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Gallup in gaited horses

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  • Lisa Nicarry
    A very good friend of ours has been raising Mountain Horses for a very long time gave us this tip. Never canter a Mountain Horse - you can run (gallop) or you
    Message 1 of 5 , Oct 12, 2002
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      A very good friend of ours has been raising Mountain Horses for a very long
      time gave us this tip. Never canter a Mountain Horse - you can run (gallop)
      or you can gait - but don't canter. Whenever we work a horse that seems a
      little rough gaited - he said to push them into a gallup - after a few good
      strides or so of a gallup - ask them to gait again - almost every time the
      gait is definitely smoother. There is a very logical reason for this.

      The gait is a 4 beat gait. The gallup is a 4 beat gait. A canter is a 3
      beat gait. It's much easier for them to stay in a 4 beat than switch to a 3
      beat back to a 4 beat. So - we don't aske for a canter from our horses - we
      might hand gallup them - but otherwise they gait.

      This really does work as Marie has observed.

      Sincerely,

      Lisa Nicarry
      www.nicarry.com
      Chesterfield South - Breeders of Quality Pleasure and Trail Registered
      Mountain Horses
      Chesterfield Naturals - Herbal & Homeopathic Supplements for Horses & Pets
    • gaitgatsby
      ... beat gait. It s much easier for them to stay in a 4 beat than switch to a 3 beat back to a 4 beat. So - we don t aske for a canter from our horses - we
      Message 2 of 5 , Oct 13, 2002
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        --- Lisa Nicarry <lnicarry@...> wrote:
        > The gait is a 4 beat gait. The gallup is a 4 beat gait. A canter is a 3
        beat gait. It's much easier for them to stay in a 4 beat than switch to a 3
        beat back to a 4 beat. So - we don't aske for a canter from our horses - we
        might hand gallup them - but otherwise they gait.

        Makes sense. How do you go from a gait to a gallop? Can't say I have ever INTENTIONALLY
        done that, but when I first got Gatsby he apparently didn't know how to canter under
        saddle and I apparently didn't know that. Out on a straight part of a mountain trail, I
        asked him to "canter" and it turned into the HSGL [holy s--t grab leather!!] gallop
        around sharp turns and down some good hills. A few things flew out of my saddle bag, but
        other than that, I survived unscathed but w/a very high pulse rate. I cannot claim to
        know if he gaited better after that adventure!

        I have noticed that when I canter Gatsby, then go back to a FW, he seems looser and more
        square. What was explained to me is that because he tended to be pacey/lateral and the
        canter is diagonal/3 beat, it helped offset the pace. However, as I progress w/his work
        on the ground, he really has a hard time going from a gait to a canter--we get that awful
        pace canter [in one direction]. But, if I let him trot, he gets it right away [diagonal
        to diagonal, I suppose]. Recently, we started this "ready, set, canter!" [he's my
        baby, I'm entitled to do stupid things ;-P ] and watching how HE sets up his body and
        gait/trot when he knows a canter is coming is interesting--I guess it would be collecting
        himself--gets this great headset, a trot w/intention.

        For those of you cringing at the TROT word....gatsby was a pacing monster a few years
        ago. Completely upside down muscles, ventroflexed, hyped up. I have been living by
        Lee's Cure the Pace article for approx. 2 years and Liz rode him at our clinic in May and
        pronounced him a horse with runningwalk in him [woohoo!!]. I truly believe that working
        the trot has dramatically improved his muscles/carriage and has only helped his gait.

        Barb


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      • Lee Z
        someone posted:
        Message 3 of 5 , Oct 13, 2002
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          someone posted: << very good friend of ours has been raising Mountain
          Horses for a very long
          time gave us this tip. Never canter a Mountain Horse - you can run (gallop)
          or you can gait - but don't canter. Whenever we work a horse that seems a
          little rough gaited - he said to push them into a gallup - after a few good
          strides or so of a gallup - ask them to gait again - almost every time the
          gait is definitely smoother. There is a very logical reason for this.

