the tongue, will cause a lot of discomfort. That's why we have the "comfort" bits.



         
        12-01-2012, 02:04 PM
      #17
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bbsmfg3    
    question:Low head set "defective conformation?" Would that not depend upon breed standard and way of going?
    answer: All gaited horse breeds are high headed horses. They can not perform correctly low headed, impossible, unless a lot of wrong training is used. A gaited horse with a natural low head, is a very poorly conformed horse.


    Question: What's wrong with a snaffle bit?
    Answer: Nothing, if it fits the horse. Very few will work with most gaited horses. One of the inherent characteristics of most gaited breeds, is a shallow mouth floor, ie, there is little room on the floor of the mouth for the tongue. A regular snaffle bit, in the mouth of horse that does not have adequate clearance between the bit the tongue, will cause a lot of discomfort. That's why we have the "comfort" bits.



    Sorry, point Number One is wrong. A diagonally gaited horse may have a much lower, natural headset than a laterally gaited horse and they will gait just fine.

    Point Number Two is equally wrong. I've ridden my performance mare for 14 years in either a snaffle (broken, Mullen Mouth, Myler Comfort Mouthpiece) or a Pelham (same mouthpiece mix) with four reins, snaffle primary. This includes trail riding; doing obstacles; stock work; and the military competitions (Mounted Saber; Mounted Pistol; Horsemanship; Field Jumping). Riding with a weapon requires "one hand for me and one for the horse." We ride in contact. Her gait is centered (the equivalent of the running walk of an old time TN Walker from the '30s). She has the nicest gallop (canter) of any horse East of the Mississippi.

    I've just started one of her production (a coming four year old gelding). He is doing well in a Pelham with a broken mouthpiece. I decided to introduce him to the curb using the Pelham (broken mouthpiece) and four reins. I'll try the Myler on him come first of the year.

    I don't know what breed of horses you specialize in, if any. But your purported "universal principles" really aren't.

    G.
    HorseCrazyTeen likes this.
         
        12-01-2012, 02:27 PM
      #18
    Weanling
    Lol..this is great. Let me ask a few questions. If you want a cutting horse.what type of confirmation do you want? If you want a fast smooth walking twh. What type of confirmation do you want? If you want a fast miler on a track what tpye of confirmation do you want? If you want a jumper?? Again what? Heres where it gets interesting .at least to me. Is every breed of horse has a standard confirmation. Why we show horses. Every type of work for a horse has a best confirmation for that type of work. Head sets?? Well.it all starts with where the neck comes out of the shoulders at. You go above or below that.you lose it. Well they do. And part two. Is I've seen naturally high headed quarter horses. And low natural set head set on twh. And most gaited horses. The point is. When I bread for years on getting a low head set arena twh horse.when I finally got it. Guess what..she lost her walk..was great for roping and gaming.cutting. But her walk wasnt to good. And when trying to train for a client a high head set quarter horse for arena work. Couldnt make a great one. Was ok. But the head set was a problem. Anyways.just an old cowboy that has been training horses his entire lifes opinion . Buy what your going for. And yes. From my experience gaited horses need there neck to come out higher.25 years of owning training them.. its just a fact..but with the breeding today. Its easy to find horses that are not standard.by that I mean is there confirmation isnt what its suppose to be..not that there bad horses.always a use for a horse. Just might not be the use you want it for. Thanks..ride safe everyone..great thread. Happy trails
         
        12-01-2012, 10:01 PM
      #19
    Weanling
    Sorry there is one exception : The only diagonal gait of the gaited horses is the Fox trot. All other gaited horses are lateral. And yes a foxtrotter could have a lower head set, because it is half way trotting.

    If you have had good luck with a regular snaffle, that's fine, your one of the very few. OR, you did a whole lot of inappropriate training. In either case, there are a few it will work with. In general, that is not the case. Most of them, snaffle or otherwise, need a "comfort" bit, to prevent pinching and unnecessary discomfort. If you have not checked your horse's mouth for fit, how do you know whether it fits or not? I've seen a whole bunch of trainers that simply use the same bit on all of them, regardless of the fit. Just because you have always used a regular snaffle on a horse, does NOT mean it is a good fit. Most horses are very adaptive and will learn to accept a lot of poor fits. BUT, just imagine how much more you could get them to do freely, if you avoid uncomfy bits, etc.

    In any case, the point I was trying to make about the snaffle, is simply, you can not assume a snaffle is easy on the horse without first checking. A snaffle can be just as severe as anyother bit, if it does not fit. I think the point went over the top.
         
        12-01-2012, 10:34 PM
      #20
    Green Broke
    Let me butt in here!


    First off, someone said the horse's head set when being ridden could be the same as his head set in the pasture. Well... In the pasture, the horse isn't carrying a person. I imagine carrying a person effects a horse's balance and therefore where it would be most advantageous to place his head.

    Horses aren't born knowing how to carry people. People throw off the way a horse naturally moves. Maybe it's okay to teach a horse a better way, long term, to carry a person? A better way, I would think, would be with a rounded back and engaged hind quarters. How would I do that? Teach the horse to carry its head lower, stretching the back. A horse with a rounded (or, rounder; gaits aren't performed with a back as round as a trot) back are inclined to engage their hind quarters.

    I am an endurance rider. The effects of riding a horse for long periods in a hollow backed way include soreness (especially right behind the withers) in the short run, sometimes. But in the long run, it's worse. Back problems, improper muscling. The way a horse traveling incorrectly on the front end pulls itself wears on the front legs. Traveling this way is also very inefficient. Every good endurance rider I know concentrates on getting a horse moving properly.

    I don't see how "moving properly" for ANY horse includes an overly hollow back and pulling from the front legs. Conformation regardless --breed regardless, even-- it isn't a good way to move in the long run.


    And for those who thinks it's uncomfortable for a gaited to travel with a low head set... My mare begs to differ. She loves traveling with her head level with her withers. Why? Because she's learned it's easier to gait long distances that way. Her "natural" head set was like a llama on crack. Just because she wanted to do it didn't mean it was best. Sometimes, the horse isn't right. I believe this was one of those situations.


    PS: I ride her in a rope halter.
    Pattilou and HorseCrazyTeen like this.
         

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