Help please- what gait is this? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 03-08-2020, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
ejo
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Help please- what gait is this?

I’m shareboarding a tennessee walker and have no clue what Im doing coming from an English riding background. Gaited horses are new to me. I’m fairly sure she is just pacing here- any pointers on how to improve? Its very bouncy. Any advice appreciated. : )
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post #2 of 15 Old 03-08-2020, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
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Never mind- wont let me do video!
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post #3 of 15 Old 03-08-2020, 08:03 PM
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You can post it on youtube, mark it unlisted, then post the link here.
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post #4 of 15 Old 03-09-2020, 06:45 AM Thread Starter
ejo
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Here’s the video- thanks to the poster who let me know how to share this! : )
https://youtu.be/SSyGvpjmuUY
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post #5 of 15 Old 03-09-2020, 07:03 AM
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1. Is this the same horse you posted about in your other thread? If so, I had posted a link to Ivy S.

I highly recommend someone take the time to read her website and invest in one of her DVD’s before that sweet horse gets ruined. Maybe even call her for a consultation:)

https://ivyshorses.com/

2. That is one sweet horse. It is trying it’s best to do what’s asked.

What it is doing is something between a lateral pace and a trot.

Someone who knows how to ride a gaited horse could easily get it back into its correct intermediate gait.

3. I’m a little concerned about the tail being so high. The only time my TWH’s keeptheir tails up like that is when they are hurt somewhere.

Walking Horses will sometimes revert to a trot when their body is out somewhere because it takes less muscle work and is easier for them to work around the pain.

The horse does not look like it’s in pain but that doesn’t mean anything either. The TWH in my avatar fractured his back twice in 12 years. I was not sure he’d make it the second time. I have a video of him last Fall that the uninformed person would never know his sacrum is in such bad condition but he is still uncomfortable and not rideable.

4. The bottom line is that someone involved with the horse in the video needs to find an experienced AND fair minded gaited rider to show you folks how to get back and keep its correct intermediate gait.

It won’t happen overnight as someone has allowed the horse to trot for way too long and now it’s confused — doing its best but confused.
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A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.

I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.

Last edited by walkinthewalk; 03-09-2020 at 07:08 AM.
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post #6 of 15 Old 03-09-2020, 07:27 AM Thread Starter
ejo
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Thank you for the feedback. I feel terrible- I really hope she is not in pain! I will have to talk to her owner. Yes, I posted previously, and yes I checked out Ivy on your recommendation. I actually sent her a message asking about a consult but I did not hear back. I will try again. As for the gait, I was told to get her into it, to urge her forward and take a hold of her mouth. Then when she starts gaiting, release the contact. I’m trying this but when I release the contact, her head comes up and She speeds up. I’ve seen some people ride a gait with constant contact- is this more what I should be going for? I don’t want to give up because I love this horse- you’re right, she is amazingly sweet- truly one of the sweetest Ive ever ridden. I just feel so bad that I have no background in this kind of riding. Thanks for the feedback and I will continue to try to figure this out.
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post #7 of 15 Old 03-09-2020, 07:55 AM
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I am terrible at explaining things - especially when physical motion is involved. I know how to get her back into her gait, telling someone from behind the keyboard is difficult for me.

I have never ridden my TWH’s with constant contact but the only time I had gaiting issues with any of them, they needed a chiropractor:)

I am a lifelong horse owner but when I bought my first Walking Horse in 1990, I asked the seller for some quick instruction.

His quick reply was to lower the reins, pull them back a small amount while simultaneously urging the horse forward with your legs, while also simultaneously sitting back on my pockets:)

Once the horse got into its gear, release rein pressure, release leg pressure.

If you can do that with any degree of success, the second thing is to do hill work — if you have any hills - even little ones. Flat walking up and down hills then asking for the intermediate while on the hill.

It is not uncommon to have to bring the horse. Ack down to a what we call a dog walk and start over (and over) asking for the horse’s intermediate gait.

Not all Walking Horses perform the running walk. Sometimes the build of the horse will dictate which intermediate gait it naturally wants to perform.

