Indiana 8 year old Missouri Foxtrotter with Professional Training. Ridden in low-port curb with copper roller, English bridle with cavesson and Western cordura saddle in  indoor/outdoor arena, pasture by Intermediate level rider.

Question: I have seen my FT doing every gait imaginable except racking, and have been working on getting a consistent foxtrot and a canter. 
He will go from a running walk to trot to foxtrot, all within a few strides and I don't have a chance to settle him in one gait before he's on to the next!  Have been free lungeing for a hard trot to get rid of the pace which is working somewhat.  As for the canter, he will pick up the left lead, but paces on the right.  I can usually get a few strides of canter before he slides back into the pace.  What kind of ground work can I do to make the riding work easier on my back?  I can't take much more rough riding pacing!

From Panelists Liz


For now I would drop working on the canter until you have the gait and can hold it when ever asked for as long as you ask. To get to the fox trot since you know it is there I would do this under saddle as this horse will need help from you to support him in it. Get the head lower to round up the back. Collect the head with the head down and push the horse in to the bit. See if you can get the trot first. Once you get the trot t back then start from the walk and work into the fox trot from the walk and it will be just in front of the trot. It is a fine line so it will be up to you to know where it is and help the horse find it with out pushing past the gait. You may need the help of a gait expert to get you there.



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