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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi forum members! I know i've been off for a while, things weren't going the best, and we had a few technical issues with the computer. But i'm back, and here to ask a few questions and seek some advice. So i just got a new horse, an 8yo Mountain Pleasure mare, who is considered green broke. She is the first gaited horse i've ever owned, and it's a whole new experience. She reminds me of my moms former mare Magic, she's a dozer on the trails, and truly loves to be out on them, the issue is she was kept in a herd of about 30 horses/mules/donkeys/hinnys. And her training was sort of rushed when she was 4yo, it really only touched the basics before she was used as broodmare. The way her breeder explained it to me was, there were several days in the roundpen, then 2-3 rides in the roundpen, then 3-4 rides out on the trails. Then she was bred to their stud. Her owner only rode her maybe 4-5 times the whole time he owned her, and when she was ridden it was only about an hour. And he said she was rather buddy sour or barn sour.
Now i've had her for about 2 1/2 weeks now, and we've been brushing up on ground manners, and saddling. I've ridden her 4 times, 3 out of 4 were nice 2hr long rides. She's rather cinchy, and of course walks away when i try to mount up, and she thinks she can just turn around and head back to the herd, but i correct her with a circle, and then straight to where we're headed, and a light smack on the rump with the reins. Once she's away from everyone, she's perfect. Couldn't ask for a better horse. Now when i try to ask her to gait she won't, she will gait going down hill, but i can't get her to gait on a level or going up hill. I'm still new at this. :oops:
When i ask her to gait, she will trot, and won't gait. :? Her gait is nice, very smooth, and nice correct 4-beat. I have yet to try her at a canter. How can i ask her to gait more often?
Thank you for your advice!!
 

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You said "Mountain Pleasure?" What is her breeding? Is she:
Rocky Mountain Horse
Kentucky Mountain Horse
Tennessee Walking Horse
The differences in gait are subtle, but they are there.
Still, I'm thinking that she lacks the muscles right now to easily carry a rider, therefore she feels more comfortable at the trot while you are aboard.
I have owned several TWH's, and crosses, and 2/3 of my current horses are Kentucky Mountain--my gelding is a KMH and my mare is KMHSA.
Mine are in my backyard of 5 acres and I get to watch them all of the time. I also own a QH. My two gaited horses can often be seen trotting at liberty and cantering at liberty, also gaiting at liberty. They KNOW how to trot and will do so when I ride if the footing isn't great.
Gaited horses can be Dressaged. It strengthens their musculature and creates obedience.
Look into that and continue basic training so that she will develop trust in you. =D
 

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Do you observe her gaiting out in the pasture? Are there other gaited horses in the herd? One thing I suspect is that she is out of shape and needs to build her muscles up and another thing (I'm a foxtrotter owner myself by the way who needs a loose rein to stretch out a bit so she can do her foxtrot) is how you are riding her with regard to rein contact and body position.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
You said "Mountain Pleasure?" What is her breeding? Is she:
Rocky Mountain Horse
Kentucky Mountain Horse
Tennessee Walking Horse
The differences in gait are subtle, but they are there.
Still, I'm thinking that she lacks the muscles right now to easily carry a rider, therefore she feels more comfortable at the trot while you are aboard.
I have owned several TWH's, and crosses, and 2/3 of my current horses are Kentucky Mountain--my gelding is a KMH and my mare is KMHSA.
Mine are in my backyard of 5 acres and I get to watch them all of the time. I also own a QH. My two gaited horses can often be seen trotting at liberty and cantering at liberty, also gaiting at liberty. They KNOW how to trot and will do so when I ride if the footing isn't great.
Gaited horses can be Dressaged. It strengthens their musculature and creates obedience.
Look into that and continue basic training so that she will develop trust in you. =D
Mountain Pleasure is a breed, so is Rocky Mountain. Mountain pleasure is the oldest gaited breed in America. Check out the website [url=http://www.mountainpleasurehorseassociation.org . Kentucky Mountain is just a registry, they have been known to register anything that gaits. MPH helped create the Rocky. I'm not trying to step on any toes here, but it's what i've found out through research. They also predate the TWH by 50+ years.
And yes she is out of shape, but getting better with each ride. I have watched her gait across the pasture. There is only a Paso Fino filly, as in the only other gaited horse in the pasture. :) i will continue working with her. Thanks
 

