Rocky Mnt cross , will not gait in hand.

 Massachuss Rocky Mnt cross, reg as Kent Mtn 6 year old.Riden in halter bridle, with mullen copper bit in Orthoflex Eng Stitchdown saddle. In round pen; pasture by intermediate rider.

Question: When I purchased Strider he was green broke; it took a great deal of time for him to "find his feet" and gait coonsitantly without breaking into a trot.  He now does, and his balance improves continually.

My problem is out of the saddle.  He will not gait in hand, on a longe line or in the round pen - he just trots!  Yet under saddle, he gaits.  How do you train a horse to gait in hand? 

From Panelists Darla 
Many gaited horses do not gait on the line or in the field.  Training them to 
do this would require a LOT of unnecessary aids.  In my opinion you should 
accept him as he is and enjoy his gait under saddle.  You did not mention 
what breed he is crossed with but if he is crossed out of an ungaited breed 
you are very fortunate to have him gait under saddle. 


From Panelists Laura

If your horse is gaiting well under saddle, it is not really necessary for 
you to have him gait in hand unless you are showing him in halter.  For 
halter classes, just speed up his walk to show his looseness.  If he trots, 
give him a sharp jerk on the halter/bridle reins and tell him to walk.  At 
six years old, he will be shown in a bridle in the "halter" classes.

However, if you want to work on gait in the round pen, you will need to learn 
ground driving.  To get your horse to gait while longeing, you will need to 
be able to collect him just like you do in the saddle.  Ground driving is a 
wonderful training tool, but like most things needs to be done right.  I 
would suggest you find a trainer in your area to show you how to ground drive 
a horse without hurting his mouth or confusing him.  This is an activity that 
I feel is more clearly shown than explained.  

Enjoy your horse under saddle and don't worry too much about what gait he 
does at other times.


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