I was wondering: how do you ask a horse to gallup? How do you know if your horse is actually galloping and not just cantering fast. I've watched my horse galloping in the pasture and he looks like he has a really fun and fast gallup. As a 2 year old he raced a few times, so I know he can do it!
English: When I'm cantering, I'll rise into half seat and ask for more speed with my legs.
Western: I give the horse rein and give him more energy with my seat. I actually use very little leg to speed up with my reiner; most of it is done through my seat.
If you have trouble, it's best to find a coach that can help you out. A gallop is a four-beat gait, while a canter is only a three-beat gait, and it can be difficult to differentiate between the two without an experienced feel for it.
First, you need to make sure you're on level footing in a roomy area with no sharp turns and plenty of room to stop. It's also not a good idea to run home from a trail.
With Ricci, we would just canter along on a trail and her cue was a shortening of the reins and a slight half seat. I'd give her a judge and she was off like a rocket. For a big, lumbering Painf, that mare could RUN.
Gracie was quite a bit harder to get into a gallop, but she's also young and green, wasnt sure how to balance herself and me. Same trail, we'd be cantering along smooth as can be and I have the same small cues but then she needed much encouragement to step up. Even then, I only got a few gallop strides.
The difference between a canter and gallop is similar but it was always easy for me to feel. Take some time to focus on the beats of you're horses gaits, walk trot and canter. Count them. So count the "1 2 3" of the canter, and keep counting until it doesn't match up and there's an extra beat. Start your "1" on the leading shoulder, see if you can feel when that shoulder moves, and you'll get it eventually.
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With my horse, I just give her more rein so she can have her head and I squeeze my legs and kiss, then she goes from rocking slightly to just being flat in her movement along with a huge speed increase. My mare is a QH with some TB so she is a huge sprinter, but can go far a little longer.
With Rusty, I'd get him into a fast canter and then nudge him on while I was in a half seat. Silly boy was lazy though. He had these HUGE strides, and he could beat out my friend's Saddlebred and our crazy Paint mare that loved to run in any race purely because of that.
Where we are there aren't that many places where we can let the horses out in a full gallop. we let them gallop up a hill if they like. I jsut give them some rein, some encouragement and let them go the speed they want. It's lovely.
I count hoof beats to tell the difference. I'm sure there are other ways, especially if you're more experienced than I, but I can hear the difference between 1-2-3(pause) and 1-2-3-4(pause) even if I can't feel the other stuff. I get my guy into a canter and then just give him a squeeze with the legs for more speed- he's pretty willing so long as we're not getting too far ahead of the other horses. He wants to be first, but he doesn't want to run away from them either, lol! I've never really tried for a full gallop on our own, he's a bit lazier when we're out alone.
The 'feel' of a gallop is flatness.....you will feel the horse flatten out and you should be able to slide your rein hand (if your neck reining) right along the horses neck and lean forward into it.....my horse is trained that if my hand goes straight out and forward it means go! CHAAAAAAARRRRGGGGE!!!!!!!
That's a really good question. It's hard to tell until you experience the two for a while. Basically, I agree with what the others have said.
I never thought about counting the beats- that's a really good idea. Thanks guys!
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