trail riding on a narrow backed horse - The Horse Forum

 
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-14-2012, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
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trail riding on a narrow backed horse

just got off the phone with the guy who is trail training my walker and he said "hes a very nice horse and very easy to train but man is he hard to ride because of his narrowness"

I have been having balance issues for a year (got him a year ago)never had issues before.All the walkers I have ridden looking for the perfect one (him) felt the same as my current horse.

What are some tips here.Can you recommend a saddle to help with this issue or anything really
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post #2 of 10 Old 03-14-2012, 06:23 PM
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i'd find another trainer that knows something about gaited horses and isnt used to barrel bodied QH's. Id take a hard look at the saddle the guy is using. Many a walker has been ruined by QH treed saddles.
There are two basic walker body types. The narrow and the big. Sounds like you have a narrower one, they do look funny looking down if you arnt used to them. But I find them easy to ride. Also if you actually ride them and get them runwalking alot they will build up alot of shoulder muscle.
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post #3 of 10 Old 03-14-2012, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe4d View Post
i'd find another trainer that knows something about gaited horses and isnt used to barrel bodied QH's. Id take a hard look at the saddle the guy is using. Many a walker has been ruined by QH treed saddles.
There are two basic walker body types. The narrow and the big. Sounds like you have a narrower one, they do look funny looking down if you arnt used to them. But I find them easy to ride. Also if you actually ride them and get them runwalking alot they will build up alot of shoulder muscle.
That's what I thought. It was a. It disturbing when he asked me if I have had his hips vet checked. I said well the vet was out in November and did a check on just about everything why. He said cause he is over extending his hind end. Lol. I wanted to say so bad that's a good thing to hear but I just told him that was the way he was bred.
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post #4 of 10 Old 03-14-2012, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diegosmom View Post
That's what I thought. It was a. It disturbing when he asked me if I have had his hips vet checked. I said well the vet was out in November and did a check on just about everything why. He said cause he is over extending his hind end. Lol. I wanted to say so bad that's a good thing to hear but I just told him that was the way he was bred.
My horse is shaped like the one in your photo there. I'm assuming that's a walker that's narrow
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post #5 of 10 Old 03-14-2012, 07:54 PM
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My older walker is so narrow in the front it looks like both his front legs come out of the same socket, there's not half a handswidth between them. He's also the smoothest walker I've ever ridden and has thousands of miles of trail riding experience.

Sounds to me like you have a trainer who doesn't have a clue about walkers.
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post #6 of 10 Old 03-14-2012, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Darrin View Post
My older walker is so narrow in the front it looks like both his front legs come out of the same socket, there's not half a handswidth between them. He's also the smoothest walker I've ever ridden and has thousands of miles of trail riding experience.

Sounds to me like you have a trainer who doesn't have a clue about walkers.
nope im in cow horse country.North texas.Nearest walking horse facility is 2 hours from me with a trainer.I picked the place I am boarding at because of they have 120 acres of trails.Hold horsmanship clinics and actha rides.I hired the in house trainer who is well known around here for QHs to do some desensitizing on trails and to teach him to neck rein.My horse is awesome in an areana but spooky on trails so hats why I wanted someone who is a good trail person to train him.My options are pretty limited here.I would love to be at a walking horse barn or a gaited barn even but that's just not my reality here
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post #7 of 10 Old 03-16-2012, 09:41 AM
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I would think about getting a different saddle. Some of the saddles that are sold for gaited horses may make things worse because they don't provide lateral support. You need to get somebody with experience to help you find the right saddle for you and the horse. Ask Joe4D what he uses.

As far as teaching him not to spook on trails, that just takes riding him on trails. It doesn't matter if it is an Arabian, a TWH, a QH, or what. A horse is a horse and it takes riding experience to learn that there are not horse eating vampires and fire breathing dragons around every turn. (I think it takes some horses longer than others.)

Celeste
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post #8 of 10 Old 03-16-2012, 11:07 AM
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I started riding on 17hh+ WIDE draft crosses when I was a kid, my feet didn't even reach half way down their sides, so when I switched to thoroughbreds It was really weird and felt unstable. I still revert to that way of thinking when I ride big barreled horses and then switch to a narrower one, feels like their isn't as much horse under you. If he's used to your typical wide stock horses, it will be quite an adjustment to ride a narrow guy.
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post #9 of 10 Old 03-16-2012, 06:19 PM
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I've seen a few, a very, very, few, that are too narrow. I think, like several have already said, if your used to riding a wide backed elephant, then a real horse is going to be a problem.

I like my narrower bodied gaited horses, they are not nearly has hard on your hips and legs, a whole lot smoother riding, and much, much more agile. I've asked more than one of these hunks to just follow me for a day, and, to date, only one has tried. We had a friend that trained racing QH. She tried to keep up, and by noon her horse was done in, we went back to camp, and she got another horse. I rode mine the rest of the day. Next day her, "in shape", race horse was so stove up she could hardly move.

Bob
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post #10 of 10 Old 03-16-2012, 06:30 PM
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Its not only walkers who can have a narrow body type. I've ridden some arabs that felt like riding a toothpick, and a young icelandic feels like you're perched on a razor. And whether the trainer knows anything about walkers or not, has nothing to do with whether the horse has a 'narrow' feel under saddle, and unless you're used to it, that feel can be unnerving and can make it hard to balance until you develop better muscling to control your body. That said, the bob marshall treeless saddle really hugs you in and if you're having balance issues, I'd give that a try.
Kathy
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