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BlackAmethyst 07-30-2010 03:42 PM

Question for you TWH people.
I have a Racking Horse Mare she is registered as a Racking horse. For the past year she was used as a Hunter jumper. Now she paces.. What or how can I get her back to gaiting instead of paceing??
For 5 years she has been using a reg. eggbut snaffle bit and has never had a shoe on.
I have been told by tons of people to put her in a wonderbit. I have heard bad things about them. But the people that told me to use it said that Walking horses move into there gait with pressuse on there mouths.?
In 8 weeks I will be putting a plantation shoe on her fronts only. I just dont know weather to change her bit? I dont want her head up real high but I want her collected more then anything. I also want her comfortable cause she will only be trail ridden.
If you have any comments or suggestions please post!

twogeldings 07-31-2010 11:04 PM

When she starts to pace, I would try squeezing and (GENTLY!) applying pressure to the reins, thats how I get my gaited's to collect when they go out of gait. Usually they'll be gaiting, then want to canter but get kinda unsure half way there and start to trot. It's squeeze-apply-release. Lasts all of half a second and they fall right back into a gait. Don't yank on her mouth, just a TINY bit is all you need.

I ride in either a halter or a nice eggbutt snaffle as well. I DO NOT believe that a harsher bit makes for a better gait! And it certainly won't encourage them to gait :)

Ladytrails 07-31-2010 11:19 PM

Lee Zeigler's book is a great resource for how to strengthen the horse's natural gaits. One of the things I got from her book and Larry Whitesell's clinics is to ask the horse to lift her back. At the same time I'm asking for her to give her face a little (pulling a tiny bit on the reins untl she flexes at the poll). For my mare, I put my heels in and lift a little, asking her to round her back. She always goes back into the nice even running walk after that.

corinowalk 07-31-2010 11:20 PM

twogeldings has it right. We gait all of ours in snaffle bits. Never had a problem. The bit has nothing to do with the feet!

With gaited horses, its kinda different in the collection process. Its more about containing the gait than it is collecting. If you are looking to get her to do a running walk, you need to start with a solid flat walk. Every time she steps into the pace, slow her down and start right back up again. This can take time and patience but the plantation shoes might help. Once you get it back, you may need to correct her pacing from time to time. Its something they go back to when they are tired or lazy. Just slow her down to a flat walk and bump her back up again. Always praise her for her attempts.

Getting her to rack again could be difficult but it might not. It depends on how 'natural' her rack is. To get my friends pacey spotted saddle to rack you have to reel him in pretty good and keep steady but firm pressure on with your legs. I find it to be a difficult gait to refine because of the speed!

Good luck! Glad to hear that people are using their gaiteds for more than just trail riding!

BlackAmethyst 07-31-2010 11:32 PM

I have had everyone that has had a walking horse tell me that a wonder bit is the greast thing ever envented. They also tell me that a reg. snaffle just makes them swingy and makes them go into there pace. Im really confused because my girl is used to a Eggbutt Bit and and people are telling me that she will flex her head better in a wonder bit.
Ahh, I dont know what to do..

corinowalk 07-31-2010 11:38 PM

Try her in the eggbutt and see. You might be suprised! To me, a wonderbit is a biiiiiig jump from an eggbutt. They can be really harsh and honestly, I've never seen anyone around my way gait with one. They are usually for the gamers with hot horses.

Your mare needs her head to bob into the right gait. The bit really shouldnt have much to do with it. I've gaited in a hack (and hated it!) and in a walking horse bit (not much better) and a plain old copper o-ring snaffle. If your horse used to gait in something in the curb area, you could try that but if not, I would let it be.

The snaffle is worth a try. When you get her gaiting in it, show your friends. Say " girl can do it on a regular old snaffle...why does yours need a gag bit?"