The stepping pace is the second most common gait. It can jar the caps off your teeth or it can be as champagne-smooth as the running walk.

Then there are variations of what is known as the rack.

Head nod: there are two, depending on the intermediate gait the horse is inclined to do. And the head bob varies from barely noticeable to so exciting the ears flop:)

Running Walk equals an up/down head bob or head nod.

Stepping Pace and rack equal the entire neck moves from side-to-side motion, also in varying degrees.

While the horse in the video is struggling between a lateral hard pace and a trot, I am almost thinking it is capable of performing a running walk.

The most important thing is to see if the owner will spend the money on a quality equine chiropractor— they are not all created the same. Some can ruin a horse while others practically walk on water:)

If you strike out again with Ivy, here is the link to Liz Graves - this is the woman who has been the gaited horse go-to for many years. But she is up there in age and I thought I’d heard she is having health issues, which is why I didn’t previously post her link. She is truly amazing::

https://lizgraves.org/

There are one or two trotting horse trainers who have broadened their so called expertise into the gaited world. I have no idea how good they really are with gaited horses. I am always suspicious of someone who suddenly enters into a new venue as I think they are in it for the money and using their established name to give them credibility:)
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A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.

I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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post #8 of 15 Old 03-09-2020, 10:32 AM Thread Starter
ejo
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Thank you - all very helpful advice.
I also wanted to point out that when I turn this horse out, she always performs a beautiful trot. Its really nice to watch, looks like she's floating. I would love to replicate that under saddle but again, I am way out of my depth here! What do you think it means that she is doing that trot when left to her own devices?
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post #9 of 15 Old 03-09-2020, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by ejo View Post
Thank you - all very helpful advice.
I also wanted to point out that when I turn this horse out, she always performs a beautiful trot. Its really nice to watch, looks like she's floating. I would love to replicate that under saddle but again, I am way out of my depth here! What do you think it means that she is doing that trot when left to her own devices?
Walking horses often mimic their pasture buddies. I would always holler “stop that trotting” whenever one in particular got behind my Arab going out to pasture:)

By now my guess is your horse is in such a habit of trotting that it has lost its muscle memory to gait:).

It will take work. NOT in a round pen but on a long rail or down the road or better yet up/down hills. I don’t care what some of the horse world say, Walking Horses are better off schooled on a long rail for gait improvement.

I’m not big on lunging them either but, if it must be done, no tight circles. Their shoulders need space for the big sweeping movements they were bred to make.

I had a 100’ round pen that I used to give children rides on my little Arab.. Even that was barely enough room for my 16.1H TWH when the chiro wanted to watch him move.

One of my neighbors whose daughter showed had a 200’ rectangle pen. 200’ feet gave the horses enough room to “hit a good lick”, as we say, make the end turn and continue u0 the other 200’ stretch.

Yet another neighbor had a mile long driveway he took full advantage of for schooling his young horses:)

Short periods of remedial work, I wouldn’t make her do more than 15-20 minutes each time, even if she says “but I’m not tired yet”. Always end on a positive and productive note - quit while you’re ahead, lol

A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.

I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.

Last edited by walkinthewalk; 03-09-2020 at 11:43 AM.
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post #10 of 15 Old 03-09-2020, 01:26 PM
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To me it looks like she is pacing. I don't see any trot? But the pace is not desirable either........very bouncy!

Often times when a horse paces really slow like this, it is smooth, and called a stepping pace, because the timing is such that one lateral leg sets down before the other. But in this case, it sort of looks like a really slow, hard pace.

I'm not that familiar with Walkers, I have more experience with Fox Trotters. So I really don't know how to tell you to fix it. Most things I've read say to walk the horse at LOT, at a really good, fast walk, and then with conditioning over time the horse will slip into it's intermediate gait. So the best I can suggest is to walk her fast with a little contact, practice that for a while, and see if you can just slip her into a better gait from the walk. In other words, don't cue like you would for a trot, but just push her just out of a walk and see if you get anything different. This isn't something that happens in one ride (I don't think). But the walk is the foundation for the intermediate gait.
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