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King's Ransom
Jun. 15, 2011, 09:21 AM
Got our little Arab gelding into training yesterday, Day One after a six-month vacation. Yes, he was stubborn at first, but then he settled down and worked like the trooper he is.

However -- trainer has our boy in a walk when she says to me, "What is he doing? Is he walking?"

And I say, "Sort of. Looks like he's doing a running walk."

This was a very smooth, very quick running walk. As my trainer said, you could put a cup of tea between his ears and it wouldn't spill.

Now, this boy has a jaw-rattling trot ... so ... what is up? Never heard of a gaited Arabian ... though we know nothing of our little guy's history. Bought him at the end of the season last year because he is a good bomb-proof ride for DH.

He is not purebred Arabian, so maybe he is a cross with some type of gaited horse?

DH would LOVE that smooth gait if we can reproduce it on cue. Thoughts?

Edited to add: I did not mean put a teacup between his ears. She said you could HOLD a tea cup and it wouldn't spill.

Ajierene
Jun. 15, 2011, 09:25 AM
My first thought was wondering if he is full Arabian - as in you know his parents/he has papers.

He very well could be a gaited breed cross. I have known quite a few gaited breed crosses that gait, especially the running walk.

One pony at a place I rode was old as the hills, and bought when he was old as the hills. We had the vet out before and were never quite sure if he was gaited or a bit off...he trotted sometimes, but not all the time, sometimes it looked more like a running walk. This was especially true for the kids that did not have as much leg.

OveroHunter
Jun. 15, 2011, 09:28 AM
We once owned a purebred APHA registered paint gelding that racked. It's possible, just a rare occurance.

SmartAlex
Jun. 15, 2011, 09:34 AM
When I was a kid I could get my Arabian to amble. Of course, the rest of my family had five gaited ASBs and I wanted one too. Almost any horse can be trained to amble or rack. How easy it will be depends on how much lateral genetics they have. There are many many breeds who have lateral genetics, including QH, Appy and Morgan to name a few.

If you want this one to amble, just keep his head raised, and help him to adjust his timing. He will learn from repetition. Rythm Beads or working him on a hard surface where he can hear his footfalls will help. Also, riding him with other gaited horses will help as he will probably try to immitate what he hears.

Horselover52157
Jun. 15, 2011, 09:34 AM
My sister owned a papered Arab mare that definitely had a smooth running walk. She was awesome to ride!

Elaine

RougeEmpire
Jun. 15, 2011, 10:05 AM
Gaitedness in PB Arabians is not unheard of, just uncommon. I had one that had a full blown rack to him. Could rack all day and night. No one is breeding for gaited arabians therfor the instances of gaited arabians are low. You will also find Morgans that rack or running walk naturally as well. Again not unheard of, just uncommon.

King's Ransom
Jun. 15, 2011, 10:20 AM
My trainer is coming back today, I will share your responses with her. If we could get our little Rocky to do that running walk, DH would be ecstatic. His back is not the greatest anymore, and we were, in fact, considering giving Rocky over to me as a trail horse and looking for a gaited horse for DH. This would be tragic, though, as DH and Little Rock are incredibly bonded!

Beverley
Jun. 15, 2011, 10:35 AM
I've known the occasional quarter horse that 'singlefooted' as we used to say.

According to the book the Virginia Horse, early TB race horses in England were often gaited- they'd gait to the post, gallop the race, and then gait on back to wherever.

So to me, it stands to reason that even a purebred Arabian might occasionally turn up with a 'gaiting' gene.

moonriverfarm
Jun. 15, 2011, 10:47 AM
there is one where I board and yep, she racks!

Pat9
Jun. 15, 2011, 01:04 PM
Read this book:

http://www.amazon.com/You-Kin-Do-Chile-Child/dp/0595390862/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1308157059&sr=8-1

You Kin Do It, Chile: (You Can Do It, Child) (Paperback)
by Maxwell Dickinson

Excerpts can be read on Amazon - select Saddlebred as the search term, and you'll read about Arabian stallion Bazleyd winning a National Championship Arabian title at the Tennessee State Fair, then several days later, going in the Saddlebred Championships for a third place, and after that, the Tennessee Walker division. He gaited properly in all three classes according to the author.

