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Gaited Folks check in!

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  • Horses with a fundamentally diagonal gait (as this one is) will always have issues with movements that are fundamentally diagonal. That's just physics and equine biomechanics. Of course "having trouble" does not equate to "can't do." It does mean that the actual accomplishment will, of necessity, have an element of compromise in them.

    When we were at the Sela De Ouro event in FL the lady from Brazil who rode our stallion was very impressed with his lateral movement ability (and she's a genuine Dressage rider who, in her youth, placed second in an all South American competition). But she also noted that he is extremely diagonal in his gait. She rode other horses that were quite lateral and freely noted that they had more trouble with lateral moment.

    IMO the teaching of diagonal movements will bring a real improvement to any horse, even those with fundamentally lateral gaits. One of those "diagonal movements" is the three beat canter. Remember how many "fist fights" get started over adding the canter to the training of a young, gaited horse?!?!?!

    We've just started adding some lateral work with my coming four year old. He's still trying to figure out where he should be putting his feet so we are not very far down the road, yet. But he's on a two year curriculum so "I have time."

    This clip is a fine example of how basic dressage techniques can be used to train and improve a gaited horse's way of going. He's not going to win at Spruce Meadows any time soon, but he looks like a good ride!!!

    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


    • Just longing for a little more discussion on this gaited topic.

      And I want to add that though I know (ie: "heard over and over again") and I as well have seen for myself that many lateral pacey pacey horses horses do not do a good canter, It really hit home in your explanation G that the reason is the canter requires the second beat to be diagonal. It was like a light bulb and a head smack all in one read.

      But after watching a few training sessions yesterday with some very talented pacey horses I want to take this one step further... I do not think the problem is solely the lateralness of the horse, but more a problem of whether the horse is in the fore or haunches when asked, IOW a matter of balance and strength.


      G - How is the horse you mentioned above doing?
      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


      • I think it's just the diagonal beat that messes up their hind end in particular. I don't think there's a correlation to on or off the forehand.

        I need to take videos of my three.
        Scout is the most naturally 'walky' with a true, deep nod in a running walk. and he has a lovely natural canter. He canters like a 'trotting' horse-really pretty, he's on the forehand b/c he knows next to nothing undersaddle except to go trail riding- but he has the naturally pretty 3 beat canter, nothing mixy or four beat about him. He is on the pacey end of the spectrum, but barely...he'll camel walk downhill but gait uphill.

        Toppy has an adorable head banging walk. He's not deep behind the way Scout can be. but he'll do a running walk all day long on slack. He's trotty; he can easily gait downhill but will trot uphill if allowed. Lovely three beat canter. He's heavy on the forehand- just another trail horse with no advanced knowledge.

        Chip is the paciest of the three. He's the least 'walky' of the three and had the most issue with finding and holding a three beat canter. But his canter now that he 'gets' it, is a top quality OMG that's nice, canter.

        Just my thoughts on a whopping three horses but of very different types.

        and before anyone squawks about 'just another trail horse'- just try to buy any one of them off of me. Just try


        • I dont know why, but lots of gaited horses have a tendancy to cross canter behind, and not be very handy. My little Rocky mare does canter under saddle and after lots of straightaways seems to have herself figured out, but she slipped and fell a couple of times first. She has a true rack that blasts by others loping along though.


          • Originally posted by Griffyn View Post
            I dont know why, but lots of gaited horses have a tendancy to cross canter behind, and not be very handy. My little Rocky mare does canter under saddle and after lots of straightaways seems to have herself figured out, but she slipped and fell a couple of times first. She has a true rack that blasts by others loping along though.
            I call that the popcorn gate. It'll pop you right out of the saddle.