Riding new horse...different - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 10 Old 10-06-2013, 01:59 AM Thread Starter
Yearling
 
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Riding new horse...different

I feel stupid for asking this but here we go.

I am riding my sister's new horse to make sure he's calm enough for her (she's a total beginner) and so far he's been perfect.

I do have one small issue though. It's not really a problem, and I know it's totally and completely on my end but I can't seem to sit his gallop.

He's a ten year old, 16 hh quarter horse disciplined in western pleasure. I have never ridden western pleasure horses. I'm having some difficulty sitting his gallop.

I know that sounds silly, so I'll try to explain it.

I have had a speed horse of one kind or another for basically my entire life. And every horse I've ridden, their gallop always was very smooth. It's hard to explain. On them it's almost like I'm just gliding, I don't really feel their movement through the saddle.

With this guy it feels like I'm riding a giant rabbit. It's like now we're forward and now we're back and now we're forward and back again. It's like he's just bounding along. I find it very odd to sit after coming off horses that are so smooth.

I would have thought it would be the opposite. Where western pleasure would be smooth and speed horses would have more movement.

This new guy keeps his head down when he gallops so I don't know what exactly is happening. I don't know if it's how I'm cuing him or if I'm just sitting wrong or if it's just the fact that his legs are longer than I'm used to or his back is longer than my barrel horse...or maybe western pleasure horses aren't supposed to be able to gallop?

I'm in a western saddle when I run him.

Anyone know what I'm experiencing or can tell me how to sit his gallop?

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post #2 of 10 Old 10-06-2013, 03:31 AM
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If he's trained WP, depending on his history, he could just be unbalanced at the run. In training, that's never asked of them. And the head down thing is probably him trying to balance himself bc he's unsteady, or that's what he knows to do. Probably a bit of both.

I wouldn't worry about it too much as it doesn't sound like your sis as a beginner will not be doing much running anyways. Smooth Cadillac is a nice start ;) congrats on the new horse, have fun!
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post #3 of 10 Old 10-06-2013, 04:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ForeverSunRider View Post
With this guy it feels like I'm riding a giant rabbit. It's like now we're forward and now we're back and now we're forward and back again. It's like he's just bounding along. I find it very odd to sit after coming off horses that are so smooth.
I don't have any particular advice but just wanted to say this particular part made me smile as I envisioned you riding a giant lop eared rabbit, complete with fluffy tail and big front teeth

Best of luck figuring this out

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #4 of 10 Old 10-06-2013, 05:23 AM
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Why are you galloping him anyway?

All that will do is ruin a horse more often than not. And if he is WP bred, as well as trained that way? If you were wanting a speed horse, this is not the one you should have gotten.

Besides the issue of his training being different, their conformation is also quite a bit different too and galloping him may bring some major problems to the surface in terms of lameness issues.

Just not sure why you would get a WP horse when you apparently want a horse for speed events?

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post #5 of 10 Old 10-06-2013, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Palomine View Post
Why are you galloping him anyway?

All that will do is ruin a horse more often than not. And if he is WP bred, as well as trained that way? If you were wanting a speed horse, this is not the one you should have gotten.

Besides the issue of his training being different, their conformation is also quite a bit different too and galloping him may bring some major problems to the surface in terms of lameness issues.

Just not sure why you would get a WP horse when you apparently want a horse for speed events?
He fell into our hands - he's a rescue. And I don't see a reason as to why a horse should not be able to run. Despite what its discipline is. We're going to take him on trails and when we go on trails we always run at one point and so he's got to be able to run.

I wasn't making him go fast. I was just seeing if he could go faster than a trot. And that's what I ended up with. I need to see what all his paces are so I know what my sister is getting.

After I'm done, I'm going back to my speed horse and I won't have any more need to ride him. But we need to know what we're putting my sister on.

Quote:
"I like the palominos with the dark legs, - you know, the ones with the dark hair?"
"You mean...buckskins?"
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post #6 of 10 Old 10-06-2013, 11:35 AM
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It's probably his training with the WP and could be some conformation, or he is unbalanced. I wouldn't worry at all about his gallop and would just want that he is safe, sound and sane and is willing and has a nice trot and lope. That's all your sister will needs. I would personally be getting a PPE as the WP horses can be started very early and some have hock injections quite young.
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post #7 of 10 Old 10-06-2013, 11:45 AM
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Are you really talking about a canter/lope rather than a gallop? It makes me think you are talking about a canter when you say "just seeing if he could go faster than a trot." I really doubt you want your sister going in a full out gallop if she is a beginner.

As to the WP canter or lope as they call it - they are trained to be slow and many of them have it bred into them as well. It is trained in them over and over again. The few I have ridden felt like rocking horses to me - which might be what you are describing. If this horse is WP trained and bred you may never get fast speed out of him. And a full out gallop under saddle is probably a completely foreign concept to him. He probably has never been allowed to do so and thus will not have the balance, etc the speed trained horses you are used to have. Two totally different conformation requirements and training bases.

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post #8 of 10 Old 10-06-2013, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat View Post
Are you really talking about a canter/lope rather than a gallop? It makes me think you are talking about a canter when you say "just seeing if he could go faster than a trot." I really doubt you want your sister going in a full out gallop if she is a beginner.

As to the WP canter or lope as they call it - they are trained to be slow and many of them have it bred into them as well. It is trained in them over and over again. The few I have ridden felt like rocking horses to me - which might be what you are describing. If this horse is WP trained and bred you may never get fast speed out of him. And a full out gallop under saddle is probably a completely foreign concept to him. He probably has never been allowed to do so and thus will not have the balance, etc the speed trained horses you are used to have. Two totally different conformation requirements and training bases.
Yeah, that's what I'm talking about. Sorry, it was like 2AM when I wrote this :p

How do you sit that? I'm fine with him never going very fast. That's all good. I just have no idea how to sit it. And he's very rocking horsey.

Quote:
"I like the palominos with the dark legs, - you know, the ones with the dark hair?"
"You mean...buckskins?"
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post #9 of 10 Old 10-06-2013, 12:41 PM
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You'll have to learn to move your hips more than you are used to and make sure you don't clamp your legs as that will pop you out of the saddle with the movement. Rock your hips with the movement of the horse while keeping your shoulders up and straight - not leaning forward as some try to do. It will take some practice since its different than you are used too but I'm sure you will get it.

I'm not very good at explaining what I do while I ride, so maybe someone here could give you better advice too.

All I pay my psychiatrist is cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day!

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post #10 of 10 Old 10-06-2013, 01:16 PM
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Sounds like a nice rocking horse lope. Relax and go with it. Have you ever sat on one of those big balloon like physio balls? You know how you can just roll them around with your rear end? It's sort of like that- you relax your hips and let everything from your rear and belly button be moved forward and then back with his stride while keeping your upper half balanced, back and not tense. It's actually really pleasant to ride IMO, sort of hypnotic. His head would be down because he's WP trained and that is what he's been taught he is supposed to do.

My guy has that, but when I ask for a real gallop (as opposed to a lope) he will move out and the rocking motion is lost, at which point I usually am in half seat anyway. I'm betting this horse wasn't galloping, but loping instead, as that is far more likely what he's been trained to do. Unless there is something physically wrong with him, I bet your sister could retrain him that a gallop is also something he can do, if she wanted, but it sounds like he'll be a good match as-is (for her!). :)

Some people will describe riding a lope like riding a wave in the ocean- you're up at the top, then flow down into the valley between them, then you rise to the top, and then flow down again. Not sure if that is helpful, but that imagery helped me a lot when I first learned to relax into the lope.

Last edited by Sharpie; 10-06-2013 at 01:19 PM.
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