Obviously this was long ago, when registration was not so strict a requirement, but the old man who trained this horse and many others, could put a rack or a running walk on nearly anything.

I've always liked this story since I first read it in an Arabian breed magazine, and you can read a substantial part of the good stuff in the "look inside" function.

quietann
Jun. 15, 2011, 02:05 PM
Bazleyd was just one of several early to mid-20th century Arabians who gaited. Kellogg in CA had some of his stallions trained to gait, too. I'm not sure if they were horses who showed a tendency to gait on their own, though.

HillnDale
Jun. 15, 2011, 05:34 PM
As others have replied, this happens, and in purebreds. I've heard it's more common in older bloodlines, but that's just the shedrow gossip. I'm sure it happens more than people realize, too, and they either don't notice, or encourage a more regular WTC rather than seeking to develop the gait.

IMO there is a difference between a running walk and a rack, although this is often blurred both physically and linguistically. But for me to understand what your horse is doing I need to know if s/he feels like she is speeding up (walking faster and faster) or if you feel a "break" into a gait that is not a trot. The footfall pattern is slightly different and the running walk is essentially an extended flat walk, that normally as the speed increases you will notice an increase in overstride and a pendulum-like compensating up and down motion in the head and neck. My arab is capable of moving out into a nice flat walk, but over 5-5.5mph will break into a trot. No running walk.

A rack, which is really a family of gaits and goes by many names is often smoother, in the sense that there isn't the big swinging motion of a RW. There may be no overstride at all, all the way to the hopping in place type movement of a Paso Fino's show paso corto. My arab has offered a rack, but only in very steep downhill terrain, or a few times when very excited and ventro-flexed. I have not made any effort to develop it in him.

I'm a big advocate of the oft underused voice aid. Horses respond well to it, and this isn't something you're going to be doing in a hunter ring or dressage test. Teach him "trot" and something else for rack. I've used "step out" only b/c I think I heard someone else use it before and "rack' just sounds silly to me.

There are a lot of whacky ideas out there about how to encourage gait, so good luck sorting through that! I'm no expert, so I can't tell you what to do or not. Just be kind and sensible and have fun with your gaited arab!

King's Ransom
Jun. 15, 2011, 05:54 PM
Trainer just left, and we talked about this but -- right now still working on a few other issues - like standing STILL until asked to move, and leaving the herd without losing little horsey mind. Rocky got a "B" for his work today.

Trainer has a little background with gaited horses from her university days, so she is going to talk to some of her contacts in that world. As noted earlier, if Rocky could give DH that smooth running walk ... well ... it would certainly be an added bonus. DH is 65 and new to horses and Rocky's trot will shake your teeth out if you're not so hot at posting!

This little horse is sure a joy, and always full of surprises. He adores DH so ... wouldn't surprise me one bit if he just decided to learn to gait so DH would have a smoother ride! ;-)

katarine
Jun. 15, 2011, 09:21 PM
If his head is still and steady it isn't a running walk. He may be racking or saddle gaiting, though.

And the trainer needs only know that they want to encourage the gait, and discourage the trot to develop whatever gait that is, really. It's about that simple.

nashfad
Jun. 15, 2011, 10:15 PM
Gaited Arabians do exist. Still. Some of the old Crabbet lines ----Skronek(?) and some Raffles bred horses would gait. They used to have gaited classes for the Arabians at the Arabian shows.

HydroPHILE
Jun. 16, 2011, 08:35 AM
Before he passed away, an old-timer I worked for said he knew a trainer several years ago that could train any breed of horse to rack. We'd laugh together imagining his 18 hh Percheron racking away on a trail (a horse that would rather plow through bushes than go around or over them.)

OP if you post a video somewhere, some of the gaited folks could tell you if he's racking :)

King's Ransom
Jun. 16, 2011, 08:46 AM
I was thinking the video idea is a great one. Trainer is coming back Friday so I will try to get some video to post.

Guilherme
Jun. 16, 2011, 08:53 AM
Lee Ziegler (RIP), one of the better North American gaited horse trainers, has written that just about any horse can be taught to rack. It won't be a "show winning" gait but will be a slow, comfortable "trail gait." This can be done without the use of running Ws or other "dramatic gear." It won't take much time on Google to find her method.

