Young horse gait - Page 5

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Young horse gait

This is a discussion on Young horse gait within the Gaited Horses forums, part of the Horse Breeds category

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    01-25-2013, 01:07 AM
Not only the horse, but that chair seat has to be hard on the rider, too. I don't think I could ride like that for my 4 - 5 hour trail rides, even if I take breaks and sit up during the walk. I'm getting older and doing everything to maximize my comfort on the trails. :)

Originally Posted by Guilherme    
A "chair seat" is the proper way to ride a gaited if, but only if, a "show gait" is all you're looking for. Any horse can do that for a few minutes in a ring. Ride horse like that for a few hours and you'll sore up the back bigger than Dallas.

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    01-25-2013, 01:16 AM
My friend who has MFT's likes to ride in a chair seat. I am less experienced than her, but I like to ride balanced on my crotch. I guess it's somewhat personal preference. I come from a trotting horse background, so that's probably why I developed my particular riding position. I think a chair seat would be hard to sit on a hard-trotting horse.

I do think a chair seat puts more pressure on the back of the saddle and consequently more pressure back towards the horse's loin/lower back area. That would be my primary concern with the chair seat....not balancing my weight on the horse. But I am a heavier rider, so I worry about stuff like that.

A lot of folks don't think much about seat position or saddle fit and seem to get away with it, probably because they don't ride a lot and the horse has time to recover? I don't know. I just know I see a lot of sloppy riders and I marvel at how they and the horses survive.
    01-25-2013, 10:54 AM
"A "chair seat" is the proper way to ride a gaited if, but only if, a "show gait" is all you're looking for. Any horse can do that for a few minutes in a ring. Ride horse like that for a few hours and you'll sore up the back bigger than Dallas"

Come ride with us for 20 plus days in a row, 8 plus hours per day and cover 20 plus, sometimes 35 or more miles per day, then tell me how the chair seat is wrong. If you ride a naturally gaited horse, rack, or RW, in an equitation seat you'll have them trotting in less than a day. Then see how that trot feels compared to a sustained rack or RW all day long. We do not doggie walk. We move out, and may gait, in our case the rack, most of the day.

When we switched from Arabs to gaited we ruined a whole bunch of gaited horses gaits before we finally realized the problem. Took a couple of years and a bunch of horses before we ran on to some gaited riders that were willing to tell us the problem. So many good gaited riders simply will not say anything, because of the comments like the one above. Just like I saw a comment about riding gaited horse in dressage. Yes, you can, if your either good enough to fix the gaits you destroy, or do not care. The majority of gaited horses are used for pleasure. They out number the show stock. For pleasure they need to have a smooth gait. You can not keep a smooth gait if your teaching them to trot. The extra weight put on the shoulders from the equitation seat teaches the trot. Gaited horse need the front shoulders as light as possible so they can drive from the rear. The trot pulls from the front. Both the rack and RW drive from the rear. Another reason the gaited horses need a different saddle. A full rigging saddle simply will not work with gaited horses. Their is a lot more action in the front end of a gaited horse. So you want that saddle back out of the way. And you want the girth back away from the action of the leg. Another reason flex panel saddles(not flex tree, huge difference) work better with gaited horses. Ridgid tree saddles will not give to the movement of the shoulders and back. They help a trotting horse also, but even more important on gaited stock.

As we get older the smooth comfortable chair seat is even more important. Another reason for the saddle to be made to accommodate the chair seat. It is very uncomfortable to try and ride a gaited horse when the saddle forces you forward. A good gaited saddle will have a deep seat that makes sitting on the saddle like the recliner in you living room.
tbrantley and Dead Rabbit like this.
    01-25-2013, 11:06 AM
"I'd always rather have a women demo rider than a man. If she has long hair in a pony tail it's even better. That's because a pony tail is one of two, female anatomical features that will reflect the "smoothness" of a horse without fail as the rider really can't control them"

As the wife says: "they have to pass the boob test", if she is going to ride them.

There is another side affect of most women riding a gaited horse to test it's gaiting ability. A lighter rider will have more trouble, in general, getting a marginal or non gaiter to gait. The heavier the rider, the easier it is, to get a marginal one to gait.

However!!!!!, the wife does not get to ride any of them until I feel they are completely safe. Can not afford any accidents. That's what grandkids are for LOL, LOL
    01-25-2013, 12:09 PM
Thanks everyone for the information.. I am waiting for another video of this horse gaiting. I am hoping to see something more promising. If not, then I will keep looking. My husband and I travel a lot with our horses for weeks at a time riding many miles a day. Usually, 20+ miles a day and I am use to having a smooth running walk or a high steppen rack.

I too have discovered that not only do I need a saddle that is comfortable for me it has to be for our horses too. I ride a very lite weight trooper saddle, Jack Haagis, that was especially made for my horses. Since, I have started riding in this saddle my horses gait is even better than before and I can ride all day and it doesn't bother me or my horses. I have had to go through several expensive saddles to find just the right one. My husband rides on a Brenda Imus 4 beat saddle that was made my Circle Y when she was in contract with them. I like the saddle but it is to heavy for me to lift. But, it fits all of the gaited horses we have put it on (about 11) since we had it.

I am looking for a blue roan gaited horse that has the black points and the ride to go with it. If anyone knows of one, please let me know.

