Illinois American Saddlebred 21 years old ridden in snaffle, curb and western saddle in  pasture, road ditch, farm field by very experianced rider

Question: Horse has not been ridden for 10 or 12 years she is going well as far as general riding is concerned but I have never had a gaited horse so I am not sure how to tell her to gait if she ever did gait. She walks very fast compared to a non gaited horse, I do know her rear hoof caps or over strides her front hoof depending how hard she is being pushed without trotting. I have been riding her 3 to 4 times a week for 2 to 5 hours for about 2 months. Am I expecting to much to fast? I have Two more just like her except are a little younger 18 and 16 years old. I have started riding one of them but not the other, they have other problems but thats another question.

From Panelists Laura

 Considering how long it has been since this horse has been ridden, it sounds 
like you are doing the right thing in just working on general riding.  As far 
as gait, you could start working on collection with her and once she is well 
on the bit with a fairly high headset, you could ask her for a little speed 
and see what you get.  Was this mare shown 3 gait or 5 gait?  If so, she may 
still remember how to gait & collecting her up and pushing her forward may 


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