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I asked if there were other gaited horses in the pasture because I had read somewhere (perhaps here even) that horses tend to mimic each other with regard to gaits. So if there were no other gaited horses like her in the herd then there may be a possibility that she was just not doing it enough to keep her skills honed. I'm sure (but can provide no statistical data to support this) that since I brought my foxtrotter home that she gaits less and trots more when she's in the pasture as the other three trot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Do you observe her gaiting out in the pasture? Are there other gaited horses in the herd? One thing I suspect is that she is out of shape and needs to build her muscles up and another thing (I'm a foxtrotter owner myself by the way who needs a loose rein to stretch out a bit so she can do her foxtrot) is how you are riding her with regard to rein contact and body position.
I'm used to riding on a loose rein, since i'm used to my appy gelding. I try to stay out of my horses mouth as much as possible. I ride western, and i sit rather straight in the saddle, for proper posture if i lean back or slouch at all it hurt me. But she requires a good bit of contact on the bit, and i'm not used to it, she has to have it even when gaiting. She's in a loose ring snaffle right now, and needs to work on her whoa. She does gait in pasture, and is pastured with 3 mares and a filly, the filly is gaited, she is a Paso Fino, and i have caught her gaiting too. She is out of shape, but is getting better. She's lost some weight since i've had her, which is also a plus. Her yearling wasn't weaned until i brought her home, kinda sad, but she was quite heavy. I'm happy she's getting fit. I love her want to work attitude. :)
 

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I am working on riding with weight with my 7yo KMH gelding. (My 15yo KMHSA mare is a babysitter and doesn't need the training.)
Too many people start gaited horses heavy handed and they get to leaning on the bit. When I first got "Tyke" (1970-1998, RIP) TWH/QH, he leaned on the bit, too, but I worked him out of doing that. He was 15yo when I bought him.
The thing to remember is that they are just like your other non-gaited horses, with an extra and smooth gear.
AND, you and I stepped on some toes already. I had never heard of these breeds--except I had seen ads for RMH's in periodicals in CO--until I bought my excellent mare. I have heard that some breeding has created high strung animals in this field of breeds/registries, but I don't believe it.
EVERY gaited or 1/2 gaited horse that I've owned--7 in all--has preferred to gait instead of walk. It's a pain in the...neck...when one is riding gaited and YOU are not. You switch constantly from trot to canter to trot to canter. It was always fun when my DH rode "Tyke"

and somebody else was riding "Ro Go Bar", (QH, 1982-2009, RIP) bc had a road trot the same speed as Tyke's fastest running walk, and you had to know how to ask him to break to a lope!
 

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Agreed the horse most likely needs some conditioning but that won't help her, if you aren't able to learn the basics:)

The best I can offer is Liz Graves.

Watch her short video. Judging from your writings, you're plenty savvy to get what she's talking about:)


Also, this her web site. It's been changed around since I last visited but there's an "articles" button and other informative links in the left bar that might help you.

Even though Tennessee Walkers are mentioned front and center, Liz has articles regarding all the gaited breeds. Your primary issue right now is to figure out what intermediate gait your mare is inclined to want to perform. My best thought would be to video her at liberty and go from there.

And yes, they will mimic what another horse is doing. My TWH with the champagne-smooth running walk trots every time he gets behind my Arab, in the pasture, but he has never once offered to trot when he's being ridden.

Liz Graves:Gaited Horse--Gathering of Gaits

Also, within Liz Graves' website is some valuable information that Lee Ziegler put out. Sadly Lee Ziegler passed away a few years back.

Lee Zieglers classroom

Hope this helps:)
 

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The best to do is walk, walk, walk, up hills, down hills. She is like a young horse just learning to balance with a rider. Give her time and soon enough gait will come. It took my mare a month of consistent riding to learn to carry my weight and balance herself to gait. She was most likely broke out like all of them so she could be certified in gait, then bred and put out to pasture.

Also setting up spaced poles for her to walk over will help a lot. It is good that she trots instead of pacing. Much easier to move into gait.

Hope you post pictures of her. Is she a descendent of Moon? He was one of the premiere stallions in the mountain pleasure lines. We had a mare who is a grandaughter of his. The Mountain Pleasure groups are very small, but gaining momentum. A lot of them double register as KMSHA and do shows as well as the MPH shows.
 

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now go back and read maclady's post again, and again, and again,
You need to spend a couple months just walking on trail rides, then move up to her gait, shes skipping the gait and going right into a fox trot most likely due to lack of strength and conditioning, tell her NO and collect her back down into a gait, watch for the head bob as you speed up, and keep her at that pace. But really you need to build up the basics first.
 

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..... watch for the head bob as you speed up, and keep her at that pace. But really you need to build up the basics first.
RMH, KMH, MPH, and other 4-beaters don’t generally bob their heads like TWH do.
Instead their tails bob…. So much so that slight differences in how a 4-beater moves will create different tail bob and wave patterns and those can be used to clue in on if the horse is hitting a true 4-beat (in timing) or is doing more of a stepping pace.

Note the smooth head and pronounced tail bob.


More showy gaits here, but again with the smooth head and tail bob.

Windy background- might want to turn down volume, but note how steady her head is.

