To me it seems like, especially in the beginning videos, you are not being consistant with him when it comes to asking him to transition. You're basically asking and asking him to do something, then when he finally does respond and half way starts to do it, you praise him and let him drop back down before you authorize him to, then you tell him to do it which basically reinforces that its 'ok' to do what he wants on the lunge. I appologize if I'm wrong, its hard to tell if I'm not seeing your body movements and only jittery videos of the horse.
He can not learn to balance himself if you only make him take a few canter steps on the lunge. The best way to get him to balance himself is to let him figure his feet out without interferance, but MAKE HIM MOVE. You have no control whatsoever when it comes to how fast he is moving at each gait, and he knows it. His walk is barely even a walk half of the time...just sort of a sluggish 'ehhhh, if you say so lady...' walk. His trot is strung out and keeps changing from rediculously speedy and jumbled up to slow and careless. His canter is nonexistant...I really can't see anything besides that he canters like most every gaited horse I've ever seen, because you aren't making him keep it up. If you ask him for something, make him do it, no verbal praises. Just slack off the pressure behind him a little as his reward. If he tries to break gait, increase the pressure sharply, then back down again.
Before all of the canter work though, please loose the side reins. I realize that they aren't very tight but a horse as unbalanced as he is has no use for them except for to brace against, which is only going to cause problems. Then, go back to walk-trot transitions. As him to trot, and get him going at his usual saddle speed, and don't let him slack off. Don't let him slow down to a 'crawling' trot either. You want a steady speed. Once he has been in that speed for a few laps, he'll begin to relax and stretch out his muscles, lower his head, and push with his butt. You're worrying him with all of your constant changing of signals, and I think that is a LOT of the tenseness that we're seeing in the videos. Once he relaxes and has gone at a relaxed but active trot for a few laps, ask him to walk. IMO you should just ask for one speed of each gait...'medium gas'...before trying to teach him to vary his speeds. Just remember, when he's trying to transition from a crazy 'OHLAWDWHEREAREMYFEET' trot, he's going to transition to a 'OHLAWDMYFEETARETANGLEDANDIWILLFALLONMYFACE' canter. But if he approaches his canter with a level headed, relaxed trot, chances are his canter will be much better as well.
Long story short? Yes, he looks somewhat better as compared to the first videos. No, he isn't balanced. Yes, I think you would both benefit from someone else videoing you so you can concentrate and possibly getting some lunging lessons, and no I don't think his problem is atypical of gaited horses. It can be fixed though. He needs bigger circles too. 20' radius or bigger. Don't try 'bringing him in' until you have him moving forwards forward forwards with a relaxed outline. Otherwise all you're going to do is stress him out and undo any other training he has.
Please do note that anything I say is only to be helpful, not to criticize you as his trainer or rider. I've had quite the adventure teaching our ASB/TWH (we really arent 100% sure which she is. LOL) what 'trot' and 'canter' mean! It does NOT mean barrel around like a freight train, going faster if you feel like you're going to fall! Took months and months of circle, figure eight, and serpentine work just to get her to slow down and stop tripping on herself. Even longer to teach her that she could actually switch leads ;)
Everyone in your life is meant to
be in your journey, but not all of
them are meant to stay till the end.
Last edited by Endiku; 03-15-2013 at 07:32 PM.