A soft gait, or "4th gear," would have been a valuable asset to a rider in the Age of Horsepower. It was the rise of good roads, which permitted the large scale use of wheeled vehicles, that put the "gaited horse" off to side of the transport equation. In places where such roads were rare (particularly rural North and South America) they continued to be part of the system of personal transport into the mid-20th Century.

I'm not at all surprised that the odd Arabian will show a "4th Gear." I doubt that most Arabian fanciers would welcome that, however.

G.

Alagirl
Jun. 16, 2011, 08:54 AM
Not too long ago (ok, 100 or 200 years ago when people actually rode ;)) riding horses with a smooth gait were preferred.

I have heard of gaited Arabians, and considering the lineage a 'riding horse' for a few hundred and thousand years, makes perfect sense.

CFFarm
Jun. 16, 2011, 11:19 AM
I've known the occasional quarter horse that 'singlefooted' as we used to say.

According to the book the Virginia Horse, early TB race horses in England were often gaited- they'd gait to the post, gallop the race, and then gait on back to wherever.

So to me, it stands to reason that even a purebred Arabian might occasionally turn up with a 'gaiting' gene.

I once had an Appy mare that used to "singlefoot". She was the best bareback horse ever!

starrunner
Jun. 16, 2011, 12:41 PM
I have an Arab mare now that will gait. It's her comfortable inbetween from the walk and before the bone jarring trot. I never thought much of it until my aunt riding along with me pointed out that she wasn't trotting.

My family who also bred Arabs had several gaited ones. Of course, this was in the 60s and 70s when it was OK and encouraged to have gaited Arabians.

So he very well could be a purebred that can gait. It can take work, but if he shows the tendency to do it loose, you can often help them out undersaddle. It can just take more strength to hold it together properly.

HydroPHILE
Jun. 16, 2011, 02:37 PM
I once had an Appy mare that used to "singlefoot". She was the best bareback horse ever!

Gaited appies are not unheard of. Most of them are what's known as "Indian Shufflers." :)

King's Ransom
Jun. 23, 2011, 08:13 PM
I finally got some (very bad) video, and the consensus around here is he's foxtrotting.

Here is the video: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1945490930315

You do have to be on FB, but the video is public.

He is actually doing this much better -- and faster -- now. Hopefully I can get better video tomorrow. If so, I'll post on YouTube.

walkinthewalk
Jun. 23, 2011, 08:38 PM
Arabs do have a gaiting gene, but it's been suppressed just like it has been suppressed in the Appaloosa (Indian Shuffle), and the gaited Morgans who typically performed a singlefoot.

Read on please - this does my heart good:)

http://forums.arabianbreeders.net/topic/49889-gaited-arabians/

sdlbredfan
Jun. 23, 2011, 08:45 PM
Got our little Arab gelding into training yesterday, Day One after a six-month vacation. Yes, he was stubborn at first, but then he settled down and worked like the trooper he is.

However -- trainer has our boy in a walk when she says to me, "What is he doing? Is he walking?"

And I say, "Sort of. Looks like he's doing a running walk."

This was a very smooth, very quick running walk. As my trainer said, you could put a cup of tea between his ears and it wouldn't spill.

Now, this boy has a jaw-rattling trot ... so ... what is up? Never heard of a gaited Arabian ... though we know nothing of our little guy's history. Bought him at the end of the season last year because he is a good bomb-proof ride for DH.

He is not purebred Arabian, so maybe he is a cross with some type of gaited horse?

DH would LOVE that smooth gait if we can reproduce it on cue. Thoughts?

Edited to add: I did not mean put a teacup between his ears. She said you could HOLD a tea cup and it wouldn't spill.

Many years ago, more than 50 anyway, there were some Arabians that competed in 5 gaited classes. I wish I could remember what show had a class like that. I saw it in an old horse show program in an antique store and have been kicking myself since for not buying that interesting bit of horsey memorabilia.

ETA now I have seen the video, I am not sure that is a 'foxtrot' but whatever it is, it looks comfy. If your trainer friend wants to know some ideas of trainers in your area from the Saddlebred world that might be able to help Rocky get into the gait, please PM me or SmartAlex as I'll betcha we would have some ideas. (I forgot where you are, sorry...)

