Do gaited horses never walk?
 
 

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Do gaited horses never walk?

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  • What does it mean when they say a horse is gaited
  • I HAVE A PERUVIAN PASO HORSE THAT HAS DUST ALLERGYS WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT IT

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    07-16-2012, 11:53 AM
  #1
Started
Do gaited horses never walk?

Hi! You may have seen my post in health problems about a mare at our rescue Interesting mystery? Equine Tourette's?
Well, I came here to ask if anyone has heard of or knows the routes of her training problems.

Here's what happened. We got her at our rescue because she kicked her hind leg through a wall and got hung up for a night. It took a few months of stall rest to get her sound again. Her home right before ours was a summer camp program who had just gotten her. The only one to have ridden her was a trainer who liked to barrel race, I don't know if they tried on her because she certainly does not know how to neck rein. We've had conflicting reports about what bit she wore from a french link snaffle to a walking horse bit.
Being at our rescue and having joined the ranks of our crippled and insane horses, we really disregarded her issues for far too long, there was always someone who had more pressing issues to work with. But being sound and being one of our favorite teenage girl volunteer's favorite horse (a girl who can't afford riding lessons) I've decided it's about time we get her into 'work' again. At least enough to let this girl learn to ride on.

HAA boy was I wrong!!
I put the softest western bit I could find around the barn that fit her and hopped on her. While she didn't throw a single buck or do anything to otherwise dislodge me, she also had NO breaks and no steering (direct or neck reining)! At that time I had been told she was a camp horse, not the whole rest of the story, so I was a little taken aback.

Now she's a little Spanish gaited horse, my best guess is a Criollo? But feel free to offer any other suggestions. But when I rode her she would only do her gait, she wouldn't walk.
I've immediately got her working on ground work (having the volunteer who loves her do alot of the work too, to learn about it) especially learning how to give tot he bit, we found a nice soft myler bit she seems to love. But, right away I noticed she does the same thing on the lead! She gaits everywhere and doesn't seem to know how to walk!

Is this common in gaited breeds? To be trained not to walk only gait?

After about 3 days of working on her we got a consistent walk in hand without her breaking into her gait. Here's a little video of her and her girl practicing ground work:

Equilove likes this.
     
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    07-16-2012, 12:01 PM
  #2
Yearling
Ahh, the wonderful world of gaited horses. I describe them as "caterpillars" because the move every section of their body at a different time, sometimes in different directions.

She is probably just hot under saddle. In my experience, gaited horses walk incredibly fast (comparable to non-gaited breeds) just by nature. They sway a lot, have a lot of movement in their stride, and are just plain old fast. No, that doesn't mean they can't walk, but you're going to have to work with her on collecting and, most importantly, relaxing. Esta es muy importante por el caballo (you said she was spanish, right? :P) Until you can get her relaxed and collected, you'll have a wiggle worm that has lots of energy and NO CLUE where to focus it.
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    07-16-2012, 12:02 PM
  #3
Started
Hey there. There's a Paso Fino at my barn, and she can walk and gait.
I also have a gaited horse, She's a standarbred.
She can go from a walk, to a pace, to a trot.
     
    07-16-2012, 12:05 PM
  #4
Trained
They can walk :) in fact many of them have a long strides fast walk that leaves the poor trotting horses in the dust!

Your pretty girl however may have been discouraged to walk and encouraged to gait at all times.

Edited to add: Paso people please done take offense, I know you're not all like that. However I've come across a few backyard fake plantation cowboy types who've done that to their pasos. Poor things forgot how to walk under saddle.
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    07-16-2012, 12:06 PM
  #5
Yearling
Does she have a problem with her front right leg?
     
    07-16-2012, 12:07 PM
  #6
Super Moderator
A good trainer will teach a walking horse to gait but in my experience it's very common to end up with a walking horse or a gaited horse that knows only one speed. The first walker that I had had excellent ground manners but was like a lightening bolt when you mounted. It was all I could do to get my butt in the saddle before we were flying across the field. I got to where I would actually mount while he was tied to a fence (which is not the safest thing to do and not something I would suggest). It did however work for me, it taught him to stand while I mounted and then we worked on slow. Eventually he learned to walk on a loose reign.

Now, I don't show gaited horses and am positively no expert but in my experience with the ones I have dealt with, they learn to shuffle by actually having some pressure on their bits.

I would suggest getting a walking horse/gaited bit rather then using a soft english bit. (Soft is not always better because constantly lugging on the mouth can be worse then a little pressure from a slightly harsher bit).