    01-25-2013, 12:17 PM
"I'd always rather have a women demo rider than a man. If she has long hair in a pony tail it's even better. That's because a pony tail is one of two, female anatomical features that will reflect the "smoothness" of a horse without fail as the rider really can't control them"

I am one of those females that ride with a long pony tail and I am always getting complements about how nice my horses are. That is also my test to see if the horse is right for me. Of course, my husband likes for me to ride the horse before he buys them and he says he wants to see how smooth they are. I think he is using the other indicators. LOL
    01-25-2013, 12:47 PM
Bbsmfg3..I think you are wrong on the chair seat. You think it works but it is very hard on the horse. Do your research before you defend it so adamantly.
    01-25-2013, 02:26 PM
I decided to do some research on the chair seat and gaited horses. This is some of the information I discovered:

What is it? The chair seat is exactly what the name implies, the sort of seat you have when you are sitting on a chair, knees bent, feet well in front of your hips. If the chair vanished, you would fall on your behind on the floor!

What is wrong about it? This seat puts the rider's weight behind the balance point of the horse/rider combination, making the rider unstable in the saddle. A person riding in this seat can easily lose balance with the horse and fall off, or end up gripping with the upper legs to stay on. It puts the rider's weight closer to the weakest part of the horse's back (the loin) than the straight balanced seat does, and encourages the horse's back to sag downward under that weight (ventroflex) often resulting in a more lateral gait. Ventroflexion obtained this way can cause the vertebrae of the spine to impinge on one another, leading to neurological problems.

Why do people use it? The chair seat is easy. A person with poor body condition, tight leg muscles, and stiff hips will find it much easier to sit in a chair seat than to stretch his legs down around his horse's back. - It makes it easy to put your heels down, a precept that is often pounded into rider's heads with explanation other than it is just "done that way". - Many saddles are built to encourage this seat and are often bought because they are comfortable for the rider. Lane Fox cut back saddles, western saddles with build up pommels, some plantation style saddles, some "all purpose" English saddles are designed to put the rider's legs in front of his hips, feet on the "dashboard" and practically guarantee a chair seat. - It throws the rider's weight toward the loin of the horse's back, encouraging ventroflexion and making a horse more likely to work in one of the ventroflexed gaits, such as the rack, saddle rack or stepping pace, or incline him to high action in the front legs in other gaits, a desirable trait in some trotting horses.
What alternative is there? The balanced, straight, classical seat is a very good alternative to the chair seat, provides superior balance, puts less stress on the horse's back, and is safer for a rider to use. On those horses that require a slight amount of ventroflexion to perform their gait, it is possible, using this seat, to slightly tip the pelvis, brace the lower back, maintain the same shoulder, hip and heel alignment, encourage some ventroflexion, and still stay in balance with the horse.

This rider is sitting a very slight chair seat on her Saddlebred, in a rack. Her hand and arm position are correct for his head and neck carriage. Over all, an almost ideal position for riding a horse in the rack in saddle seat classes ..

Would this be a good seat for a 20+ mile trail ride over all kinds of terrian?
    01-25-2013, 02:32 PM
This is the way I try to ride my horses.

This is the correct, balanced seat, with appropriate hand and arm position for this horse's body carriage. Compare it with the picture of the "pelvic tilt"
For any horse, no matter what the saddle and other tack he is wearing, the basic erect "ear over heel" position is the safest, most effective for influencing gait, and least wearing on the rider. For any horse, no matter what headgear he is using, the basic, straight line between elbow and mouth hand and arm position is the most effective for communication through a bit (or non-bit) and the least stressful on the rider. Sit straight and hold your hands in this position and you will be using effective basic equitation on your gaited horse ... and it shouldn't change no matter what saddle you are using or how you dress to show him off!
    01-25-2013, 06:49 PM
"Bbsmfg3..I think you are wrong on the chair seat. You think it works but it is very hard on the horse. Do your research before you defend it so adamantly"

Don't you worry, I did a lot of research on this one. No it is not hard on the horse's back, it is easier on them because you are allowing them to move naturally. Any time you ride a gaited horse in a equitation seat, like the one in the post above, you are forcing them to trot.

Now you know why very few folks will even tell you about it. And why so many gaited horses walk rather than gait. They have lost their gait and will trot or pace, beating the poor rider to death when they try and go faster than a walk.

You need to take a look at this video:

That's the second fastest horse ever recorded. This is Falcon Rowdy, the foundation sire of the singlefooting horse. There are those that dispute the speed. They claim he is traveling 51 mph in this video. Whether it was 35 or 51, it was fast. The only other horse faster, was a racing quarter horse in a short race. He was recorded at 53 mph. As you can see Johnny was riding in a chair seat, bareback and with one arm. You going to tell us he was not balanced.

If you want to keep your gaited horses gaiting, you have to learn to ride them, their way. I was as hard a sell as anyone. But after seeing the results, didn't take us long to change. Had to buy all new saddles and learn to relax and let them do their thing.

The wife's horse is a 16 hd racking horse. He is a grandson of Falcon Rowdy. I've recorded his speed at 36 mph, via the gps. He doesn't do that with an unbalanced rider.

Can't not even imagine riding the horse in the post above at 10 plus miles per hour in that seat. No way could you stay balanced. And your interfering with the horse's natural way of going.

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