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satrider 04-29-2010 04:14 PM

Missouri Foxtrotter gaits
I know this may sound stupid, but can anyone tell me how to best feel and see if the horse is doing the gait properly. I ride a 5 year old, she was barely broke when I got her about 3 years ago. I had some problems with her being barn sour and I am still trying to fix that. She whirled around on me 2x in the past heading back to the other horses. I was so surprised both times and I landed on the ground.
When she does the walk she does feel good, but I am having problems keeping her in it. Also, she puts her head down low sometimes and her ears are kinda back, does that mean she doesn't like what I am doing with her and is she getting ready to buck or something. Sorry this turned out so lenghty, but I want to enjoy my horse a little more.
Thanks all:-)

charlene1985 04-30-2010 08:40 PM

My gelding will ride hours with his ears back but he doesnt seem upset, i think its him listening to me...every horse is different. A video if u can get someone to take one would be the best thing for your gaiting question

satrider 05-03-2010 04:52 PM

thanks charlene, I will try to get someone to take a video, even if jsut to look at it myself:-)

CloudsMystique 05-04-2010 08:18 AM

A video will help you figure out what gait she's doing at that particular time, but it's better to learn how to feel the gait. A lot of horses will switch gaits based on tack, rider, footing, mood, etc.

Here's a video of my mare foxtrotting, so you can compare:

It is possible to feel what she's doing. In a foxtrot, you should feel a slight front-to-back motion. With square gaits (rack, running walk, etc) you'll feel a slight up-and-down motion. With lateral gaits (pace, stepping pace), you'll feel a side-to-side motion. The foxtrot will feel very smooth, but you'll be able to feel a slight bump in the back of the saddle when she lifts her hind legs. Her head should bob (which helps you to differentiate between the foxtrot and the stepping pace - where the head is held still). If you turn around, her butt and tail should also be moving up and down - something that is absent in ALL other smooth gaits.

satrider 05-04-2010 05:45 PM

Thanks, Cloud that really helps, I believe I have had her in a foxtrott looking at your video, but not very long, guess I'll just have to keep working at it.
Thanks again:-)

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