Basically, one thing that can help is to be going slightly downhill, and use a specific rein cue, ever so slightly 'shake' as in left rein, right rein repeat a few times whilst urging forward gently. Sit and wait, let the horse process the idea, and then praise for any attempt. Rider needs to sit still, not try to 'help' in any way other than the getting the head slightly going from one side to the other at first.

spookhorse
Jun. 23, 2011, 09:41 PM
It's not a foxtrot, but it's a slow running walk :) The head nod is the main give away. The legs are not moving as in a foxtrot, the hind feet should pretty much be shuffling for that.

Ask for speed with your legs without letting him break into a trot and keep your butt in the saddle. Teach the horse that when you ask for speed, weight in the saddle means running walk, and rising means trot. Ask for more speed, but not quite trotting to work on foxtrot (essentially a lazy trot IME)

My grade TWH mare has: walk-running walk-foxtrot-trot-rack-canter-gallop- just got to know how to ask for them!

King's Ransom
Jun. 23, 2011, 10:30 PM
If it helps, here is another video from the same night. This is like the 2nd or 3rd time he had done this. He did much better at it yesterday, but I didn't take any video. I'll take some more tomorrow:

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1945482850113

I don't "really" care what the gait is called, but I'd like to not feel stupid when I talk about it. I thought it was a running walk, but others (more experienced than me) say it's the beginning of a fox trot. All I know is - I like it, and I'd like to learn how to get him to do it on cue!

spookhorse
Jun. 23, 2011, 10:42 PM
It looks too even for a foxtrot. A running walk will have a definite 1-2-3-4 beat while a foxtrot will have a little pause between the 2 and the 3 (1-2--3-4)

If you can take him on some smooth pavement, you can get a good listen to it.

running walk:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AlDEDWxnZQ

HillnDale
Jun. 24, 2011, 01:30 AM
Aww, that is soo cute! :D

I agree that looks like a flat walk/running walk. Not too much speed there, but definitely moving out of a slow regular walk.

Where I live, it's very common to refer to any intermediate gait other than trotting (this is outside of the showring, mind you) as "gaiting." That pretty well covers it, and as was alluded to in a different way, the horse's gait will change going over different terrain, uphill, downhill, etc, so unless the horse is extremely well schooled, she's unlikely to put her feet down in a perfect 1-2-3-4 or 1-2--3-4 or whatever beat with perfect consistancy anyway. She may be in a RW, then foxtrot a few steps or (conversely) amble, then RW again. I sort of think of that as being one of the qualities of the gaiting trait, really. It allows the horse a lot of options in footfall "pattern" to account constantly for terrain changes.

CosMonster
Jun. 24, 2011, 01:58 AM
I currently have a gaited 3/4 Arabian mare in training with me. We're not sure what the other 1/4 is so it might come from that, though. She has a nice running walk that looks pretty similar to what your guy is doing in the videos (from what I could see, anyway, since I'm on an incredibly ancient monitor and pictures are extremely dark). Our girl just offers it naturally but it needs to be developed, she doesn't do it reliably just yet. She's also a firecracker who'd rather be running pretty much all the time, though, so I think that's a lot of the trouble...I ask her to go into it and she takes the initiative to canter off instead. :lol:

King's Ransom
Jun. 24, 2011, 08:25 AM
Thanks HillnDale ... perhaps I will just say that Rocky is gaiting!

CosMonster -- my little Arab is the calmest, most bomb-proof, steady-Eddie guy I've ever met! Small chance that he would ever voluntarily break-over into a canter! Ha ha!

No one believes he is an Arab until they see him. When I tell stories about him, everyone says, "Are you SURE he's an Arabian?" He's just rock-steady, hence the name we gave him last summer when we bought him. (Poor thing, his previous owners never bothered to name him!)

We don't know Rocky's history. We bought him from a lady who had rescued him a few years ago -- she says she ran across him standing out in a field, a bag of bones. She finally figured out who owned him and just made an offer. They were happy to be rid of him. So, she took the little Arabian into her "herd" (she buys and sells and runs a lot of horses) and fed him and such ... but never bothered to give him a name.

When the lady met us and found out we were looking for a good trail horse for DH, she said, "I have this great little Arab who is sort of a cowboy's horse, and I bet he'd be perfect." So, DH started riding the little Arab, and turns out he was perfect.

Sweet little guy, too. He likes everyone, but he ADORES my husband. If DH is around, Little Rock can NOT take his eyes off him. It's really quite touching!