Congrats EB on your new gaited horse!!
I agree with the others about her needing conditioning. As mentioned before hill work and building her up should help. There are also some good videos out there on specific exercises a gaited horse owner can focus on. Meaning if a gaited horse tends to trot try "X" or of a gaited horse wants to pace, try "Y".
I can't remember where I had found them, but they are from a gaited trainer and I will see if I can dig them up. I found them very informational.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I am working on riding with weight with my 7yo KMH gelding. (My 15yo KMHSA mare is a babysitter and doesn't need the training.)
Too many people start gaited horses heavy handed and they get to leaning on the bit. When I first got "Tyke" (1970-1998, RIP) TWH/QH, he leaned on the bit, too, but I worked him out of doing that. He was 15yo when I bought him.
The thing to remember is that they are just like your other non-gaited horses, with an extra and smooth gear.
AND, you and I stepped on some toes already. I had never heard of these breeds--except I had seen ads for RMH's in periodicals in CO--until I bought my excellent mare. I have heard that some breeding has created high strung animals in this field of breeds/registries, but I don't believe it.
EVERY gaited or 1/2 gaited horse that I've owned--7 in all--has preferred to gait instead of walk. It's a pain in the...neck...when one is riding gaited and YOU are not. You switch constantly from trot to canter to trot to canter. It was always fun when my DH rode "Tyke"

and somebody else was riding "Ro Go Bar", (QH, 1982-2009, RIP) bc had a road trot the same speed as Tyke's fastest running walk, and you had to know how to ask him to break to a lope!
That would be a whole different thread in its own LOL. I've heard quite a few interesting stories, from a few people who own RMH, and a few breeders whom are friends. I'll just keep those to myself. :wink: It's ok MPH aren't as well known as the RMH, but are gaining a steady following.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Agreed the horse most likely needs some conditioning but that won't help her, if you aren't able to learn the basics:)

The best I can offer is Liz Graves.

Watch her short video. Judging from your writings, you're plenty savvy to get what she's talking about:)

Liz Graves, Gaited Horse Tip: Base of the Neck - YouTube

Also, this her web site. It's been changed around since I last visited but there's an "articles" button and other informative links in the left bar that might help you.

Even though Tennessee Walkers are mentioned front and center, Liz has articles regarding all the gaited breeds. Your primary issue right now is to figure out what intermediate gait your mare is inclined to want to perform. My best thought would be to video her at liberty and go from there.

And yes, they will mimic what another horse is doing. My TWH with the champagne-smooth running walk trots every time he gets behind my Arab, in the pasture, but he has never once offered to trot when he's being ridden.

Liz Graves:Gaited Horse--Gathering of Gaits

Also, within Liz Graves' website is some valuable information that Lee Ziegler put out. Sadly Lee Ziegler passed away a few years back.

Lee Zieglers classroom

Hope this helps:)
Thanks I'll be looking into this a good bit. :) I can say her topline is looking much better, her muscles are toning up!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The best to do is walk, walk, walk, up hills, down hills. She is like a young horse just learning to balance with a rider. Give her time and soon enough gait will come. It took my mare a month of consistent riding to learn to carry my weight and balance herself to gait. She was most likely broke out like all of them so she could be certified in gait, then bred and put out to pasture.

Also setting up spaced poles for her to walk over will help a lot. It is good that she trots instead of pacing. Much easier to move into gait.

Hope you post pictures of her. Is she a descendent of Moon? He was one of the premiere stallions in the mountain pleasure lines. We had a mare who is a grandaughter of his. The Mountain Pleasure groups are very small, but gaining momentum. A lot of them double register as KMSHA and do shows as well as the MPH shows.
That is one great thing about where I live!! LOTS AND LOTS OF HILLS!! LOL living in the mountains, there are quite a few hills, and I do a good bit of hill work with her and always at a walk. :) I got her to step over trees on the trails, and flat rocks, she has an issue with rocks at the moment. And she is a great-granddaughter of Moon, and a granddaughter of Goldfinger. :D She is double registered KMSHA. I have one pic so far of her in my barn! :D
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
RMH, KMH, MPH, and other 4-beaters don’t generally bob their heads like TWH do.
Instead their tails bob…. So much so that slight differences in how a 4-beater moves will create different tail bob and wave patterns and those can be used to clue in on if the horse is hitting a true 4-beat (in timing) or is doing more of a stepping pace.

Note the smooth head and pronounced tail bob.

