Lateral Movements with a Gaited Horse - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 26 Old 06-03-2018, 04:18 PM
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Thank you, tinyliny.

For circles, do you, or someone else, have tips for riding them? I have trouble visualizing and keeping them, even with cones and/or poles. What would be an appropriate sized circle? Thanks.


For circles, at this stage, do not worry about size, or about perfect shape, squircles will do here, you are just looking to get her on an arc, outside hand, holding, inside hand asking for the flex, so you can just see her eye, look around the shape you are riding and ride her around, looking for forward and soft...To start with it will be a constant conversation, but if you give a little everytime she softens, then she will hold it longer and longer.

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post #12 of 26 Old 06-03-2018, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you, Golden Horse.

I can usually get an oval shape, but for now, I guess that's good enough.

I have also heard that circles, especially small ones, such as lunging, can be bad for gaiteds and their gaits. Is this true?
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post #13 of 26 Old 06-03-2018, 04:56 PM
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I have also heard that circles, especially small ones, such as lunging, can be bad for gaiteds and their gaits. Is this true?

Lots of lunging isn't great for anyone I think!


Not sure about the quality of a gaited horses gaits and circles...hopefully someone who actually knows about them will jump in.

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post #14 of 26 Old 06-03-2018, 05:02 PM
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Lots of gaited breeds use circles to perfect and refine the gait, so no, occasional round-penning or lunging will not hurt your gaited horse.
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post #15 of 26 Old 06-03-2018, 05:20 PM
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Lots of gaited breeds use circles to perfect and refine the gait, so no, occasional round-penning or lunging will not hurt your gaited horse.

Agree, just keep in mind that gaiting on a small circle is hard work to keep a steady rhythm and may take some additional fitness.


My favorite "reference" for riding/suppling gaited horses is this one https://www.amazon.com/Gymnastizieru...40_&dpSrc=srch


If you understand German, it's a great reference to have Or maybe there is even an English translation available.
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post #16 of 26 Old 06-03-2018, 05:35 PM
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Thank you, tinyliny.

For circles, do you, or someone else, have tips for riding them? I have trouble visualizing and keeping them, even with cones and/or poles. What would be an appropriate sized circle? Thanks.

I, unfortunately, do not have hills or cavalettis.

She is slow and stiff in the backing at first. Her head is up and moves with a hollow back. It usually takes a couple of minutes of constant backing for her to drop and engage.
She is good in the hindquarter yield.
She is slow in the forequarter yield. Is that okay? Should I ask for a faster yield?
Have you had a good equine chiro evaluate her? As with trotting horses, sometimes the inability to correctly perform a movement can be related to the body needing some adjusting. Even if nothing is wrong structurally the horse could always benefit from a good massage.

TWH's need to work on bigger circles as their shoulders are built for huge sweeping movements:). I have a 100' round pen that the chiro will sometimes work my 16.1H TWH in. He is a well seasoned trail horse, so he can easily scrunch himself up and turn around in the 4-1/2 foot barn aisle, but to ask him to repeatedly move out in the round pen and keep cutting it in half while doing his running walk, is difficult for him. This is the same horse that can wheel on a dime and give me nine cents change but that is also a lot different than continual turning in small circles:)
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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 #17 of 26 Old 06-03-2018, 05:48 PM
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[QUOTE=walkinthewalk;1970548421 This is the same horse that can wheel on a dime and give me nine cents change but that is also a lot different than continual turning in small circles:)[/QUOTE]
I have one of those as well! One second you are sitting on a horse and a split second later it teleported far away
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post #18 of 26 Old 06-03-2018, 08:38 PM
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My Paso Fino teleports, too. I wish I'd taken photos of his tracks when a pheasant jumped out of the ditch and hit him in the shoulder.... normal tracks, gap of 15 feet to one side, tracks again, lol. That little sucker is quicker than a cutting horse, I swear.