BlackAmethyst 07-31-2010 11:42 PM

Thanks corinowalk Im deffinately taking the wonder bit back tomorrow that I got yesterday and exchanging it for a reg. copper mouth egg but. I had a bad feeling using it on her. So I will be taking it back tomorrow when TS opens up!!
Now another question.. I use a reg. western bridle, when I put the churb chain on her reg bit it hangs real low on the tightest whole! What should I do about that since she is used to using a english bridle!??

corinowalk 08-01-2010 12:26 AM

I would just leave it off. If its not contacting her chin at any point, its not really doing any good. Its kinda common to ride an O-ring snaffle in a western bridle with no chin strap. Just like you would an english. If you feel you need it, maybe look into a small chin strap or poking additional holes in the leather to make it a bit tighter.

kim_angel 08-01-2010 11:39 AM

I highly recommend Clinton Andersons video Gaited Horsemanship :: Downunder Horsemanship
about gaited horsemanship. He helps you bring out the natural gait of the horse without any fancy shoe or bit gimmicks. You dont need any of that crap to bring out a horses natural gait.

"Gaited Horsemanship
Gaited Horsemanship features world famous trainer and clinician Clinton Anderson working exclusively with gaited horses in one of the most comprehensive training series on the market today. Filmed as a training diary, Clinton takes you step-by-step through the retraining process of two disrespectful and uneducated gaited horses while dispelling common myths surrounding gaited breeds. You’ll see firsthand that there are no tricks or gimmicks to getting a horse to gait – it all boils down to establishing a solid foundation that starts with groundwork and gaining the horse’s respect.

The horses used in the series demonstrate the levels of frustration gaited horse owners face to the extreme. Cavalina, a fifteen-year-old palomino, is nearly unrideable. She rears, trots, takes off with her rider and is nervous. Bella, an eleven-year-old mare, is lazy, stiff and refuses to canter. Both mares have major issues gaiting – Cavalina runs off with her rider and Bella can’t gait for more than a few steps. Clinton’s commentary as he works with the pushy, lazy horse and the fearful, reactive horse will prepare you to work with any type of gaited horse.

Clinton opens the series by introducing the gaited horse, answering frequently asked questions about gaited breeds and explaining the fundamentals of his commonsense training method. Divided into a six disc series with over eleven hours of instruction, the series takes viewers through the personal training diaries of two problematic gaited horses. The training techniques Clinton preaches in his Fundamental Series are used during a four week period. By the end of the training trial, both mares are able to gait on a loose rein while remaining soft, calm and responsive.

“Gaited horses are genetically bred to gait. So if you train a gaited horse correctly – gaining control of all five body parts and getting him soft and supple from his nose to his tail – he is going to do what he’s bred to do,” Clinton explains. “By the end of the series when both mares are gaiting like seasoned pros, it should come as no surprise.”

At the beginning of each week, Clinton shares new exercises designed to gain more respect and better suppleness throughout the horse’s body. He explains each step of the exercise and clearly demonstrates how to handle the reactions of a hot horse and a cold horse. Each session is finished by addressing common horse and rider problems that may be encountered, as well as success tips and troubleshooting topics that speed up the process to get the desired result. Off camera, Clinton works the horses each day and returns to camera the following week to show viewers the progress each horse has made.

The series culminates with the horses’ owner riding her two transformed horses. The difference between the horses from the beginning of the training program to their finished products is dramatic and will leave you itching to apply Clinton’s philosophies to your own gaited horses.

6-disc DVD. Runtime: 9 hours and 48 minutes.

Disc One –
Introduction to Gaited Horses
Frequently Asked Questions

Disc Two –
Cavalina Groundwork Week 1
Bella Groundwork Week 1

Disc Three –
Cavalina Riding Week 1
Bella Riding Week 1
Cavalina Groundwork Week 2
Bella Groundwork Week 2

Disc Four –
Cavalina Riding Week 2
Bella Riding Week 2

Disc Five –
Cavalina Riding Week 3
Bella Riding Week 3

Disc Six –
Cavalina Finished
Bella Finished
Things to Remember

No matter what your riding ability or horse experience, you will be captivated by Clinton’s engaging lessons and gain skills to further your horsemanship and strengthen the bond with your gaited partner."

ponyboy 08-01-2010 08:03 PM


Originally Posted by Ladytrails (Post 706847)
Lee Zeigler's book is a great resource for how to strengthen the horse's natural gaits.

Yes, there's a whole chapter in the book on how to stop pacing. It's the opposite of what most people think... Watch some videos of Icelandic racehorses. They race in the pace and their riders sit straight up, not crouched like thoroughbred jockeys. That's because a horse can't pace with extra weight on their forehead. So sit forward a little and use a snaffle bit or a sidepull - Not a bit with leverage.

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