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  • Original Poster

    #21
    Originally posted by Renae View Post
    My experiences:

    At the running walk you feel like you are polishing the saddle with your bum, forward and back. When they are really moving out you can feel the hind legs making longer steps.

    The stepping pace feels side to side, with a little pause between.

    The rack is the smoothest. It feels like the horse is churning around you. You don't move side to side or back and forth.

    If your horse isn't able to maintain a good gait spend a lot of time dog walking. That is just walking on a loose rein, with a good natural forward rhythm. Don't push or ask for speed.
    Aha! He's definitely racking then--it's quite quick and feels like he's just grown 3 hands and become a hovercraft! You really can't separate the footfalls the way you can at the dog or flat walk. We've been diligently dog-walking all summer, and I've pretty much succeeded in "killing" the hard-pace. What I want to do now is confirm him in one intermediate gait I can use when my companions are trotting. I've heard the stepping-pace can cause unsoundness, so I'd like for it NOT to be that!

    More later, gotta go feed, thanks for the tips everyone!

    Comment


    • #22
      Originally posted by SwampYankee View Post
      You have just proven you're a fight looking for an opponent. I got my first gaited horse less than 4 years ago, and am schooling my second--which is why I'm relatively ignorant about them. You have absolutely NO idea what else I've done, and I'm not motivated to explain it all to you. One thing I do NOT do is jump to jeering, labeling conclusions about other members of this board. Yes, you hijack other threads with your anti-RARA agenda which is a colossal bore.
      If you have no interest in this topic, why are you here?
      First, you are the one that jumped on me out of the blue in the other thread.
      Your post there was only to pick on me.
      I didn't know why, now maybe I think I do, as already explained.

      Second, so what if you don't like what I say, that is no reason to pick on others like you did there and are now.

      Third, I do have an interest in this topic.
      Thank you for asking those questions.
      The answers are very enlightening.
      I don't know anything other than gaited horses move oddly, but not why.
      Now I know a little bit more.

      Comment


      • #23
        "Grown three hands and become a hovercraft" - exactly what my Paso's ride feels like at the Paso Largo!
        What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!

        Comment


        • #24
          Video yourself hitting all the gears, try to get at least 10 or 15 seconds in each gait. When you play it back you can make note of the foot-fall patterns in each gait and find out that way exactly which gaits your horse is doing.

          That's what I did and I learned a lot about how my horse moves and gaits in general doing so. It was a huge help and really helped me make the mental connection between what my horse's legs were doing vs. what I was feeling in the saddle.

          It works best if you have someone manning the camera (as opposed to just sitting the camera on the fence) and if you video from inside the fence (much easier to see the legs moving without the rails in the video). At least that's what I learned the hard way, took me a few tries before I actually got clear enough video to see exactly what was going on

          I used an online software video editing tool (can't remember which one, but it was a free one I found through Google) to slow the video down so I could see exactly what the foot-fall patterns were in each gait.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #25
            Originally posted by hurleycane View Post
            Swamp I have been following your French threads and I can not tell you how cool it is to read you are riding gaitors!

            If the cadence is broken 4 beat - most likely a steping pace (lateral) or fox trot (diagonal). The head will give you a clue - Foxtrotters peck forward. Steppacers side side their heads.

            I would say the most important thing to consider about this gait is not so much what gait it is but more so what shape is your horse in? ANd by shape I mean what is the back's shape? How is the head shaped up? If not heavy on the hands - chances are you have something to work with. And most likely something you can get a little more evenly timed with time and possibly slowing up and/or slightly turning etc etc.

            Relaxation in a 4 beat will generally get you a saddlerack. But if your horse is handy, you can encourage a little more reach in the stride and step up to a pretty cool 'nother gait: the runwalk. The RW is 4 beats with relaxation AND sweeping reach and impulsion. You will know it when you get a lovely cupa cupa cupa cupa foot sound as they come to ground along with a dropping (nodding down) head and neat powerful push in your seat. ANd the icing on the cake is feeling each foot come to ground right up in your chest - it is a lovely vibration which no other gait gives.

