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charlene1985 09-23-2009 08:26 AM

gaiting help please
Reno is a SSH and was broke when i got him but never asked to collect to gait, he was allowed to trot. After my first trail ride he developed a girth sore so i started riding him bareback and he collects and gaits all day now BUT as soon as I put a saddle on him ( i have tried 6 saddles and 3 seem to fit really well) I have the hardest time getting him to pull his nose in to round out his back and his gait is REALLY choppy. I dont want to get a treeless saddle as my primary riding saddle as i heard they can have long term effects. But Im at a loss for what i should do. He seems to act restricted with a tree on his back. I have tried an english saddle too and didnt get a better result. Any ideas?

trashcanchaser 09-23-2009 03:50 PM

they make saddle especially for the gaited breeds that brings the weight off the shoulders. this allows them to move more freely within the front end and helps for a better gait. that does seem strange that he does it without a saddle. my gaited mare is just the opposite. she will not gait when ridden but will trot all day long in the pasture. my only guess is if you rule out all the pain issues then try putting bell boots or western curb straps with the buckles around his back pasterns. this will make him reach under him self more and give you a longer stride so it wont be choppy. he may have had an uncomfy saddle on at one time and when he trotted it became more comfy and he thinks the saddle you are using now will be uncomfy too so he is still trotting.

Sunny06 09-23-2009 05:01 PM

^ The problem is the saddle. Not his true gait. There is no need for anything artificial around his legs on a trail ride.

Perhaps a snug-fitting bareback bad with sturrips? Like the Cashel Soft-Saddles?

Cashel Soft Saddle -

charlene1985 09-24-2009 01:05 AM

I was thinking about purchasing a treeless saddle to see if that would help but then i read this: Are Treeless Saddles Right For Your Horse? and No advantage to treeless saddles? | Latest Horse News | Your Horse

Also I have tried a walker saddle, semi qh bar cordura saddle, cordura endurance saddle, FQHB roper saddle, a semi qh bar barrel saddle

Sunny06 09-24-2009 06:23 PM

I wouldn't go with a tree-less. Then stretch and slide a lot.

Zab 09-24-2009 08:53 PM

Tree-less is a great option - BUT; yu need a good treeless. Chose one with panels under it that doesn't require a special pad. My expeience is that they are better. They do need to fit, not all models fit all horses even if it's a treeless, at least not if it's a good treeless.

Cheap tree less saddles can be downright dangerous, not taying in place is dangerous to you (ask my shattered wrist) and not enough to even out the preassure from the stirrups.

Crow's ridden in almost only a treeless (star trekk espaniola) and he has developed good muscles and is constantly improving his gait as well :)

If your horse won't gait with a saddle, can it just be that he/she isn' used to gaiting with one? I know I had problems to get Crow to canter when I went from saddle to bareback, but then when I went back to saddle after learning bareback canter, we had to start over again.. xD Now he'll canter either way :)

Sunny06 09-24-2009 09:02 PM

You have to have good balance with them.

Zab 09-24-2009 09:27 PM

How many types have you tried?
You need a good balance in all saddles, but a good treeless isn't worse than a normal saddle. I've lost balance plenty of times in mine, even forgot to tighten the girth at a two hour trail where Crow got scared of a rock and threw a real fit several times before could pass it, spinning around and jumping etc. I've had a lot of jumps to the side and so on and not once have the saddle moved or done anything else than it's job - to keep me safely and comfortably on the horse back.
It evens the preassure of my weight well, it's easy to communicate through etc, but I wouldn't say you need a better balance to use that saddle than anyone else. It might help you if you sit wrong tho since your horse might react more to it than in a tree saddle. But that's just good because then you'll notice.

charlene1985 09-24-2009 09:29 PM

I have very good balance with him bareback (thats how i have been riding him primarily with all the saddle issues). I can get him to gait (round out his back) with a light half halt when i am bareback but as soon as i put that saddle on him he will smooth out a little bit with a half halt but i can tell he is not rounded. The only way i have found to get him to collect up for even 10 seconds is if i REALLY put a lot of pressure on the bit (low and back of course)...he does give to the bit without a problem as long as i am not asking for speed under saddle, and even under saddle he gives to the right and left and doesnt take much effort to stop but i dont want to de-sensitize his mouth by asking more harshly for collection. I was thinking about trying draw reins or something but not sure about it. Also once I sell my saddle I am going to get a custom made saddle from a guy who specializes in Paso Finos and other shorter backed gaited horses but dont want to invest another $700 for it to be thrown down the drain like i am doing with this one that IF i can sell it for asking price Ill lose $150. What do u think?

Zab 09-24-2009 09:35 PM

No draw reins.. the problem really isn't in his mouth. Draw reins will cause tensions if anything and hollow out the back even if he leaerns to break off in the neck with them.

The issue is most likely the saddle, but if the saddles you have fit him properly, another one probably won't help. How long have you used the saddles?

I'd say practice and training, re-teach him to collect in the gait, this time with a saddle. The feeling of it might be what's holding him back. make sure you don't sit too far back in the saddle since that will press it down on the back and prevent a rounded back. He might gait easier in a chair seat but he'll hollow his back.

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