Hopefully I was somewhat helpful.
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    07-16-2012, 12:13 PM
  #7
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by DancingArabian    
They can walk :) in fact many of them have a long strides fast walk that leaves the poor trotting horses in the dust!

Your pretty girl however may have been discouraged to walk and encouraged to gait at all times.

Edited to add: Paso people please done take offense, I know you're not all like that. However I've come across a few backyard fake plantation cowboy types who've done that to their pasos. Poor things forgot how to walk under saddle.
Posted via Mobile Device
MWAHAHAAHAH~!!!!

I was just thinking the same thing only on the TWH side. And the thing is, in MY experience, I've run across way more backyard TWH people then I have across anything else so it's all I have to draw my basis on!!!

Me to... no offense intended in any gaited posts....
     
    07-16-2012, 12:50 PM
  #8
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by Equilove    
Ahh, the wonderful world of gaited horses. I describe them as "caterpillars" because the move every section of their body at a different time, sometimes in different directions.

She is probably just hot under saddle. In my experience, gaited horses walk incredibly fast (comparable to non-gaited breeds) just by nature. They sway a lot, have a lot of movement in their stride, and are just plain old fast. No, that doesn't mean they can't walk, but you're going to have to work with her on collecting and, most importantly, relaxing. Esta es muy importante por el caballo (you said she was spanish, right? :P) Until you can get her relaxed and collected, you'll have a wiggle worm that has lots of energy and NO CLUE where to focus it.
You are SO right! I think that must be what it is, she's so squirmy and I was riding bareback - she is faster but maybe she was doing her version of a walk!! And yes! She does speak Spanish, my fiance is from Puerto Rico and she seemed to understand him, but he's not a horse person :P
     
    07-16-2012, 12:53 PM
  #9
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by Equilove    
Does she have a problem with her front right leg?
Good catch, didn't think anyone would pick up on that. Ya do to her issues (if you read the health forum I posted her on) the other day she fell down in her stall, I think it's her right front leg too. But she has an old injury in her hind legs with a lot of scar tissue build up so her hind end is always pretty hitchy.

Hopefully now that we're working with her it'll help her loosen up and not be quite so unsound.
     
    07-16-2012, 12:58 PM
  #10
Teen Forum Moderator
Does she lunge or are you capable of teaching her to lunge? Doing that might be a very good way to put her through her paces safely and being able to watch/correct her from the ground.

I don't have much experience with gaited horses, since we have Quarter Horses, Thoroughbreds, and Miniatures, but we do have one ASB mare and a Peruvian Paso/Arabian gelding who gait. Both are ticking bombs under saddle if not worked correctly and constantly want to GO GO GO.

When we first bought the ASB mare and I began working with her, I mounted her and she went flying around, straight from a halt to a rack. At the time we didnt even know her breed (her trainer told is she was a QH? Riiight...) and I was under the impression that she was just being crazy because no amount of pressure or asking was slowing her down. She had terrible brakes, and when I did shift her out of her rack, her walk, trot, and canter were insanely fast and always made me feel like I was out of control. She was terribly uncoordinated and tripped over her own feet. I couldnt figure out what her problem was.

As it turns out, that's fairly typical with gaited horses with little formal training in anything but gaiting. I basically had to start over with her and teach her as though she didn't even know how to walk. With these horses, its as though they don't know how to relax, and so you have to teach them. One part at a time. With Corona (the mare) I began that on the lunge line. I would work on one body part at a time, teaching her to relax first her back, then her hindquarters, her shoulders, her neck, and her head. I had to do that with each of her gaits. It took a while but she eventually was working in a nice, long and low outline. It was only after suceeding in getting her to do this while I was mounted that I was able to start picking up any sort of contact with her mouth. Otherwise she would go straight into her rack again.

Just remember though that her speed doesn't necessarily mean that she's not listening to you. Corona's walk includes a lot of head bobbing and I can literally feel the power underneath me, but she IS listening, even if she's going twice as fast as the other horses (she'll never make a trail horse for that reason xD). Sometimes trying to slow their paces down too early can actually do more harm than good, because it stresses them out. I'd work on relaxation first and formost, then on each gait, and lastly, on the speed of each gait.

And be warned...it can take quite a while for some of them to learn where to put their feet at first when trying out new gaits under saddle! I was beginning to think that Corona would never learn to pick up the right lead when cantering. Keep persevering!
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