Sorry, I was riding this horse that I may lease today and the woman who is trying to lease her called out "You're riding her great, she's not pacing at all"
What the hell does that mean!!??? I know pacing is a bad thing... But I don't know what it is.
Pacing is when the legs move together on each side: left hind and left front, then right hind and right front. It's a two beat gait. Although if it's not a two beat, but still moving pretty much together, it's called being pacey. Not desired in many gaited breeds.
Is the horse a Standardbred? These guys are bred to pace.. often called Pacers or Trotters. As CheyAut said, its the legs on the same side moving forward, rather than the diagonal pairs. It's like a super fast ground covering trot (that feels a bit funny to ride on!).
I'm sure there are a few Standy people on this forum who could tell you more about pacing, but what I do know is that its what they are trained to do when racing, but when being ridden it isnt desirable.. They often need retraining properly under saddle before they stop pacing and trot/canter properly.
It is when the the two legs on the same side of the horse move forward together, instead of the diagonal legs moving together. The pace is really comfortable, when slow. When fast you rock from side to side a lot. Harness racers strive for the pace as it's like a trot but faster. But after being taught to pace most horses have trouble transitioning to just trot.
I ride an ex-pacer and when you ask for the transition to trot he will pace at least a stride or two before trotting, and if you don't ask for the canter correctly he just thinks you want him to go fast, so obviously he paces. Sometimes it's hard getting a pacer to not pace, so congrads.
I'm a standardbred person, and can tell you that SOME pacers have a hard time with the trot. Like PP said, it's mostly in the transitions. Pacing is so natural to some, it's just what they need to do to get themselves organized. A lot of racehorses, even pacers, do their jogging miles at the trot, so it's usually not totally foreign. Standardbreds, especially trotters, can have the most beautiful exteded trots! My friend had a standardbred that she shows in eventing. She does very well with him, a lot of people ask if he's a warmblood. She just says "well, kida, but not in the way you think!" Good luck with him! I think standardbreds are such awesome, smart and willing horses.
I worked at a riding stable and my guide horse was a pacer - "Cadillac" of course. I loved his pace. I'd be passing people galloping on the beach at a pace, bareback and not even moving. On the other hand we had a trotter as well - "Stanley". He could almost keep up with Caddy but at a TROT, now that was nasty to ride.