          The gait is a 4 beat gait. The gallup is a 4 beat gait. A canter is a 3
          beat gait. It's much easier for them to stay in a 4 beat than switch to a 3
          beat back to a 4 beat. >>

          Ok, where do I start? First of all, a canter is indeed an audibly three
          beat gait -- because it is a refinement and slowing of the four beat
          (audibly) gallop... They are both asymmetrical gaits, with generally the
          same footfall sequence, the only difference being that when a horse is
          slowed to a canter the diagonal (non leading foreleg, leading hind) converge
          in timing, until they set down at almost the same moment (very rarely,
          exactly the same moment), but perhaps visibly the same.

          Galloping is easier for a horse to do than cantering because it does not
          require the same roundness of the back and lowering of the hindquarters that
          is needed to "collect" the gait into a canter. Horses can and do gallop
          strung out, heavy on the forehand, often with hollow backs. Horses rarely
          canter that way.

          A Rocky Mountain horse generally does a saddle- rack as "preferred gait'
          (some will hard trot, some will fox trot, some will running walk, some will
          flat out pace) Horses that do this gait extensively have two factors
          working against their ability to round up and canter --- working in a hollow
          position which does not develop muscles that can help round the back, ---
          and coordination problems stemming from the neurological wiring that helps
          produce the rack.

          The "logical reason" doesn't really hold up, because the type of motion and
          foot fall of the symmetrical saddle rack is NOT the same as the asymmetrical
          gallop, and the wiring that helps with one is not a help with the other.
          However, enough speed (forward momentum placed on the forehand) will
          generally result in a horse choosing a gait that is efficient for that
          speed, and a gallop is more efficient than a rack.

          There is nothing at all wrong with cantering a horse that does a saddle
          rack, *IF* the horse can do it... many have a great deal of trouble with it
          because they can't round their backs well enough to do it. (and have that
          coordination problem).

          It will be easier to canter a horse that has a diagonal gait than one that
          has a lateral gait, because of this "back thing" ... a Rocky which fox trots
          will canter a lot easier than one that saddle-racks exclusively. Doesn't
          mean the one that fox trots can't also saddle, but it does mean he has a
          more "workable" back than one that is "stuck" in the saddle rack.


          Take a hypothetical example -- two Rockies, one dead solid in his saddle
          rack, that never canters or even gallops even when free in a pasture, the
          other able to do a fox trot and saddle at will, easily, from a rider's cue,
          as well as cantering on his own at liberty. There is not much point, IMO,
          in working on a canter or even a gallop in the first one, but plenty of
          reason to use the canter in the second. *As long as the cues are kept
          clear* .... so that the horse knows when a canter is called for and when a
          fast saddle rack is called for, and neither is accomplished by just trying
          to speed him up.

          Off my little soap box.

          Oh, BTW, in French, there is no word for canter -- it is all gallop, with
          slow or fast to explain the differences.

          Lee Z
        • ridewiz@aol.com
          In a message dated 10/13/02 12:28:15 PM Central Daylight Time, lnicarry@earthlink.net writes: Well We either ask them to gallup in the round pen under
          Message 4 of 5 , Oct 13, 2002
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            In a message dated 10/13/02 12:28:15 PM Central Daylight Time,
            lnicarry@... writes:

            Well

            We either ask them to gallup in the round pen under controlled conditions and
            we aren't asking them to keep going and going in a gallup just long enough to
            get them to do a nice quiet hand gallup. The other way is out on the trail
            but goin up a slope or in an area we feel comfortable with not a lot of trees
            etc. You really should be able to ask them to come right back if necessary.
            You don't want it to be out of control. We will do it several times in the
            round pen with a young horse until they get their balance. This seems to
            really help them find their gait because
            they don't have to switch from a 3 beat to a 4 beat. But it should really be
            a hand
            gallup not a flat out run. Lisa

            >How do you go from a gait to a gallop? Can't say I have ever INTENTIONALLY
            >done that, Out on a straight part of a mountain trail, I asked him to
            "canter" and it >turned into the HSGL [holy s--t grab leather!! gallop
          • gaitgatsby
            ... Yep--I certainly got very lucky on that little adventure. __________________________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Faith Hill - Exclusive
            Message 5 of 5 , Oct 13, 2002
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              --- ridewiz@... wrote:
              > You don't want it to be out of control

              Yep--I certainly got very lucky on that little adventure.

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