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Discussion Starter #1
Ok me and a friend went in togather on a 3yo twh filly out of JFK and pusher (no papers) and she is as sweet as can be I trained her when my cousin owned her and she took to every thing like she had done it her whole life she has 2 issues that completly drive us crazy that I could not fix when I had her working with her (me and my friend don't ride gaited horses to often but she was skinny and needed a better home. we have no knolege of training a walker I trained her like I do all my other horses just the basics giving to pressure ect)

1. she will not tuck her head (set her head what ever you want to call it) at her gait she gives to pressure pretty good at a stand still but when you ask her to at a walk or gait she refuses (my cousins solution was a harsher bit and I don't want to do that unless we absoultly have to, she is pretty soft mouthed) should we maybe try a longer shank on her bit? Or maybe a mild ported bit? She is in a training bit with a 4 in shank its pretty mild.

2. her other little habit that annoys us is she always tilts her head to the right when you are riding her. She seems to be able to see fine from that side and only dose it wile riding her she don't do it in the pasture?

And one more thing there are times when she racks just as smooth and other time she will beat you to death when she is nervous and spooking at something she gaits almost perfect but most of the time she is trotty no matter how you hold her to keep her in her gait. (we are working on getting her feet back right after a year or two of crappy shoeing by a wannabe farrier)

If there are any training tecniques about training walkers we would love to hear them we mostly deal with QH's but we couldn't pass this lil girl up.** Sorry its so long!**
 

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I would say don't worry about her head while you are still doing training. When she learns to collect her entire body that will come more naturally. On the gaiting issue you can try to stay up barely out of the saddle while she is gaiting, since she is young she still has to learn to move correctly with a rider on her back. If she trots or paces add leg pressure to push her forwards with minial rein pressure to keep her collected. You should only gait a little at a time at first because she may still not have the muscling and stamina to hold the gait for very long. I would also add as a side note don't canter her until she has learned to gait consistently with a rider. I'm sure there are others on here with more in depth ifnormation, but that is what has worked for me.
 

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Oh and the tilting her head is probably her just trying to see the ground in front of her better. Horses have a blind spot directly in front of them. I have a speed racking mare that always does that to see in her blind spot.
 

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Getting a horse to collect does NOT involve a bigger or harsher bit. That comes with training and having the horse be relaxed through his body and confident in contact so that he comes through his back and engages his hind end. This horse needs a really good foundation before you even start thinking of collection. Put her in a snaffle and do the proper foundation work on her....it doesn't matter if she's gaited.

I'd be getting a chiro out to see the horse for the head tilting issue. Also, check to make sure there aren't any issues with her teeth. Check out all physical avenues.
 

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My TB has a lot of stress in his head/neck area. He tilts his head to the right and makes a yawning gesture (without actually yawning) and I would compare it to cracking your neck, really. He's had work done by a chiro but he still does it, although less often.

I agree with spirithorse about getting a chiro out.
 

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Would not worry about her "headset". Would not get a bigger bit. A port can help, but I'd stay with a good bit, and just see if her gait gets better. Try flat, level areas to just let her loose to see what she can do. She may just get better as she ages (young ones sometimes have trouble).
On the gaiting issue you can try to stay up barely out of the saddle while she is gaiting, since she is young she still has to learn to move correctly with a rider on her back.
This creates forward impulsion, and can encourage a trot or pace. I really wouldn't do that. At three years old, I would not expect much out of her at ALL. Just ride her. Don't worry about the gait yet ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone we have been working with her in an arena and short trail rides. Is there a bit that you would suggest for her she is almost to big for the bit she has now(mouth piece getting to small)so we are going to have to change her bit but I wasn't sure about what to change her to. she is really soft mouthed and responds to cues very well when asked but just don't respond to well in a snaffle she is really hard mouthed in a snaffle and I don't want to encorage that.we want to stay as mild as possiable with her so if there is any suggestions of a good bit to help her I would really appresiate it. (We r clueless in the walking horse world)
 

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Put her in a snaffle. I'd suggest a Myler. Nothing twisted or harsh. If she is hard mouthed in a snaffle, FIX IT. It's not about the bit, it's about the training and foundation. Go back to basics and get control of all parts of her body individually.
 

