Working on a flat walk
It's so much fun to gait and I tend to love to go fast. But decided it is better for my horses long term health to learn slow and become more flexible, get his head lower and use his hind end. So we have been working on a basic flat walk. Harder than I thought , but baby steps ! Sorry about the sideways video, but you can get the essence :-) Patti
Why would you want to lower his head?
That's true with QH not gaited. Gaited horse are by conformation high headed. Lowering their head below normal for them will stress them out and cause them to be less flexible.
Well Bob we will have to agree to disagree :) QH have their noses in the ground , which is not good for the horses balance. Gaited horses that have their heads up in the air , have a hollow back and are on the forehand.
Neither one of these is good for the overall health of the horse. Any horse should go forward in a relaxed manner, with propulsion that comes from the hind end. They should have flexibility and balance. Control should come from a balanced riders seat and legs and not the face.
Most gaited horse are trained to go very forward into a harsh hand to " make them gait " ..... again there are many ways to ride a horse and I prefer balance and collection.
Maybe you need to clarify what you consider a relaxed head/neck position for your gaited horse?
My QH does not go forward with his nose to the ground, he is fairly level from ears to tail when relaxed. If this is the carriage you are expecting from your gaited horse, this would not be considered balanced or proper by most people. My TWH naturally carries his head much higher without me hauling on the reins, without this there is no collection and the horse will not move well.
Did not mean for this to be a debate. For MY horse we are working on being more balanced, moving from the hindend and becoming more flexible. When I get these then his head will settle where it needs to be.
Each horse is an individual and their own level of athleticism and they also have their limitations. I want to help my horse work to the best of his ability in a correct manner.
You are absolutely right, Patti.
While many gaited horses have a high head set it is certainly NOT universal. Further, the higher the head the more ventroflexed the back and instead of the back end (where the real power is) pushing the horse the front end is "pulling" it. The ultimate example of this the TWH Performance Horse. But you'll see this in the Walking, Racking, and Spotted Show Ring. That's because in those venues "front end action" is what wins ribbons. Anywhere else in the Whole World a horse that converts calories into vertical motion, vice horizontal motion, would be considered "defective."
You have the right idea. Good luck as you move on!!! :-)
Headset is a hot topic...low verus let-it-be-natural seems to be the major positions. Personally I let my horses carry thier head as they do on their own in the pasture. Some walk with fairly low heads, some have a natural nose tuck and some walk with a higher head. I'm not going to force my horse to carry his head lower than he naturally does and I don't like him star-gazing either. I see to many horse with obviovusly artifical head sets, chins on thier chests, noses higher than their polls, tied down with a tie down,noses stuck out in front or stiff rigid necks. Sad what we humans think we have to do to a horse because we think we are so much smarter. I think he knows how he wants to carry his head for best balance.
perfect place for a debate.lol.im just a old cowboy.raided twh horses for years. not for show.but trail and outfitting. my thoughts on this debate is every horse has a natural place where there neck comes out of there shoulders. as they walk in the pasture or coral you can see there natural alinement . if you put a low head set on a higher natural headed horse.it constricts there breathing. less air. big problems. if you put a high head set on a naturally low headed horse..same problem.. when im in the mood to own a low headed horse..i buy one..and visa versa. just my two cents. ride safe everyone..keep up a good debate
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