Florida 7 month old Racking/Saddelbred

Question... What type of special training is needed for my 7 month colt to bring out the gaits. When should I begin and is there things I can do or should I get a professional trainer for gaited horses. I am earning his trust now with basic halter

From Panelist Liz

At 7 months I would not be concerned with working for any gait right now. Let him grow up and start working on that after basic training is done at 3. Right not just some good ground work handling such as leading correctly, stopping, standing patiently, picking up his feet, tying, move away from pressure when pushed over from the side but not to much of this. Walking a circle around you both ways on a long lead and stopping and facing you while waiting for you to go to him. At this age about 10 minutes and day 3 days a week should be plenty. 

You  don't want him to get sour before ever starting under saddle. Keep him fresh and looking forward to his job. At this age the attention span is very limited to don't ask for more then his adolescent mind can handle at this age. You have plenty of time. Let him be a baby and grow up happy but well mannered.


From Panelist Lee

Nothing special at this age -- let him grow up and be a horse, but teach him manners, being led, maybe pony him off another horse, just whatever you would do with a non-gaited baby of this age.  When he is ready to start serious ground work (about age 2) you can ground drive him , teach him to work on a longe line, again most of what you would do with a non-gaited colt.  At age 3 or so he can be started under saddle, and at that time you will need the help of someone who knows about gaits.

In the mean time, try to read as much as you can about the different gaits of gaited horses, watch other people train and ride their gaited horses, and learn as much as possible about gaits.

Good luck to you.

Lee Ziegler


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