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Gaited horses don't need special bits. It bugs me when people think that just because they have a gaited horse they need a said "gaited horse bit." Gaited horses don't think or act or feel differently than non-gaited horses.
 

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Gaited horses don't think or act or feel differently than non-gaited horses.
I ask: Have you even owned one? You will find they are QUITE different. And bits do help, but they are artifical aids. If you haven't a gaited horse I'd imagine you are probably thoroughly confused as to why we like gaited bits: bits especially designed FOR the gaited horse. I personally, am neutral. I don't have anything against them, but in this case, a 3 year old does NOT need a bit like that. They (and any curb) are strictly for a horse that is much farther along the way.

Would not reccommend a Wonder Bit. I posted a thread about them a while ago. They aren't all what the have cracked up to be. Unbalance like a Tom Thumb.

Would reccommend a pelham. You have the option to use a snaffle or a curb when you most need it. They are most welcome at this forum. I'm sure you can get unlimited advice about them.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I know that walkers have a difference in gaits and mind sets when you put her in a snaffle she is a completely different horse she is sloppy in her movement not only in her gait but in her walk as well she just will not collect herself in a snaffle (I love snaffle bits believe me I do and I would love her to ride in one but she just don't like them). she requires very little pressure in a shank bit and at the moment she is not even in a walking horse bit and I had a racking horse that was just the opposite of this filly he preferred a snaffle and this filly prefers a shank. she has a smooth broke mouth piece.(Not a tom thumb and no port, twisted wire ect)she is just in a simple training bit that she is out growing I started her in a snaffle when I started her for my cousin she did ok at first but as she was ridden more my cousin switched her to the bit she is in and has done a lot better than she ever did in the snaffle with minimum pressure (she almost rides like a qh if you know what I mean you can ride her easily with loose reigns) all I asked was for some suggestions on a good bit to fit her it don't have to be a walker bit but one that is mild I have tried her in a wonder bit but it was twisted wire (it was the only broke mouth piece I have but it was only the one time)she did good in it but I want a smoothe mouth piece for her
 

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Check out David Lichman. He's a gaited horse specialist who is an incredible horseman and he rides all his gaited horses in snaffles and they all ride wonderfully.
 

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Did I say gaited horses can't ride in a snaffle? Hmmmm.. Don't think so.
 

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I know that walkers have a difference in gaits and mind sets when you put her in a snaffle she is a completely different horse she is sloppy in her movement not only in her gait but in her walk as well she just will not collect herself in a snaffle (I love snaffle bits believe me I do and I would love her to ride in one but she just don't like them).
Totally understandable. Sunny HATES anything jointed.

she requires very little pressure in a shank bit and at the moment she is not even in a walking horse bit and I had a racking horse that was just the opposite of this filly he preferred a snaffle and this filly prefers a shank. she has a smooth broke mouth piece.(Not a tom thumb and no port, twisted wire ect)she is just in a simple training bit that she is out growing I started her in a snaffle when I started her for my cousin she did ok at first but as she was ridden more my cousin switched her to the bit she is in and has done a lot better than she ever did in the snaffle with minimum pressure (she almost rides like a qh if you know what I mean you can ride her easily with loose reigns) all I asked was for some suggestions on a good bit to fit her it don't have to be a walker bit but one that is mild I have tried her in a wonder bit but it was twisted wire (it was the only broke mouth piece I have but it was only the one time)she did good in it but I want a smoothe mouth piece for her
Maybe a pelham? Or a Billy Allen of some kind.. A mullen mouth pelham or of some sorts may be nice..

If she hates the jointed feel of a snaffle, you may want to try a straightbar snaffle.
 

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I know ;)

I just wanted to make this clear. To everyone.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
We finally found a bit she is doing wonders in it is a low ported pelhem she is finally getting that nose down and collecting. Her gait has improved tremendously and we have been doing a lot of long line exercising and that has seemed to help a lot in getting her to keep that nose down instead of all over the place she is really looking good and her head tilting has almost completely stopped. I will post some pics as soon as I can she is a lil on the lean side still but she is still gaining her weight back from the previous owners ignorance.
 

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To you walker people out there; I have ridden a few finished walkers that live on my ranch, and they all gait with their heads up. I thought this was easier and natural for them? They rack smoothly, and are collected.
 
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