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This is a discussion on Saddlebreds? within the Horse Breeds forums, part of the Horse Breeds, Breeding, and Genetics category

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    07-18-2013, 07:11 PM

Can Saddlebreds rack? I believe that's what its called. Where one leg goes up while the other three are on the ground. And if so how do I teach mine to?
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    07-19-2013, 10:20 AM
Some saddlebreds can be taught to rack, and really, you need a LOT of training before you can teach one. You at least need to have ridden a few five gaited horses, and probably even a few five gaited horses with problems, just so that you can get the feel for what it is. You need a great deal of training yourself before you can successfully train one to rack. You need to ride gaited horses that will cheat you, ones that you have to work for, and you need to be coached by someone who knows how to do it. It is not something that can be accomplished in a couple weeks or a month of training. This takes a VERY long time of VERY short sessions.

My advice is to send your horse to a saddlebred trainer for evaluation and training for a few months.

Here are a couple things that might help you.
Getting the first steps. How a young Saddlebred is taught to rack.
Here is a good video from one of the best.
LoveTheSaddlebreds likes this.
    07-19-2013, 10:43 AM
Also, just reread the OP, at the rack, ideally, one foot should be on the ground at a time, as seen here:

Granted, this horse is a WGC Five Gaited horse. Most don't look like him.
    07-19-2013, 04:40 PM
Thank you! How do saddlebreds get their tails up like the one in your pic? Is it cut that way?
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    07-19-2013, 05:18 PM
Originally Posted by jewelerin74    
Thank you! How do saddlebreds get their tails up like the one in your pic? Is it cut that way?
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They have the muscles/nerves? That hold the tail down nicked to weakened them, then the horse wears a tail set, it looks like a harness but has a metal piece that goes under the tail to pull it up & keep it up.
    07-19-2013, 06:17 PM
It is just easier to copy/paste from past responses, so here we go.

Some are hand stretched, some are in "humane braces" where the high tail is just a piece of wire and a "cap" or wig, but most of them require a simple surgical procedure. They are put in a harness that is specifically fit to each horse. At first, several weeks before the surgery, they are put in a bustle which is a really thick crupper to help loosen the muscles and to ensure that the horse will even tolerate wearing the set(You don't want to find this out the day after surgery). After a few weeks of wearing the bustle and hand stretching, a vet comes out and does a simple procedure where the muscles that allow the horse to clamp their tail down with force are nicked. When they heal, the horse still has full use of his tail, they just cannot clamp down with force. It also makes the tail loose enough to be put in a brace for the show ring creating that aforementioned balanced look.

It is purely for fashion now. Not necessary, and they require an absurd amount of care during healing. Every effort is made before, during, and after the surgery to make sure the horse is comfortable and pain free in order to protect the tail. A horse in discomfort will rub his tail, pull his set off, of find some othe way to try to rid himself of the discomfort which will obliterate the tail and cause the horse greater pain. When this happens, often the damage is irreparable. They are pampered, and carefully tended every day until they are fully healed.

Once the procedure is complete, the horse does not need to wear his set 24/7. Show horses only wear their sets a week or two before a show. In the off season, the sets come off. So do the shoes.

It is legal in every division to show with a natural tail, and some horse shows, including the World Championships have added several natural tail classes.
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    07-19-2013, 09:36 PM
Thank you! I don't know much about the breed and one of my rescues happen to be one. It seems like its a lot to teach her to rack so she wont be learning it in the near future but I sure do enjoy learning all these things! I always thought it was cool that they were up like that and I always wondered why mine didnt lol
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    07-19-2013, 10:24 PM
Originally Posted by jewelerin74    
Thank you! How do saddlebreds get their tails up like the one in your pic? Is it cut that way?
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They will put their tails up naturally. For the show industry people do things to facilitate the tail being up, but you can see even part Saddlebreds, like my Georgian Grande, will often lift their tails upright.

I never have a camera when they do it (I never have a camera with me when they don't do it ), but someone who was watching them run around one day sent me a picture with my then filly's tail almost upright. Someday I might have a camera and manage to catch a photo while she has it up like a flagpole. She does most times when she's running around, but doesn't keep it up constantly whereas her older cousin almost never does it.

Some horses just like doing it.
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    07-19-2013, 10:32 PM
Oh yeah boy! Get them wound up and feeling good and up go their tails.... Usually followed by a SNORT. Lol! I love Saddlebreds!

Generally speaking, if the horse doesn't look like it is going to be cut out for the five haired division, it is not taught to rack. Why waste months of training time to teach them something they won't need? And same with the tails. If they don't look like they are going to be show horses, they aren't going to take the time, money, and energy to have the tail cut.
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LoveTheSaddlebreds likes this.
    07-19-2013, 10:55 PM
That is funny. I have zero interest in hunters and several other styles. I wouldn't insult them or those who love them though.
Golden Horse and Muppetgirl like this.

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