            Once you feel it - you will seek it forever.
            OK, I've had time to look at the videos, and he's almost definitely racking! Hotpotato, hotpotato, YES! Last night on the trail he actually did give me a few strides of the back-and-forth that would be RW, like he'd just discovered it. Watching the vid of the paint horse, nope he's not doing the stepping pace, which looks kind of "jiggy" here.

            Those of you mentioning the variations of tension along the top-line, yes that's what I'm playing with here. To rack, he definitely wants me to lift his withers; I'm picking him up almost and putting my legs on to say "Go!" then relaxing my fingers to "open the front door" and doing that "pelvic tilt" forward. That's when I'm getting The Hovercraft. When it falls apart I am getting something a little pacey, which I tend to quell immediately so it doesn't become habitual.

            My older "schoolmaster" TWH, who sadly checked out before his time 3 weeks ago, had the true back-'n-forth RW and his was HUGE. He could also trot and canter. Nothing in between whatsoever.

            Little guy has ALL this great stuff; dog walk, flat walk, RW in there somewhere, pace, stepping pace, rack, and canter. I'm finding it easiest to obtain the rack from the canter since he'll strike off nicely off my leg.

            One complication is this guy DETESTS ring-work and will sulk the entire time; he believes in Going Places so we do all our work on the trails. I'm going to start sneaking some circles in the fields, though; we sneak lateral work on the road as it is.

            Yes, this is definitely The Next Level for French School; a three-speed is actually pretty boring when you get used to having 7!

            Comment


            • #26
              The rack is the most taxing four beat gait for a horse to perform. Saddlebred five gaited horses are taught to do a Slow Gait (stepping pace these days) and Rack because the Slow Gait is the gait you would actually do for miles, the Rack is what you would do when you had a need to get somewhere.

              Back in the day (100+ years ago) a variety of gaits were acceptable for a Slow Gait for a Saddlebred, the stepping pace, running walk or fox trot.

              I have ridden some Walking Horses that do both a running walk and rack, but you have to be careful to insist they run-walk correctly, otherwise they seem to fall into a stepping pace and rack as that seems to be easier whne you are not insisting the running walk stays true.

              I have never heard that a stepping pace causes unsoundness.

              If it were my horse I would try to confirm it on 2 speeds of 4 beat gait, the stepping pace or running walk for a slow gait, and a rack.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #27
                That's exactly what I'm trying to do--"normalize" his RW and what I now know is a rack, and suppress the "other stuff."

                Many thanks for everyone's expertise here!

                Comment


                • #28
                  I have heard differently - the horse's back will be ventroflexed when step pacing. The back will be more level when runwalking. I had always thought the runwalk was the gait of choice for keeping a horse sound.

                  Here is a quote i found:

                  Sometimes a step pace is a smooth gait for the rider. But any horse executing it will be going in a strung-out manner that places too much weight over the front end, and discourages proper balance and collection. In other words, the horse will land heavily on each front leg, while each hind leg will be hyper-extended behind it before the weight comes off, placing excessive stress on the hocks and stifle joints. This frequently results in problems with the soundness of these structures. It also encourages a ventroflexed – hollow backed – frame, making the horse hard to fit for saddle, and weakened throughout its topline. Since the horse’s back muscle (the longissimus dorsi) is the largest muscle in its body, we should keep it strong and healthy for as long as possible.

                  Swamp Yankee you are so lucky that the runwalk is something your horse can do. Thats the gait i would be working on for sure !
                  from sunridge1 Go get 'em Roy! Stupid clown shoe nailing, acid pouring bast@rds.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    OK Swamp - this is gonna sound weird - bit I will let it flow anyway...

                    Premise: 1) Free moving 4 beats require that your seat and legs interfere as little as possible. 2)No way can anyone shift their weight fast enough to follow and not interfere with a rack (ie: four legs moving independently each stride). 3) The tipping of the pelvis affects the pressure of the saddle on the back.