HydroPHILE
Jun. 24, 2011, 09:02 AM
The "headbob" is what makes me think it's just a slow and easy flat walk verging on running walk. Here is another example to compare:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyVRl7qI2lU

"Headbobs" are common in Tennessee Walking Horses. You may have seen for sale ads that say "lots of head shake going on," etc. :)

"Awesome Head Shaking..."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJJnjCX8za8

King's Ransom
Jun. 24, 2011, 09:09 AM
HydroPhile -- I think you are right. In the video we have, Rocky looks more like that first video you posted (I searched YouTube myself and saw this one last night). But, as my trainer keeps working with him, he's starting to look more like the 2nd (not like him, that boy is clearly well-trained ... just more like him).

My thought is that Rocky may have always gaited, but others discouraged it? I say that because as trainer is encouraging him, he seems to be really happy about it and taking it to it more and more. She walked him all over the farm like that on Wednesday, and Little Rock was just tickled pink!

I was supposed to work with him myself this afternoon, but the granddaughter (and family) is coming, so don't know if that's going to actually happen for me. No worries, trainer will be back on Monday. I am anxious to give it a try with him!

DH is not horsey, so he does not really understand yet why we are all so excited about Rocky gaiting. I think he will understand when he rides it, though. Rocky's trot is bone-jarring, and DH is not so good at posting ... and he has some back troubles ... so this really is very exciting news. Plus, Rocky is only about 13 or 14 years old, so we have many fun years ahead of us!

HydroPHILE
Jun. 24, 2011, 11:17 AM
You can definitely nurture the flat walk and running walk in the horse :) When I read "he does not really understand yet why we are all so excited about [it]" I was going to say, "he apparently hasn't ridden him yet" :) LOL

jeano
Jun. 24, 2011, 11:30 AM
For what its worth, I've had my grade walker since he was six, and he's only NOW presenting with a good, true, consistent, ground-covering running walk. He's ten or thereabouts. Ditto my 12 year old racking horse, who only last year started to get in touch with her inner walking horse. She's got a better running walk than the walker, very fast and smooth when she puts her mind to it. What has helped both my horses gait better, oddly enough, is being ridden in company with another gaited horse. My riding buddy's foxtrotter has a really superb running walk in his arsenal, and we have walking races all the time. Its a hoot to see who breaks gait first (and what gait they choose).

luckyducky
Jun. 24, 2011, 09:43 PM
I have a purebred Arabian gelding who is gaited. He paces at a walk and racks instead of trotting, it is so incredibly smooth!! I love riding him for this fact! His a sire is a Khemosabi son ( Khoumsalla), and he is Polish/Egyptian on the mare line, 100% domestic bred. He is a blast to ride!
Well, I should say I THINK he is gaited, I haven't ever had an expert gaited horse person evaluate him.

gaitedgirl72
Jul. 31, 2011, 12:00 PM
Your arabian can be gaited, but gaited arabians are much more unusual than they once were...just as gaited quarter horses are. The breed show standards have bred out the ability to carry a 4 beat gait. In my experience, Egyptian arabs rarely present a 4 beat gait but Polish and Spanish arabs sometimes are gaited. I grew up around Doc Betts, founder of the Appalachian Singlefoot Association. He looked for arabs and quarter horses, in addition to the traditionally gaited breeds, to help continue the progeny of naturally gaited singlefoot horses. Chances are that your horse was singlefooting, which is a variation of a rack or a running walk. While it is not necessarily desirable in your breed standards, there are individuals who would consider your horse's natural ability to be very valuable indeed. Your horse will still be able to do all of its other gaits (including the infamous arabian bone splitting trot) and perform a 4 beat gait, which you will be forever thankful if you spend long hours on the trail. Don't let your trainer try to train it out of him. There are many things that you can do as a rider to encourage a 4 beat gait, but you can also ruin that gait as well, even in traditionally gaited breeds.

King's Ransom
Jul. 31, 2011, 01:22 PM
Oh gosh, gaitedgirl, we are NOT training gait out of him! I have learned to ask for and ride his beautiful smooth gait, since this was first posted. He is so much fun! We are not competitors, and Rocky is really just an all-around family horse. We have discovered that the little guy is up for almost anything!