Maintaining a gait
   

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Maintaining a gait

This is a discussion on Maintaining a gait within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • How do i cue my horse to gait
  • Eerst maintain gait of maintain direction

 
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    03-25-2011, 11:33 AM
  #1
Weanling
Maintaining a gait

We don't have a round pen but we have a fenced off, mostly flat pasture area that is about the size of a small arena. When I want to actually work Chili, I ride her there.

My problem is that I cannot get her to maintain anything other than a walk. If I get her to trot, I can go the length of the "arena" (that's what I call it!) but not in the turn without urging and usually once she rounds the turn, she wants to go back to a walk.

Besides getting a crop - how can I maintain her gait?

The few times I've attempted to canter her was more in an open field and she wasn't having much of our riding and instead of cantering, took off at a full gallop-straight to the barn. Li'l turd!!!! Yes, I stopped her. I also then circled her in each direction and made her listen to me.

Until I get the bit/bosal/whatever under control, I don't want to do much more than a trot in the arena (or anywhere else) bc I can't turn her... she just wants to keep going in whatever direction she wants to go in!! Working on that at a walk and trot and she IS getting better .... But, as I stated, keeping her at a trot is difficult.
     
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    03-25-2011, 12:02 PM
  #2
Yearling
I use the don't steer but keep him going technique..... I ask my horse to just go, he can pick where, but when he breaks gait, I cue him again until he picks up the gait I want. At first we did this for 20 minutes going one way, so he could fully get the idea. It was hard not to steer, but from my experience, horses do better when learning one thing at a time.....

After going one way, I let him rest for 10 minutes (I wore a watch so I could time it) and then we repeated going the other way.

I also would touch his body with my legs.... if that did not get the gait, I would kiss or click to him while maintaining the light leg touch.... if those two still did not get what I wanted I would pat him on the neck, in a rhythym of one two three four with building intensity..... I immediately release all cues when he picked up the gait, but always starting with the lightest touch.
     
    03-25-2011, 02:11 PM
  #3
Weanling
Chele it sounds to me like you need to do more work from the ground. Your horse is not listening to your signals and there are at least two reasons for this 1. The horse does not understand 2. The horse does not respect you. Better to get that from the ground first because if you have to keep increasing the pressure a horse, especially one that takes off back to the barn, may do some things you are not prepared to handle. Tinyliny mentioned some videos on utube about lunging that you may find helpful... search Jonathan Field.
     
    03-25-2011, 10:54 PM
  #4
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLovedOne    
Chele it sounds to me like you need to do more work from the ground. Your horse is not listening to your signals and there are at least two reasons for this 1. The horse does not understand 2. The horse does not respect you. Better to get that from the ground first because if you have to keep increasing the pressure a horse, especially one that takes off back to the barn, may do some things you are not prepared to handle. Tinyliny mentioned some videos on utube about lunging that you may find helpful... search Jonathan Field.
TBH, I think it's possibly she just doesn't understand MY cues - bc I could be telling her incorrectly. I do not think she doesn't respect me bc her ground work, I think, is solid.

She doesn't always take off back to the barn - just a few times in that open pasture and after thinking about it - it was close to feeding time.

I will, however, check out the videos.
     
    03-26-2011, 12:02 AM
  #5
Super Moderator
Hi Chele,

What would happen if you tried to "free lunge" her in that little pasture? I mean if you go out there and with your body language and maybe a stick or whip, you tell her, "time to move!" and you basically chase her around the arena, will she go? Can you move her by your body language alone, or with the back up of a whip? If you did this to sharpen her up , you could go out and with a playful but brisk manner (NOT predatory) say, "Let's go!" "Come on!" "here we go!" and ask her to trot out, will she do it.? If you do this some, you should get her so responsive that you can get her to trot from an increase in your body language's pressure on her, and get a slow trot, to fast trot, to slow, to walk, to trot to canter . . . .etc. Practive moving her and changeing her speed. And don't wait too long for a response. If you pushed on her (body language, not actual push since you will never touch her at all) and she does't go forward pretty promptly, then take the whip and crack the ground and wake her up. Once she moves along with this game, then take the pressure off, when she turns to look at you, back up and see if you can draw her in. Pet her and leave. She may actually enjoy it, but be prepared for her to kick out or jump . It's just a game but it's also experiementig with your being able to bring up her energy with your energy. If you can do it on the ground, you will better be able to do it in the saddle.
IF the pasture is really muddy, may not be so good to make her go too fast, but of coures, that goes without saying.
     
    03-26-2011, 05:18 AM
  #6
Weanling
Imo get yourself a good reliable voice cue from the safety of the ground and use it to back up your leg aids, just to help her understand. While doing what citrus said - not caring about direction, just caring about gait.
     

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