                    In your above post you said you are tipping your pelvis forward to help him rack. If I understand this right you are putting pressure on the pubis? If so, this can push the front of the saddle down onto the withers and MOL interfere with his free 4 beat movement. It can also cause ventroflexion - specially if coupled with tight thighs.

                    Alternative: Sharing here something I have been taught. ANd that is the pelvis is an aid to the racking horse when it keeps your weight centered on a neutral pivot point. So to support a rack, the rider can shift the pelvis to a neutral pivot point by lifting the pubis with the lower abd and soften the legs (specially thighs) as if you are trying to to suck his withers and back up into you. (Yes, suck him up into you). You do not have to be on your pockets but you do need to ride the ischeal tuberosities and be light on your thighs.

                    What it does is it concentrates your weight in as small an area as possible so that racking horse can rely on you to be centered and out of the way. This will let the horse do all the movement he needs to to hit four beats. ANd to do a free moving rack, he has to move all four corners independently.

                    So it is best if it is a neutral pelvic position for the gaited horse in gait.

                    For instance consider the video of the step pacing pinto. IMO the horse may be doing so because of the tension in the rider's pelvis and lower back. To me the arch of her lower back tells me she is shifted forward on her pelvis and likely on her pubis a bit and not on her "rocking" ischeal tuberosities. A little time and pelvic rebalancing by her might free him up in all four quarters. ANd he might just rack.

                    BTW IMO this neutral pelvis pivot point is one reason some folks get away with awful upper body positions and leg positions on gaiters. Bad at is looks - they are not interfering with the horse if the pelvis is on the tuberosities. True their form will not be that of a rider prepared for the next gear or stop - but they let all four quarters move without interference.

                    So try to suck him up LOL Then move him out. ANd seriously it works nicely for some of these gaitors.
                    from sunridge1:Go get 'em Roy! Stupid clown shoe nailing, acid pouring bast@rds.it is going to be good until the last drop!Eleneswell, the open trail begged to be used. D Taylor

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Every walking horse's running walk is a little different from the next. I find more variability here than in a trot unless you are comparing a pony-esque choppy trot and an airy Arabian trot.

                      3 YO TWH (BL bred, by the way, he's by Main Power) never shod up front, shod behind:

                      http://youtu.be/iiPJLulpgMA

                      3 YO barefoot gelding, never shod-and can practically canter in place
                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqhQz...=ULzqhQzXRzTf4

                      5 YO barefoot mare, Incredibly 'light' feeling- you just don't touch the ground on her.
                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ck34C...=ULCk34CRzHRpM

                      my 10 YO gelding, keg shod- Pusher/Coins Hard Cash
                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5Z7i...=ULy5Z7idyw0Qg

                      my SSH/TWH mare I sold at 7 YO, keg shod. Step pacey- but you can see she's far from 'strung out and on her forehand'..she is sometimes flat walking...sometimes step pacing- the difference is a .25 of a second in timing, some strides...

                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MB30k...=ULMB30krIoikY. my point is that the variability in what a stepping pace 'can' be- means some really are all sprawly, some are just a titch of motivation from walking or racking. Same mare, saddle gait/rack:
                      http://youtu.be/Xju37n2OVaE

                      DH's 100% natural SSH, Toppy. Four keg shoes.
                      http://youtu.be/_G4hVU35-x0

                      And his 100% natural, keg shod Scout:
                      http://youtu.be/rxTtzewuPwE


                      So just listen and work on 'four beat even tempo gait'. Shoulder in, haunches in, all help them loosen through the ribs and improve the notion their hind feet aren't tied to the fores on the same side.

                      You're too late to introduce the notion of dressage to gaited horses, in French or in ...southern fried
                      https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=1&theater

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Swamp - Figure 2b MOL pictures a good neutral gaiting pelvis for the rack. And when I read Racinet's description of how the positions affect the horse's back and hinds - well, with gaitors it seems to be the opposite. Just makes me wonder until I see:
                        "If the theory says one way, and your horse reacts another way, the theory is wrong and your horse is right. Perhaps, on second thought, you will find that the theory was somewhat right, but needed to be interpreted -adapted- to your horse."

