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Do gaited horses never walk?

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  • I want my gaited horse to walk slower
  • How can i get my gaited horse to do a slow walk?

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    07-16-2012, 12:22 PM
  #11
Weanling
They can learn the gaits of a 'normal' horse, just like the people that retrain pacers of the track, they have to learn to trot to be able to compete with normal dressage. I read a story about a woman who rescued a standardbred that could only pace, but she was a dressage rider and wanted to retrain him for dressage so through collection he had to learn how to preform like a normal horse.
     
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    07-16-2012, 12:22 PM
  #12
Started
Oh funny Endiku! I was thinking the same thing, just start her over like she doesn't know anything. She does sort of know how to lunge, sort of, she doesn't know voice commands at all though. I think maybe she was trained by a Spanish trainer, we tried Spanish verbal commands and she sort of listens to them a little better - but I'm sure my sloppy Spanish isn't accurate.

How do you suggest helping them relax at each gait I really like that idea but I'm not sure how to go about doing that? I have a friend who does massage therapy in horses maybe she could give her a massage before I work her?

As for picking up the correct lead and such - I'm not too concerned. I realize this is going to be a very long project, but I'm hoping to use it to help the little girl who loves her learn some stuff on training and have some quality bonding time with her favorite pony. When we get to the point where we'll ride her even still I'm not concerned about fine tuning this horse, she's really just here for this girl to love all over. She'll be at our rescue for life and this girl can work with her on whatever she wants to work on her with for whatever purpose they choose and I'm just here to help them on that path.

We do notice that she has NO idea where she's putting her feet so we've begun some ground pole exercises to get her to pick them up and pay attention to where they're landing. Any suggestions for any interesting ground pole exercises besides just walking over them again and again?
     
    07-16-2012, 01:11 PM
  #13
Weanling
Could she be a Florida Cracker?
     
    07-16-2012, 01:53 PM
  #14
Foal
I don't know anything about gaited horses, but I just wanted to tell you what a beautiful mare you have! I love her color :)
     
    07-16-2012, 02:49 PM
  #15
Foal
I ride with friends that own walkers. And I own quarter horses. They have taught them to walk and we ride together often. If they want to gait we will either trot or canter. So they can walk. :)
     
    07-16-2012, 02:58 PM
  #16
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by PunksTank    
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
Lol que interesante! "El idioma de amor" in my opinion! This gives me an idea... I may start speaking spanish to my horses now. PARADA MALDITA SEA! Hahaha. Or should I say, "jajaja"? (I'm really cracking myself up over here.)

Anyway, I dread the squirminess of gaited horses. They're really only comfortable to ride when they're actually gaiting (in my experience). They are built so much differently than non-gaited horses and it's just natural for them to have a long, head-bobbing, back-swaying, rider-jerking stride. God forbid you come across one with no withers, because your saddle will slide like crazy. You can have the best balance in the world and still have trouble sitting in the middle of a gaited horse. That's why I never recommend gaited horses to green riders that are developing balance. There shouldn't be anything wrong with using a snaffle; personally I prefer them because I'm being more "literal" with the horse when I am using a snaffle. But if you wanted to bump up to a mild curb, with short shanks and just a bit of leverage, you might get better results. She may very well be accustomed to leverage and had no clue how to deal with a snaffle so she just ran right through it?

Here's just a random video of a guy riding a little walking horse. Watch the man's seat and how he actually isn't jostled around as much once the horse starts doing a running walk. I didn't listen to what the guy was talking about or anything, so if he's teaching some farfetched lesson I apologize.

     
    07-16-2012, 05:49 PM
  #17
Teen Forum Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by PunksTank    
oh funny Endiku! I was thinking the same thing, just start her over like she doesn't know anything. She does sort of know how to lunge, sort of, she doesn't know voice commands at all though. I think maybe she was trained by a Spanish trainer, we tried Spanish verbal commands and she sort of listens to them a little better - but I'm sure my sloppy Spanish isn't accurate.

How do you suggest helping them relax at each gait I really like that idea but I'm not sure how to go about doing that? I have a friend who does massage therapy in horses maybe she could give her a massage before I work her?

As for picking up the correct lead and such - I'm not too concerned. I realize this is going to be a very long project, but I'm hoping to use it to help the little girl who loves her learn some stuff on training and have some quality bonding time with her favorite pony. When we get to the point where we'll ride her even still I'm not concerned about fine tuning this horse, she's really just here for this girl to love all over. She'll be at our rescue for life and this girl can work with her on whatever she wants to work on her with for whatever purpose they choose and I'm just here to help them on that path.

