She's most likely just a half-breed, then. And I'll try that next time I need to school her =] I have to admit that I'll feel a bit odd mimicking her riding position. Legs way out, seat too far back, and hands in the air isn't exactly something I do very often, but in the name of figuring out what the heck she is, I'll give it a shot!
Basically, that position can throw the horse off balance, so they switch gaits (the hands up is because it is easier for the horse to gait in a head up position)... It has been taught to me as a "no no" when actually trying to work on the gait, but it can help assess the gait to see what's "there".
My understanding is a well trained 5 gaited Saddlebred will change gait mostly from the rider's seat... But their "position" shouldn't be quite that dramatic... There is a slight change in how the rider sits though.
My mare has been learning to amble if I sit with my pelvis tilted back a bit, and we encourage it by pushing her walk until she picks up the gait.
Her rack is hideous. I don't work with it at all yet. It tends to come out if I ask for the canter (canter also needs help, we are building strength first at the walk, amble and trot first). Posted via Mobile Device
Really? I knew that some of the more traditional appies had a sort of 'shuffle' , but I didn't know about the QHs! That's interesting.
Should I be discouraging her from the rack? Our BO has some experience with Peruvian Pasos (not sure exactly what gaits they have) since his last horse was one, and his current colt is a half, but no one else is really trained for gaited horses. She's ridden by our more advanced lesson kids, the BO's daughter, and I. I personally don't like it at all. I'm not fond of giraffe necks.
She looks like she could be a sibling of my friend's mystery horse! We think he has some Draft (he has huge feet) and some Appy in him. Her face and mane are JUST like his... I will have to see if I can find a picture of him. I swear they could be related. I am interested to know what you come up with for her breed!
He is also a mystery breed, we call him an All American. If you have any guesses as to his breed, feel free to post it! We've guessed some draft and some appy. But his BIG belly makes it hard to see what his build is supposed to look like. I think if he were thin like your mare they'd look VERY similar.