Rocky Mountain Horse, C.C.F.'s Shiloh...Sharing the Road - YouTube

More showy gaits here, but again with the smooth head and tail bob.
Gaits of the Rocky Mountain Horse - YouTube

Windy background- might want to turn down volume, but note how steady her head is.
CIMG9967 - YouTube

Congrats EB on your new gaited horse!!
I agree with the others about her needing conditioning. As mentioned before hill work and building her up should help. There are also some good videos out there on specific exercises a gaited horse owner can focus on. Meaning if a gaited horse tends to trot try "X" or of a gaited horse wants to pace, try "Y".
I can't remember where I had found them, but they are from a gaited trainer and I will see if I can dig them up. I found them very informational.
Thanks!! I'm can't get over how much of a want to please attitude she has, i'm not used to it. :)
 
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RMH, KMH, MPH, and other 4-beaters don’t generally bob their heads like TWH do.
Instead their tails bob…. So much so that slight differences in how a 4-beater moves will create different tail bob and wave patterns and those can be used to clue in on if the horse is hitting a true 4-beat (in timing) or is doing more of a stepping pace.

Note the smooth head and pronounced tail bob.

Rocky Mountain Horse, C.C.F.'s Shiloh...Sharing the Road - YouTube

More showy gaits here, but again with the smooth head and tail bob.
Gaits of the Rocky Mountain Horse - YouTube

Windy background- might want to turn down volume, but note how steady her head is.
CIMG9967 - YouTube

Congrats EB on your new gaited horse!!
I agree with the others about her needing conditioning. As mentioned before hill work and building her up should help. There are also some good videos out there on specific exercises a gaited horse owner can focus on. Meaning if a gaited horse tends to trot try "X" or of a gaited horse wants to pace, try "Y".
I can't remember where I had found them, but they are from a gaited trainer and I will see if I can dig them up. I found them very informational.
that first horse sure looks like it is pacing to me., every time you pause it you can see, that the legs on each side are moving together, thats why there is no head bob, its in a bad gait and seems to be hollowing its back, as its had its head set with training aids instead of with conditioning.
 

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LOL... no Joe, the first horse is not pacing.
A pace is where the front and hind leg on the same side hit the ground at the same time (a 2 beat gait.) If you go over to YT, it might show up more clearly (it does for me) and watch the front and hind hoof on the camera side, you will see the rear hoof hit the pavement well before the front hoof does.
This horse is doing the signature gait (single-footing or 4-beat) of the RMH, KMH, and MPH....and they do not bob their heads. My horse does not bob his head either (but my old TWH had such a big head nod during his running walk he would bob his bottom lip.)

This gait is not like the running walk, the Foxtrot, or the tolt.
Although hard to hear in those videos, the sound of the hoof falls is also a clue. The different gaits of gaited horses make different rhythms.
Try here-
http://www.brightonridge.com/about_gaits.html
The top horse in the video on this chart is pacing. The rest is a quick primer on the more common gaits.

If you re-watch the horse in the first YT video I posted above.... note how the tail bobs up and down. When a horse does a pace or stepping pace the tail doesn't bob up and down like this horse, but rather slightly side to side (with just a little bobbing up and down) and it creates a different tail movement.

I don't have the links anymore, but there are some really good sites out there where they film the horses wearing different colored tape or boots on the legs which helps the viewer follow the gaits to get a better understanding, along with using horses with shoes on hard surfaces so as to hear the distinct rhythms.
There is also articles on the tail bob and waves with videos.

Try this one-

Although not perfect, this video has the clear 1.2.3.4 footfall pattern (as opposed to the 1.2...3.4 stepping pace or the 1..2 pace) and the horse has a white front hoof marking making it easy to follow it and see he is not pacing.

 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well here are a few pics of miss Chloe, before i brought her home, with her last baby Bud her gaited mule colt. :) I'll post more once i get more pics of her, hubby got a new laptop, and don't have any pics of her on it yet LOL :wink:

Chloe6-13[1].jpg

ChloeBud[1].jpg

ChloeBud2[1].jpg
 

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Oh my... I bet she is hard to keep clean.:D
And you nailed it... their desire to please is remarkable.

I found the video I was talking about. She is working with a RMH, a TWH, and a Paso.

At roughly 1:28 in she explains the difference of the cadence sound of the foot falls (the “pucka pucka pucka” sentence) which I found really helpful in knowing what to listen for. It’s worth watching the whole video for some tips and things to focus on in the walk.
On her site she also talks about working on hills to improve the gait. (Ivy’s horse training…. I think) and I found some other useful info too.

My apologies Joe for not including the fact that singlefooting is a lateral movement, as is most of the ambling group of gaits, not diagonal like trotting or the foxtrot, which is why when you pause the video the legs on the same side move together. They are supposed to, but it is how thay move and the footfall pattern that is the key. And, why the riders in the Rocky vidoes can hold a glass of water as they go and not spill a drop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Acutally Lockwood, She isn't too bad to keep clean, she's actually a smokey creme color, and she actually cleans up pretty easy. Once i get a few more good pics of her, you'll really be able to see her markings. Thanks i'll be watching it asap!
 
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