I don't get it - racking
 
 

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I don't get it - racking

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  • Why don't saddle horses have a natural gait anymore
  • Does the natural racking gait hurt a horse?

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    09-17-2011, 11:00 PM
  #1
Weanling
I don't get it - racking

Okay, let's talk.....enlighten me please.

We have a couple of new saddlebreds at out barn and I've seen them ride a few times. Beautiful horses, but I don't really get it. The racking looks so hard on the horse, especially the back. This is not them but you get the idea. Could someone tell me why anyone would ride like this? I'm all ears.

     
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    09-18-2011, 12:37 AM
  #2
Green Broke
Why would anyone ride english? Why would anyone ride western? Why would anyone ride Aussie?

Its just a style of riding, just like WP or hunter under saddle or endurance riding.

Walking horse lore says that plantation owners way back when preferred gaited horses, since they could cover a lot of ground (by running walk??), a lot smoother then some of the other breeds available. Considering that some owners spent all day in the saddle watching over their slaves, a rough gaited horse would have been a lot harder to do.
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    09-18-2011, 12:39 AM
  #3
Banned
It does cover a bunch of ground and is very comfortable to ride. A good rack is very smooth. Even a bad one is just like going over a bumpy road REALLY fast.
     
    09-18-2011, 10:10 AM
  #4
Weanling
I know everyone has their different styles they like. I don't dispute that. But, I just didn't know why. Your explanation makes a lot of sense.

I see the horses at barn and just feel bad for them since it looks so painful. Is it not? Do they stay sound?
     
    09-18-2011, 10:36 AM
  #5
Green Broke
The Rack is just how the horses move. Does trotting hurt a horse's back? Does cantering? It's just how the horse moves, if it was extremely painful or uncomfortable I doubt most of them would do it.
     
    09-18-2011, 10:44 AM
  #6
Super Moderator
Racking is what these horses do naturally. It is as natural as a trot is to other horses.

Why would people want it? Well, have you ever ridden a racking horse (I'm not talking the big lick horses...that is another story entirely)? I have on only a couple of occasions, and I thought it was a blast!! Many people, for either preference or medical reasons, don't like the pounding of the trot. The rack is SO much easier on the body.

I am not a gaited horse expert by ANY means. However, there are several trail riders at my barn who have TW's and LOVE them.
     
    09-18-2011, 10:44 AM
  #7
Cat
Green Broke
I have seen some try to exaggerate the gait - super tight rein with shank and really hollows out that back - and I could see that eventually hurting a horse. However, riding a gaited in their natural gait won't hurt them. In fact if you ever go out with a group of gaiteds you will find they actually end up with more stamina than a regular w/t/c horse even if they don't look as conditioned as well.
     
    09-18-2011, 10:50 AM
  #8
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by tempest    
The Rack is just how the horses move. Does trotting hurt a horse's back? Does cantering? It's just how the horse moves, if it was extremely painful or uncomfortable I doubt most of them would do it.
Trotting can be painful, if the horse was uncomfortable doing it. And I'm not talking about cantering. From what I understand, they don't canter. Just trot as fast as they can with their head very high and back very level. Seems like a lot of pounding of the legs on a tight neck and back. I don't dispute people have been doing it for years, or they fact they people enjoy it. I'm just asking why and if it has long term effects on the horse.

Basically, I want to feel better about seeing the horses at the barn do it! I'm trying to know more about the discipline without coming across as rude at the barn.
     
    09-18-2011, 10:57 AM
  #9
Cat
Green Broke
If they are doing a rack they are not trotting. Completely different foot fall. The trot is a 2-beat gait with the diagonals landing at the same time (and usually a bit where all fours are off the ground) and it is can be very jarring. The rack, fox trot, tolt, etc are all 4-beat gaits - which is why it is so smooth. Each foot is landing and touching the ground separately and there is always atleast one foot on the ground.
     
    09-18-2011, 11:01 AM
  #10
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat    
However, riding a gaited in their natural gait won't hurt them. In fact if you ever go out with a group of gaiteds you will find they actually end up with more stamina than a regular w/t/c horse even if they don't look as conditioned as well.
I guess when you say "natural gait" that is easier to watch them. I can relate it to thoroughbreds who run like mad (bred and born to do it) and they love it.
     

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