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Re: [RC] Walker - Peter Harper

We raise and ride TWH's in endurance and have a lot of experience with gait.

Can you tell me more about your horse.  Starting at a dog walk, when you ask 
for more speed what is the next gait you get.  If they are not square in their 
gait they will break to either a pace (2-beat gait where the legs on the same 
side move together, LF-LR .. RF-RR) or trot (2-beat diagonal where the opposing 
legs move together LF-RR .. RF-LR).

If they break to a pace:
- Ask for more collection.  You want them to round out more.
- Light contact on the reins with your hands held low.
- sit deep on your pockets shifting more weight on the hind.  This will 
encourage the horse to drive more from the hind end.
- Ride up a slight incline.  Again this will encourage more drive from the 

If they break to a trot:
- You want them less rounded.
- Light contact on the reins but hold your hands higher.
- Sit deep on your pockets.
- Ride up a slight incline.

You are going to want to ride a lot at a walk at first.  Keep encouraging the 
gait you want.  When they break gait use a half halt to bring them back into 
the desired gait.  Another correction is to do a slight turn break up the pace. 
Other people use cavaletties to get them to pick up their feet more. With time 
you will notice the speed at which they break gait will increase.

A lot of people will tell you not to canter a gaited horse while you are 
teaching gait.  I haven't had a problem with this.  Rather than ride the 
undesirable intermediate gait, pace/trot, take them straight to the canter from 
the run walk.

Good Luck,  Pete



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