We do notice that she has NO idea where she's putting her feet so we've begun some ground pole exercises to get her to pick them up and pay attention to where they're landing. Any suggestions for any interesting ground pole exercises besides just walking over them again and again?
Really its just going to depend on your horse, but a key thing to do is to get their attention off of 'go' and onto you and what you're asking them to do. How? It has everything to do with respect and trust. Since horses are herd animals, they either need someone to take charge and stay in charge or they need to take over themselves. Its when they take over themselves that they begin to get nervous, don't want to listen to you, and start acting out. Establishing a good trust relationship where the animal realizes that you are the herd leader and that when you're asking them to do something its for the best is how you're going to get the best results and the animal will begin to listen, quiet down, and get down to the job at hand rather than worry and fuss. Gaining trust, ofcourse- takes time, but it also takes firmness. Lots of ground work that requires the animal to be really in tune with you goes a long way in establishing the trust required. Teaching them to move away from you when you ask and to give to pressure by backing, yielding shoulders and yielding hindquarters (it looks like she's already doing that some, which is great) are two great ways to begin this. You want her to realize that doing things your way are the easiest and safest and once she's doing these things well, then I would move to the lunging. Don't just put her on a 30 ft line and whip and start running her in circles though. Rather, start on a 8-12 ft lead rope. Begin by just leading her forwards, stop- and send her away from you. Once she's a atleast four or five feet away, put just enough pressure on her with your body language to get her moving slowly around you and relax. As you relax your body she will mirror you and relax as well.

A horse will give off just as much energy as you yourself are giving up so its vital to remain calm even if she's cantering around like a nut the second you give her pressure. Apply pressure only as you need it and as soon as she begins to move forwards, take it away. You want her to be feeding off of your energy and walking calmly around you, paying attention to you and only you. As she's beginning to unwind and listen to you, you'll be able to read through her body how she's feeling. It will begin with her back 'rounding' and relaxing, instead of looking tight like a corkscrew, and it will travel to her shoulders and neck. She'll begin to lower her neck and watch you as she travels instead of bouncing around you, and she'll move more freely. Once all of these things have happened and she is quietly listening, ask her to stop and praise her. This is what you want. Once she is calmly and quietly moving out in either direction for you consistently, you can move on to a trot. Stay on the leadline until you feel like she's listening well to you and both a walk and trot. Give her 'bite sized' things to work with every lesson as it will work better in the long run. Just make sure that she really understands what you're asking and why before moving on to the next task.

I'd encourage you to watch this horse and handler that I'm posting, as the horse is a great example of what you're looking for. The only thing I didnt really like about them is that the handler moved around too much and should of been standing in the same spot rather than circling with the horse.

     
    07-16-2012, 08:50 PM
  #18
Started
Very interesting stuff!! Yes I will work on lunging her, we have been doing tons of ground work a bit everyday, she has improved a great deal, today she spooked when my idiot of a mare scared herself over nothing, but Pink regained herself quickly and efficiently (only after stepping on her little girl's foot though! >.<) so they're practicing personal space exercises.
We practiced giving to the bit while outside today, walking and halting by bit pressure, backing off bit pressure and turning each direction. She did Very well, stayed walking. I think our next step is to practice walk-trot and trot-walk transitions, so it's not a matter of making her walk and stay there, but teaching her that she can come back down and is allowed to just walk.

And YES! She is such a wiggle worm! I was riding bareback and was not prepared for the excessive motion. I think she's just faster than I was expecting, she's really being great I'm going to try hopping on again the next cool day, practicing walk trot transitions.

This is all such interesting stuff, and ya she could be a florida cracker, I have no idea what she actually is, but she has a paso largo gait.
     
    07-16-2012, 10:22 PM
  #19
Weanling
When I first bought Emma, my little spotted saddle horse, the only gait she knew when you hit the saddle was a fast rack. It kind of worked like, ok hold the reins tight to slow me down, loosen up a little and I'll speed up! But all of my other gaited horses will do what we call a "flat" walk, which is a normal walking activity (they do it in the pasture!)

So Emma had apparently been owned by people who just liked to go fast, all the time, and we had to work at getting her calmer. So we spent a lot of time in my front yard, just riding in a circle (large front yard). And doing calming, relaxed seat in the saddle, encouragement when she slowed down, etc. Rewarding her by loosening reins if she did slow, correcting and tightening when she wanted to speed up. Hope I'm making sense, easier to show it than tell it. Basically using every part of my body and seat to get her to relax.

It took a good while for her to "get" it, but now I can ride her right along with all my quarter horse buddies. Or I can get her to "pick it up" and ride with the gaited horse crowd. However, I will add that most gaited horses naturally have a big swinging walk, even when doing a flat walk, so it is a little more difficult for her to go slow enough for the quarter horse crowd.
     
    07-17-2012, 01:58 PM
  #20
Foal
The walk is a natural gait for all horses whether they are a gaited breed or not. You don't have to teach them how to walk any more than you have to teach your QH, or Arab, or Paint, or Draft, or mule or whatever. If your gaited horse isn't walking it is a speed control issue, just like if your quarter horse wanted to trot all the time or whatever.
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