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[RC] Fwd: [RC] walker - Karen Sullivan

Keith, so glad you are raising and training these horses over time; the 30 day training is only a small start.......boy does the general gaited-horses world need some updating!  I agree with you, it's interesting, but looking back, the horses I have owned that ended up in curb bits were always project horses with issues.....
The Arab mare we have that was trained by Fred Emigh for two months is usually ridden in a halter...she is very, very soft. 
I have about 90 very short rides on my 3 year old foxtrotter....i got on him at age 2 and 8 months...just for a few minutes to get him used to the idea and start easy cues....which is being spread out over his 3 year old year....on his back for very short periods; generaly 10 to 15 minutes, longest was a 2 mile very gradual uphill.....
He has a lot of maturing to do, both mentally and physically....usually he just runs loose on rides and makes a good share of mistakes on gait and footing choices <g>, but he is learning.  The other night he cantered ahead of me on an extremely dicey narrow trai lwith a drop off....but he does know this trail and where it goes....I am seeing a lot of improvement since last November as far as his handiness and strength, and believe he will be extremely surefooted.
A friend of mine has a 10 year old Foxtrotter mare who is very, very surefooted; actually was parked on flat paddock for previous two years.....doing amazingly well.
Would love to  know your prefernece for Walkers or Foxtrotters, what you like about each.....?
Hey, if you ever run across a young, tall blue roan mare or filly that was NOT started too young or had feet messed up, let me know!!!
the whole issues of setting  in gait, an dwhat bit to use is something i am experimenting with....I have probably in the past, also avoided gaited horses due to people telling me I have to ride them "collected.".  I do sort of hate to ride collected, I tend to ride with a very loose rein, slouched and relaxed, and only raise the reins to correct gait......and honestly, I have had an Arab, an Anglo Arab and a mustang develop pretty nice gaits (saddle rack) riding this method.  The mustang, on a loose rein and relaxed, will do a running walk or broken pace; if she gets a bit amped up and I collect her even a tiny bit, she does a true rack, which is not her most comfortable gait.
With the 3 year old Foxtrotter, I am able to get a foxtrot in the round pen by voice command and body language...if he goes into broken pace, I say AAAKKKKK, and he slows back into foxtrot...this is sort of translating into riding o his back....
With the walker mare, age 6...who sat for 2 year basically, and was never set in her gait; the ways i get the running walk seem to be motivation to go forward on a really, really loose rein (to allow her a head nod?), and sort of encourage her to drift forward loose and relaxed into that runing walk. If i collect her any or give her a cue to go faster, she almost jumps into a broken pace.....which is okay.....but i really want to encourage her running walk....I think I will get it over time and hill work and relaxed riding......that is basically what worked for my other horses....I checked them up if they did any gait I didn't like (be it jigging, or trotting), so they figured out if they gaited, I would let them go a bit faster. The walker mare still needs legging up and a whole lot of walking
We don't have much help in my neck of the woods as far as good gaited horse trainers.


Re: [RC] [RC] walker, Karen Sullivan
Re: [RC] [RC] walker, Keith Kibler