I don't get it - racking - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 36 Old 09-18-2011, 11:10 AM Thread Starter
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Okay, it's making sense now. When you say it is not a trot, that makes me feel much better. Basically, since there is no suspension, with one foot on the ground all at times, there is no pounding. And the neck doesn't bother them?

No, I have never ridden a gaited horse. It looks like you would just be sliding along on your butt with your legs out. Ha! I can see how this might be appealing since sometimes my back is killing me after riding my horse's 2-beat quick beated trot.

Do they naturally know how to do it 4-beat gait or do you have to train them?
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post #12 of 36 Old 09-18-2011, 11:15 AM
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Exactly - you got it now.

Yes, this is natural to these horses and they are born with it. Its as natural for them to do as it is for another horse to trot or canter.

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

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post #13 of 36 Old 09-18-2011, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Cat View Post
Exactly - you got it now.

Yes, this is natural to these horses and they are born with it. Its as natural for them to do as it is for another horse to trot or canter.
Which is why I used the canter and trot reference. Sorry, I probably should have made my point clearer. No, it isn't a trot. If you get the chance, ride the rack. It's amazing. One of my favorite gaits.

"And somewhere in the northwoods darkness a creature walks upright. And the best advice you may ever get is: Don't go out at night..."
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post #14 of 36 Old 09-18-2011, 01:26 PM
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The way their necks are set on makes the high head carriage natural for them too. Most of these horses necks come UP out of the shoulders rather than the more straight out necks of TB's & QH's. They come up naturally and then bend at the poll, most will have pretty small throatlatches to enable them to do it, and then the face is more perpendicular and pretty much vertical rather than behind or in front of verticle the way other horses are ridden. Ideally the shanked bit is held in very soft hands and no matter how severe a bit looks, in the right hands it's no worse than a snaffle. I have a friend who has such heavy hands on her Foxtrotter mare that I've seen her make the mare's mouth bleed with a snaffle.

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post #15 of 36 Old 09-18-2011, 02:34 PM
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post #16 of 36 Old 09-18-2011, 02:44 PM
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I love gaited horses and I think if you rode a well gaited horse, your questions would disappear. Most first time gaited riders get a 'gaited grin'...it is just such a comfortable and interesting feel.

A rack is a really different gait that takes a lot of coordination. A flat or running walk is different and has a different foot fall. I find a running walk to be more comfortable than a rack but they are both much more comfortable than say...my TB gelding trotting...lol
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post #17 of 36 Old 09-18-2011, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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That video is downright - cool!

Makes sense about the neck too. I have a whole new appreciation/respect for the breeds and what they do. I have really educated myself today.
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post #18 of 36 Old 09-18-2011, 03:22 PM
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Here is a really good sitting trot...takes years to accomplish...lots of coordination and work.


And now a video of a not superb rider on a racking horse...I doubt she is working hard to keep her seat quiet...

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post #19 of 36 Old 09-18-2011, 07:10 PM
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If you ever tried a rack you would "get it" lol.

Seriously though, racking is somewhat hard on the horse, but then so is riding cross-country courses or working cows all day, or whatever else. I looked for evidence that racking hurts horses, and what I found was that when a racking horse has issues, it's because they were ridden too much, too fast - same as in any other discipline.
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post #20 of 36 Old 09-18-2011, 09:11 PM
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OMG that foal racking is just waaaay too cute!

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