Teaching Smoother Gaits - The Horse Forum
  • 5 Post By TXhorseman
  • 3 Post By stormytherockymountain
  • 1 Post By tinyliny
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 5 Old 04-01-2019, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: MN
Posts: 56
• Horses: 4
Teaching Smoother Gaits

So my pony Skippy is quite the speedster. This year I want to teach him how to better carry himself and get smoother gaits from him. He is a pony, but if I can do some groundwork and riding exercises to teach him how to become more balanced and lengthen his strides for a smoother trot and lope maybe I can actually end up being able to sit his lope and trot which is very rough. My inner thighs and seat bones feel bruised and sore every-time I ride his trot for longer distances than normal. I was hoping you guys out there could give me some tips, useful youtube videos, etc to please help me with this situation.

"Don't ever let anyone turn your sky into a ceiling." ~ Unknown[/FONT]
ridingsky15 is offline  
post #2 of 5 Old 04-02-2019, 07:11 AM
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Plano, Texas
Posts: 1,707
• Horses: 0
Roughness of movement may be related to a horse’s conformation, but good riding can often make a big difference.

When a rider relaxes her muscles, she is better able to move with the horse’s movement making the ride smoother. But releasing tension also works with the horse.

Rough movement may be caused by tight muscles. Relaxing yourself and getting the horse to relax can often make a big difference in the ride. I’ve taught many lessons where a horse begins by stomping his feet to the ground. This can be very audible on hard surfaces. Working with the rider to relax herself and subsequently her horse often results in a much softer impact although the rhythm remains the same. Relaxed muscles can dissipate shock waves from impact much better than tense muscles. Also, horses with relaxed muscles tend to put their feet down in a more control manner, therefore lessening the impact.

Better distribution of weight also helps. Exercises that strengthen a horse’s rear end encourage the horse to use the rear legs more for weight bearing. The design of the rear legs cause them to work more like springs than the front legs do. This can mean a softer ride.

The best exercise is probably the demi-shoulder-in (a three track movement, now commonly called the shoulder-in) or the original shoulder-in which is a four track movement. Even hill climbing can be useful in building a horse’s rear end.

A rider should always be conscious of her balance, generally riding with her center of balance directly above the horse’s center of balance. As a horse becomes accustomed to this, the rider can begin to better influence the horse to change its center of balance by the rider changing her own.

Training riders and horses to work in harmony.
TXhorseman is offline  
post #3 of 5 Old 04-05-2019, 01:58 PM
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 23
• Horses: 0
Get a gaited horse :)
stormytherockymountain is offline  
post #4 of 5 Old 04-05-2019, 04:38 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 48,123
• Horses: 2
Transitions, done correctly, help build a hrose's balance and thus softer footfalls, since really hard footfalls tend to be when the horse is running in a 'falling out forward' manner. That means he is trotting really loose in front, sort of like you might if you start running down a hill and realize that in order to not fall flat on your face, you are going to have to move your feet faster than you can really control well. you'll end up slapping them down hard and fast, too.

Perhaps post a video of you riding this pony, in all gaits, and we can give you some suggestions on ways to ride him for better balance.
loosie likes this.
tinyliny is offline  
post #5 of 5 Old 04-05-2019, 07:14 PM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 21,797
• Horses: 0
I've ridden some pretty rough horses over the years, lots of trotting, but can't recall ever having bruised thighs & seatbones from it. I suspect therefore that that is as much or more about your riding style as the horse's rough gait.

Along with training & your riding better, rough gait is very often due to hoof discomfort/imbalance. Eg. if the horse is high heeled, long toed, sensitive feet etc, they aren't going to be using their feet properly & will be jarring the joints every step - can you imagine the damage to the horse's joints, if it's bruising you?? Other body issues may also cause rough gaits, so rule out/treat those too.
loosie is offline  

gaits , pony , rough ride , smoother

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Smoother walk to canter transitions? howrsegirl123 English Riding 15 09-10-2012 09:33 PM
How to get a smoother canter? Black Beauty 94 Horse Training 72 03-28-2012 12:11 PM
How to get a smoother lead change? Eliz Horse Training 6 08-17-2010 11:48 AM
Tips for making an event go smoother! StormyBlues Eventing 4 11-27-2009 07:39 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome