|Washington 18 year old TWH ridden in
browband bridle, loose shank, med. port and ortho-flex western saddle in
pasture, trails by intermediate rider.
Question: My TWH gelding only does the RW on the way home from trail rides. He has never done it in a controlled situation, such as pasture, arena. He just started doing this about 2 years ago. Prior to that, I thought he did not do that gait. He has a marvelous rocking chair canter, and I can usually get him to do that any place or time. He is a marvelous and exuberant trail horse, willing to try anything I'm up for, he just isn't giving up the goods on his gaits! I have no experience with gaited horses, and haven't found anyone in my area who can help. He is shod at his natural angle with regular shoes and he is comfortable with his tack, although someone told me it could be my saddle, making it uncomfortable for him to gait.
From Panelist Laura
Since he does a nice gait on the way home, your horse can definately gait and I wouldn't worry about changing his tack or shoes. Enjoy the good gait on the way home and use praise & a word for him to associate with that good gait (such as "walk up," "get up," "running walk"). Once he is in the good gait - turn him away from home and try to keep him going in it - you may have to tap him with a crop or use spurs. Use the word you want him to associate with that good gait until he understands that it means he should be going smoothly for you. Keep practicing until he truly understands that you want him to do the "good stuff." It will take a while to teach him, but have patience, he will get there.