Originally Posted by jewelerin74
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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A rack is one leg down, others off ground. Running walk would be more what you are thinking of, or an amble?
Does your horse do it in the field or arena? Does it have a loose look when walking, sort of a swing to the movement?
Does it trot well?
If you have seen it hit a lick at liberty, then not rocket science to work on getting it out of horse.
Use snaffle, smooth one here at first.
First though, you need to have a cue for trot...bring legs onto horse, and bring hands up and narrow in front of you as you squeeze with calves. You can use verbal cue, but don't overdo it, and only use at beginning after you have given aids.
Once trot is solid? Then from a trot....teach these cues to let horse know what you are asking for.
To rack, keep hands low and spread wide...and take deeper seat and open legs off of horse. Keep horse moving forwards with clucks if needed, use legs on horse sparingly during this.
You might need, if you can feel horse is not settling into gait, to very very lightly "shake" head. You do this by alternating the use of your pinky finger to "pluck" first one rein, and then the other.
Notice I wrote ALTERNATE this...that means you pluck right rein, and then left rein. Not both at same time.
You want to get a little shake at mouth. Don't saw on reins either.
You want to get horse to shake head, which will be felt in shoulders, seat and shimmy in your body. And don't mean shake as in shaking flies off, this is very very subtle movement.
And the MINUTE you "feel it in your seat" quit any plucking of either rein. Let horse move forwards, don't pull back at all. Don't close hands or legs. Low and wide in hands, off in legs.
Again...the force of the plucking is very very light. Hold your hands above your keyboard, forefingers just above J and F key, and no other fingers touching either...then lightly reach out with pinkies and flick pinky at the enter and the caps lock.
The lighter you keep your cues, the lighter the horse will be.
If horse has been seen to settle into a gait at liberty...but seems resistant to it, you can use bracelet on diagonals, LF RH or RF LH to throw off the beat of the trot which will "shake" one.