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ranchgal 09-26-2007 06:00 PM

Gait Issues
Wyatt is kind of long-legged, lanky kind of, especially for a ranch horse. His grandaddy on the top side is Grey Pie Too, a pretty nice race horse. He can dang sure run when you ask him to, but he was ridden extremely hard as a two-year old. We're talking 10-mile routes in the pastures, running hard, ridden almost everyday. The guy rode alot of Wyatt's motivation out of him. We're working on building that up.

Anyway. I was wondering how you get a horse who has a short stride to lengthen his stride at a trot? He has a very jarring trot and I know it's because he is kind of bouncing along and if I can just get him to lengthen his stride, without getting him to trot real fast at the same time, he'll be better.

Also, at a lope. Is there any way you can really teach a 7 year old horse to lope slow? It doesn't have to be like Western-Pleasure, extremely slow lope, that would annoy me. But just so that he can lope slower than he usually does.

Spirithorse 09-27-2007 08:00 PM

If you will go read my post under the "Tighter Turns" topic, there I explain how to make sure your saddle is in the correct spot to allow the horse's shoulders maximum freedom of movement. A lot of horses who have short strides are being blocked by the saddle being too far forward. That could easily be your problem.

As for getting him to slow down in the canter, first you need to have Impulsion. Impulsion means that his whoa equals his go. If he has more go, then circles and consistancy will calm him down. If he generally has more whoa, then straight lines and variety will lengthen him out. To make this work, you need to do the riding on a loose rein. If your horse can not be emotionally or mentally "collected" on a loose rein then you have a big problem. Basically what I would do is work in a small area, a small arena or round pen to start with, and if he gets too fast bend him in a circle, slowly and politely, until the slows some. Then release him back straight. If you are consistant, he will pick this up rather quickly.

ranchgal 09-27-2007 09:29 PM

His saddle sits fine, I assure you. And I know he CAN walk out because he has when he gets excited, i just would like for him to do this on cue. So I'm still not sure how to get him to lengthen his stride...

Whoa, whoa, whoa... Haha! I'm confused! I've been getting up at 4:20 for 5 mornings is a row and working cattle and riding horses pretty hard for about 7 hours each day... I'm a little tired, and having a blonde moment. :lol: He will only stay in a lope if you encourage him to really go, otherwise it's down to a fast trot. How can I encourage him to lope, not fast, but slow, on cue, without constant nagging, or breaking gait?

Spirithorse 09-27-2007 09:51 PM

Does your saddle sit directly behind his scapula at MAXIMUM extension? Of while he is just standing still?

If you don't want to try the bending (which isn't nagging) then try and lift one rein. Keep a very light contact on your outside rein and lift your inside rein straight up. Don't pull it back, but straight up. If he doesn't slow, lightly bump the rein to tell him to rate back down. When he does, give the rein back. I've used this on many horses and they really seem to understand it.

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