|13 year old TWH with some professional training.
Ridden in Walking Horse bit and pleasure Simco saddle in round pen and
pasture by intermediate level rider.
Question: When we bought our gelding, his gait was good, but we bought him in January, so we didn't get to ride much until spring. Now he wants to pace all the time. He is a little overweight and hadn't been rode much before we bought him. Could these all be factors? He also holds his nose up when he goes. How would you get him to "tuck his head"? Would this help to collect him in his gait? Also, our farrier is used to trimming quarter horses, and I think she trimmed his feet too short in the front. Would this also be a factor?
From Panelist Carol
Most all of the factors that you are suspecting could cause the horse's gait to deteriorate. To get back on track, first, I reccommend that you work in a small area in a snaffle bit. Do lots of lateral bending of the neck and the body (see the site for info on bending--there is lots of good stuff. Punch the button "gait conditioning") Your horse will need to do lots of lateral bending before he can really be expected to do much vertical flexion. Check your saddle fit, also. Develop lateral control of your horse to the point that you can shoulder-in him at the flat walk if you need to in order to square him up.
There are lots of techniques that will help, but it is crucial that you know how to get him in a rounder frame to affect a permanent change. Go to the site article and start there, with lateral flexion on the ground and just take it step by step from there. It may seem complicated at first, but just go a step at the time and you'll be walking soon!
Carol Camp Tosh
From Panelist Stella
If the farrier got his feet shorter in front than the rear, that's likely
part of the problem...it will shorten the front stride relative to rear,
and cause pacing.....but with his nose in the air, his neck is likely being
carried ewed, so he's likely hollowing his back, if that's the case...which
can also cause pacing...but, that can be either from a bit - but you're
saying you use a Walking horse bit, which wouldnt cause that type headset
- OR, trying to avoid
You likely have a Simco made for a QH back, and it may be too wide in
the front of the tree, running downhill in front (which also causes rider
to balance incorrectly, which can
On the feet, your farrier could temporarily "extend" his hoof length
in front by shoeing very "full", set slightly forward(to where the natural
hoof would normally extend, being they grow in at an angle), but be sure
the heels of the shoe are long enough. Or, if there's room to do so in
back, take the back feet as short as the fronts are...keep angle natural,
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