If your horse backs up with his head in the air, it's likely he may never really have learned to back up properly. You may need to go back and reteach it. If the horse is taught to back by pulling on his face, he will back up with his back hollow and his head up. If you go back and teach him properly and cue with your legs and seat, using the reins ONLY to 'block' forward motion rather than to pull him back, it's likely the issue will go away and you will notice your lateral work improving, too. For a horse who gets 'sticky' backing and who likely wasn't ever trained well, it's easier to get a step or two back from a trot or gait. Move the horse out, then stop and don't release your reins right away. If your horse has a good stop, he will shift his weight once he halts to the rear. Release. Once that's good, then wait to release until you get a step back. Then two. Backing the horse after every stop for awhile, especially from a trot/gait/lope will teach the horse to get his weight over his hocks, round his back and drop his head. Once he will smoothly stop and back a few steps, try it from a walk, then ask for one step forward and back, and finally ask for the backup from a standstill.

If your horse stops with his back hollow and head up, work on getting a soft stop first. If a horse won't stop well, he won't back well. Guaranteed. Most gaited horses that I've seen have never been taught to stop and back softly and are ridden 'front to back'. It takes some time to get them working 'back to front' and cueing with balance, legs, and seat before the reins.
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post #19 of 26 Old 06-03-2018, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
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If your horse backs up with his head in the air, it's likely he may never really have learned to back up properly. You may need to go back and reteach it. If the horse is taught to back by pulling on his face, he will back up with his back hollow and his head up. If you go back and teach him properly and cue with your legs and seat, using the reins ONLY to 'block' forward motion rather than to pull him back, it's likely the issue will go away and you will notice your lateral work improving, too. For a horse who gets 'sticky' backing and who likely wasn't ever trained well, it's easier to get a step or two back from a trot or gait. Move the horse out, then stop and don't release your reins right away. If your horse has a good stop, he will shift his weight once he halts to the rear. Release. Once that's good, then wait to release until you get a step back. Then two. Backing the horse after every stop for awhile, especially from a trot/gait/lope will teach the horse to get his weight over his hocks, round his back and drop his head. Once he will smoothly stop and back a few steps, try it from a walk, then ask for one step forward and back, and finally ask for the backup from a standstill.

If your horse stops with his back hollow and head up, work on getting a soft stop first. If a horse won't stop well, he won't back well. Guaranteed. Most gaited horses that I've seen have never been taught to stop and back softly and are ridden 'front to back'. It takes some time to get them working 'back to front' and cueing with balance, legs, and seat before the reins.
I only apply enough rein to make contact. The stopping and backing comes from my legs and seat. The funny thing is, when I ride her bridleless, her head is still higher than I would like. I do not know why, but I do know it is not a physical or a pain thing.
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post #20 of 26 Old 06-03-2018, 11:17 PM
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I have experienced that the 'stop, drop the shoulder , and spin . . . aka: stop,drop and spin, used by horses to do an instant 180 degree turn AND unseat their rider , is much harder to counteract when you are dealing with a 'stiff' or 'boardy' horse, such as many gaited breeds are.



I think the reason their spin is SO hard to stay on through is that they swing like a gate swings; from the hinge. That means , in this case, the 'hinge' is the horse's hind end, as far back as possible. The horse is so stiff that the entire rest of the body swings as if it were an entire 'board'. And since since the horse prefaces this swing by sort of 'bouncing ' off the front legs and dropping the front, inside shoulder, YOU are propped forward on that board, before it starts swinging.



It's as if you were astraddle a gate, you somehow got pushed forward so your body slopped forward, just as the gate started to quickly swing open. you are going to find it VERY hard to stay on that swinging gate.




Whereas, a horse that PIVOTS around the middle, such as a good cutting horse, will have the center of it's turn exactly under the rider. So, you are like in the 'eye of the tornado' , and you stay solidly in the saddle as the horse pivots around.


again, I say, ask me how I know? well , it's that sort of gate on hinge swing, that ends up dumping me in the dust, 5 times at least.


that's how I know.
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