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xEquestrianx 06-20-2011 10:42 PM

I just need help. I'm at such a dead end right now :(
Ok, so as many of you know, my mare, Cheyenne, is a Tennessee Walker. Which is the problem basically.
I've been working with her a lot. Like every single day for like the past 4 months, give or take a couple days. And I thougt she was doing pretty good.. until this last week.
We went to this week horse training camp thing with 4-h. And my intructor just pointed out problem after problem with everthing :(. Not like her cues or my riding, etc. But her gaits. She was cantering so off. She refused her left lead all together and would crossfire on her right about half the time. I think part of the problem is her pacing is setting her up to be unbalanced. Because she IS SOUND. We've had her checked and she's fine. It's her gaited issues. And the wierd thing is, she's been doing it correctly for the most part at home. She'll give issues from time to time with it, but not so much, but when we were there, it was awful, and now she's starting it up really bad again, or I just haven't been noticing how she was before. And I have no idea how I could have missed something this huge!
I've tried everything to get her correct, (and Yes i'm teaching her to trot. And YES she can do it naturally, so don't go all crazy on me for saying that. ) And nothing's worked. Even my intructor was totally stumped by her :(
I'm just sooo frusterated right now! Mostly at myself, it's not her fault I don't know what to do. And tonight I just literally broke down crying.. I just feel like I've failed her so bad :(

And there's like no gaited trainers where I am, atleast none that I've been able to find.. Anyone have any suggestions?
Or any thoughts on what to do?

RedTree 06-20-2011 11:03 PM

She may not be suited to what you want to do...
what is it that you want to do with her?
Do you show her?
Does it really matter is she paces?
if the answer is no then I would say just ride and have fun :)

xEquestrianx 06-20-2011 11:11 PM

Well I'd like her to trot, I'm not so desperate for that, it's her canter that concerns me.

trailhorserider 06-20-2011 11:51 PM

I have a Fox Trotter mare with a similar issue. Sometimes she has a beautiful canter. But about 1/2 the time she paces or does a weird 1/2 canter, 1/2 pace.

But she is just a trail horse and I love riding her no matter what she does. Sure, I could work on the canter I suppose, but for me, that kind of takes the fun out of riding. I just ride her, enjoy her, and get a stupid grin on my face when she does the 1/2 canter, 1/2 pacey thing, because it feels so darn funky!

So I dunno. I guess I would ask myself what you really want out of her. If you just want to ride her and have a good time, or if you are looking for something more along the lines of a show horse. If you really want a solid trot and canter, maybe a gaited horse is not what you want. I am not sure why someone would pick a gaited horse and then try to encourage the trot. Not that it can't be done, but why? It really sounds like you want a solid walk/trot/canter horse, not a gaited horse.

PS. That's not to say she shouldn't be able to canter correctly. She should be able to. But it would be easier to get a good canter with a horse that didn't have the predisposition to pace.

Northern 06-21-2011 12:07 AM

The main thing with horsemanship is that it is for human character-building (a hopefully fun way to do that!). So, human frustration itself is the problem, not whether the horse goes into gaits or anything else.

Frustration only leads to getting mean or mad with the horse, & on downhill. The proven horseman has seemingly endless patience, & the horse can't find his "frustration button".

Horses are born frustration-arousers in predators; they say,"Watch me frustrate heck out of my human!" This is how they survive predators in the wild. If you understand this alone, things lighten up immediately, because you're not taking personally whatever horsie's doing. Then, you can show that you're alpha by not allowing yourself to get upset, & your horse will start to respect you for that, & you've turned a corner in your relationship.

Parelli has all of this in their teaching materials, fyi.

Your trainer may not understand that your (& her?) frustration is the real problem in your relationship with your horse. That's a separate issue that you'd want to deal with. It sounds like she focused you on the gaits as the problem, (as well as wanting you to feel "wrong") so seems like it's time for a chat for clarity on what her approach is.

Re: horse wanting to go into gaits, I've no experience per se with that, but as the relationship strengthens due to your increased emotional fitness, it'll be worked out within the context of the relationship, which means in a fun, friendly way, for both of you.

Good Luck!

Hrt4Dressage 06-21-2011 12:27 AM

I agree with what was said - what are you looking to do with her? And when you purchased her, what was your intent?
Different horses are suited to different things. Sure, you can take a warmblood and teach it to neckrein, but you aren't going to get a stellar western pleasure horse out of it (with the very rare exception). Likewise, you rarely see an appy make an upperlevel dressage mount.
Are you object to riding her and letting her just be gaited? This breed is made to move that way, it's in her breeding. You can try to change it, but it's what her body naturally does. Not every horse is cutout for the style of riding we necessarily want them for.
If you've had a knowledgable trainer look at her, and she doesn't seem to think it's worth the time or possible to fix completely, consider switching your riding style. If you really don't want to, consider possibly getting a horse that is more cutout for what you want to do.

xEquestrianx 06-21-2011 12:58 AM

When I got her, I really had no idea what I wanted to do with her. But the longer I've had her, the more potential I've seen. Currently, Or I WAS, jumping her. No big time stuff, and she loves it!

HorseyyGal 06-21-2011 12:47 PM

Raised trotting poles could help get her out of the pacing habit :) But if she's going well for you & you're having fun, I'd say don't worry about her gaits too much. :)

Daisy25 06-25-2011 06:56 PM


The horse I am leasing is part TWH - and he does the same thing you describe. Under saddle, he will launch into this strange half canter/half gaited jog any time I ask him for a little speed...

Funny thing, though - when lungeing he has a GORGEOUS figure that one out!?!

If I find a solution....I'll be sure to pass it on!

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