                        ... or the horse's mode of ambulation - 2 beat verses 4.

                        And thanks again for the French thread. Lots of good stuff in there.
                        from sunridge1:Go get 'em Roy! Stupid clown shoe nailing, acid pouring bast@rds.it is going to be good until the last drop!Eleneswell, the open trail begged to be used. D Taylor

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Katarine - I saw no comment that anyone on this thread was "introducing" dressage to gaited horses. What I think is great is that Swamp actually studied with Racinet and is taking the time to post in detail and discuss what she is doing in applying his French School teachings to the gaited ride. Have you been following the French School threads? Good stuff - and even mo better since the French discussion can now go smooth - as in gaited. Woot!
                          from sunridge1:Go get 'em Roy! Stupid clown shoe nailing, acid pouring bast@rds.it is going to be good until the last drop!Eleneswell, the open trail begged to be used. D Taylor

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            I was very much tongue in cheek, Hurley, hence the southern-fried...I was joking. You don't really think I incorporated okra into my training, do you??

                            I am not following the French School threads, no. These are just horse with other gears.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              The poke of "too late" kinda dulled the fun in your funny.
                              from sunridge1:Go get 'em Roy! Stupid clown shoe nailing, acid pouring bast@rds.it is going to be good until the last drop!Eleneswell, the open trail begged to be used. D Taylor

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Originally posted by Griffyn View Post
                                Ive always heard the rack described as "hot potato, hot potato" and thats how it sounds on pavement/hard surface.
                                Originally posted by Gnalli View Post
                                In particular, at a rack, the sound that is made should sound like "blackndecker blackendecker" over and over. Goofy as it sounds, listen to them on hard ground. When I am riding and can't see the legs, I listen to them.
                                Or if you are from Kentucky "chew tobacco chew tobacco"
                                ::I do not understand your specific kind of crazy, but I do admire your total commitment to it::

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #36
                                  Originally posted by hurleycane View Post
                                  OK Swamp - this is gonna sound weird - bit I will let it flow anyway...

                                  Premise: 1) Free moving 4 beats require that your seat and legs interfere as little as possible. 2)No way can anyone shift their weight fast enough to follow and not interfere with a rack (ie: four legs moving independently each stride). 3) The tipping of the pelvis affects the pressure of the saddle on the back.

                                  In your above post you said you are tipping your pelvis forward to help him rack. If I understand this right you are putting pressure on the pubis? If so, this can push the front of the saddle down onto the withers and MOL interfere with his free 4 beat movement. It can also cause ventroflexion - specially if coupled with tight thighs.

                                  Alternative: Sharing here something I have been taught. ANd that is the pelvis is an aid to the racking horse when it keeps your weight centered on a neutral pivot point. So to support a rack, the rider can shift the pelvis to a neutral pivot point by lifting the pubis with the lower abd and soften the legs (specially thighs) as if you are trying to to suck his withers and back up into you. (Yes, suck him up into you). You do not have to be on your pockets but you do need to ride the ischeal tuberosities and be light on your thighs.

                                  What it does is it concentrates your weight in as small an area as possible so that racking horse can rely on you to be centered and out of the way. This will let the horse do all the movement he needs to to hit four beats. ANd to do a free moving rack, he has to move all four corners independently.

                                  So it is best if it is a neutral pelvic position for the gaited horse in gait.

                                  For instance consider the video of the step pacing pinto. IMO the horse may be doing so because of the tension in the rider's pelvis and lower back. To me the arch of her lower back tells me she is shifted forward on her pelvis and likely on her pubis a bit and not on her "rocking" ischeal tuberosities. A little time and pelvic rebalancing by her might free him up in all four quarters. ANd he might just rack.

