|SSH Age: 7, just bought him, Ridden in
snaffle in a western saddle in indoor and outdoor arenas and round pen
by average rider
Question: We just bought a 7 year old out-of-shape Spotted Saddle Horse from a person who had let him languish in pasture for two years with very little riding. She said he sometimes did his running walk on trail rides but she couldn't keep him in it, and he would go back eventually to trotting. She also said it was difficult to get him to canter, that he seemed lazy. He is gentle, and smooth to ride even at a trot. He prefers going slow, but then he is very overweight at the moment and not used to being ridden. He can move fast, however, since we have watched him run about the pasture when he feels like it. He is in good health except for his weight problem, and the vet says his legs are sound.
He had regularly appeared in shows from age 2 to 5, so we suspect he can do much better than what he does now. We would like to get him to do his running walk gait but have no idea of where to start. Currently we are not even riding him, just lunging him for fitness and for obedience, since this is his first week with us. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
From Panelists Lee
This 7 year old horse has a couple of things working against him in
Practice the flat walk until he can do it easily, then go for the running
Over time, if you first establish the flat walk and then push it for