|New York 3 year old Mountain Pleasure
Horse: 2 mos. with Professional Trainer who trains QTR. Ridden in Snaffle
and Western sadlle in Round pen/arena by Med level rider
Question: I own a 3 yr. old gaited Mountain Pleasure Horse. She is in
the process of being trained by a professional trainer who trains
Quarter Horses. She said that she would have an open mind and help me start
my horse gaiting. Now she feels this is not natural for a horse and suggest
that I ride her like a Quarter Horse and not "ruin a good horse". How do
I explain to her that this is natural for this breed of horse and I want
her to gait? They have taught my filly to trot and canter. How do I correct
this and start her gaiting? I have no one in my area who is familiar with
these horses to help me.
From Panelist Nancy
Your trainer probably has no idea how to train your horse to gait.
Use the flat walk and extended walk as the basis for your gait training.
I describe the "extended walk" as a "tiger walk". It is a good, strong
walk. Do a lot of that. Do not let her trot. Over a period
of time, ask for a little more. If she breaks into a trot,
bring her back to her flat walk or ext. walk, then ask again. Be
patient and give her time. At her ext. walk (and also flat walk),
she will be working on a light, stretched rein. Not collected.
Only when she can do these walks easily, without trotting, and on a stretched
rein (with light contact), should you begin to ask for a little more.
Maintain the light rein
Only do that when you want more impulsion or energy or speed.
You will work the reins with very light, sensitive hands - using
your fingers more than your hands. Do not hold the reins with
a "fist", but lightly, with your fingers. When she does offer
you the beginning of a gait, just go a few yards and then stop and pet
her. Always be very generous with reward. It's the only way
that you can show her that she is doing what you are asking for.
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