                                  BTW IMO this neutral pelvis pivot point is one reason some folks get away with awful upper body positions and leg positions on gaiters. Bad at is looks - they are not interfering with the horse if the pelvis is on the tuberosities. True their form will not be that of a rider prepared for the next gear or stop - but they let all four quarters move without interference.

                                  So try to suck him up LOL Then move him out. ANd seriously it works nicely for some of these gaitors.
                                  Wow! This is GREAT specificity! Can't wait to get out there and work on this with him--if it ever stops raining!

                                  I can honestly say I've never had to work harder on perfect independence of seat, listening and feeling what's going on below, and realizing how minute adjustments of almost anything you can name affect a horse's way of going as I've been working on ALL of these since I got my green TWH!

                                  (And people that see us probably think we're just two lazy bums out for a stroll--HA! )

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #37
                                    Originally posted by hurleycane View Post
                                    Katarine - I saw no comment that anyone on this thread was "introducing" dressage to gaited horses. What I think is great is that Swamp actually studied with Racinet and is taking the time to post in detail and discuss what she is doing in applying his French School teachings to the gaited ride. Have you been following the French School threads? Good stuff - and even mo better since the French discussion can now go smooth - as in gaited. Woot!
                                    And I'm not the only one, apparently! Old Home Week last night reading Lee Ziegler's Easy-Gaited Horses. A great deal of it sounds like it could have been paraphrased from Another Horsemanship, and on pg. 207, heading the chapter "Finishing Touches," she has in italics, "Hands without legs, legs without hands." Francois Baucher, 1796-1873. Yep, it's even more fun with more "gears!"

                                    And, I might add, even more difficult . . .

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by SwampYankee View Post
                                      And I'm not the only one, apparently! Old Home Week last night reading Lee Ziegler's Easy-Gaited Horses. A great deal of it sounds like it could have been paraphrased from Another Horsemanship, and on pg. 207, heading the chapter "Finishing Touches," she has in italics, "Hands without legs, legs without hands." Francois Baucher, 1796-1873. Yep, it's even more fun with more "gears!"

                                      And, I might add, even more difficult . . .
                                      Or, to some, more like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.

                                      Let me explain, I can train any horse to get down and work cattle, yes, even a gaited horse.
                                      I can take a cowbred horse and LET it work cattle, he is bred to know how and be able to do it happy and with grace and ease.

                                      While very interesting to get gaited horses to ride like non-gaited horses are expected to perform, well, they just are gaited, that's the way they are and why make their world more difficult asking them to do what they are not really made for?

                                      I saw a video of gaited dressage Katherine posted.
                                      Wonderful, excellent riding there, but the horse was gaited and so you had to change your protocol to judge that non-standard way of going.

                                      While the standards of dressage training can be applied to all horses to improve their way of going, to perform, unless we change the basic standards of what dressage expects in movement, a gaited horse just won't measure up to those while gaiting, other than in gaited specific competition, or will they?

                                      I think gaited horses in all kinds of gaits are very interesting.
                                      It does seem that not all are quite to a standard and there is some cross over.
                                      This is all very interesting to learn.

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        My RM is my first gaited horse to own and train. I hadn't ridden much gaited. I may "have" been new to gaited but not new to horses. I have endurance ridden for many years. My rm I got at 1.5 years old, and she is 6 this year, and I did all the training, and I also certified her. I got up to speed on gaited very very fast. I have watched legs on horses for a long time, so I watch the legs alot and listen to the hoofbeats on the gaited.

                                        First of all gaiting feels to me like the most wonderful sitting trot. Gentle on the butt. When my rm step-paces 12-34 I feel it in my spine, and it was not nice, imo. When she 4 beat gaits, it is a super nice feel in my butt. All she will do undersaddle is 4 beat gait. 1234. I want her to do the 1234, no other, and so she doesn't.

                                        BTW my rm will gait at a nice speed with no contact at all. I will drop the reins and just guide her if needed with my leg. She likes to do that when we trail ride, she just gets in a mode. LOVE IT.

                                        Every horse is different. Just like in trotting horses. Saddle, bridle, rider, collection makes the gait different also, just like trotting horses. Gaited have a particular speed they do their gait best. Just like trotting horses. It can be due to conformation, way of going, and or fitness. Find the speed, and the gait you like best.

                                        Listen to the hoof beats. Then if you can, watch their legs. I only watch one side of the body's legs. IOW the right legs or left ones. Hind foot always hits first.

                                        Here is a link I like alot:

                                        http://www.brightonridge.com/about_gaits.html

                                        RM and paso people, we do not care what the gait technically is called. It is a rack. Same foot fall, 1234 1234, no matter the speed. Really, who cares "what" the gait is called. If the foot fall sequence is different, then there is a difference.

                                        I want my rm in a lovely, smooth 1234 gait at all times. She can be a little hot/forward, and she can definitely go much faster, but it is always in the 1234 4 beat gait. Add a little leg, little less leg, little from my hand, or a little more. Just like in trotting horses. They need to learn to stay in that perfect sweet spot zone, then much later then you can speed up - if you want.

                                        Also hill work is good for the gaited horse. Works the hind end well. They will use it going up a hill, so that may be a good place to see what your horse has with regards to gait.

                                        This is not rocket science, you can do it, ANYbody can.

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                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                                          Or, to some, more like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.

                                          Let me explain, I can train any horse to get down and work cattle, yes, even a gaited horse.
                                          I can take a cowbred horse and LET it work cattle, he is bred to know how and be able to do it happy and with grace and ease.

                                          While very interesting to get gaited horses to ride like non-gaited horses are expected to perform, well, they just are gaited, that's the way they are and why make their world more difficult asking them to do what they are not really made for?

                                          I saw a video of gaited dressage Katherine posted.
                                          Wonderful, excellent riding there, but the horse was gaited and so you had to change your protocol to judge that non-standard way of going.

                                          While the standards of dressage training can be applied to all horses to improve their way of going, to perform, unless we change the basic standards of what dressage expects in movement, a gaited horse just won't measure up to those while gaiting, other than in gaited specific competition, or will they?

                                          I think gaited horses in all kinds of gaits are very interesting.
                                          It does seem that not all are quite to a standard and there is some cross over.
                                          This is all very interesting to learn.
                                          This is exactly what USDF said when they declined to enter the world of "Gaited Dressage."

                                          "Dressage" as a destination is, for me, an ultimate exercise in boredom. But "dressage" as a method of making my horse better is an Excellent Idea. It was also considered an excellent idea in the 18th Century. I have no desire to master the fine points of the works of long dead, European, white guys. I can get what I need from the texts from Ft. Riley or from reading the likes of Henry or d'Endrody*, as supplemented by the practical experiences of application. If others choose a different road, then God Bless 'Em.

                                          In horses breeding counts. There's a reason the high levels of competition Dressage are dominated by warmbloods and you'll narry see an Iberian horse. There's a reason that barrel racing is dominated by QHs. Ditto for cow work. And Cowboy Mounted Shooting. There's a reason TBs dominate in flat racing. This does not mean that other breeds can't participate to some extent in these disciplines, but the rules are such that a specialty horse will whip the non-specialty horse across the board. While this truth is a bit less so in an event judged by a stop watch or yardstick it's absolutely true in the "judged" activities where a human applies a written standard to an equine performance and applies a grade base upon "how well" they conform to that standard.

                                          Good horsemanship is good horsemanship. It is not dependent upon the shape of a saddle or the way of going of the horse.

                                          Good horsemanship also means the rider is smart enough to choose a horse appropriate to the task at hand.

                                          G.

                                          *Note that these references in fact contain a large amount of the work of Baucher and others. But this earlier work is not pursued for its own sake but rather as a way to get someplace else. The work of Baucher is less a destination than a road. A French general observed that he wanted a war horse that would move forward, not go capriolling about the battlefield on three legs.
                                          Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

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