Ohio 5 year old standardbred ridden in tom thumb with western/endurance saddle in arena, open field by experienced rider

Question: I have recently put my standardbred in training to learn how to gait.  I would like him to either do a running walk or a rack.  He can gait for about 20 feet and then he breaks into something else, bottom line is that he can't maintain it.  He also tries to canter.  I am not sure how to go about getting him to do what I want. 

From Panelists Nancy
You say that your standardbred can gait for about 20 feet.  Then 
don't ask for any more than that for a while.  When he can gait consistently 
for 20 feet, then ask for a little more.  If he breaks, stop him and start 
over asking for him to gait.  Whenever he breaks, stop him from the canter or 
whatever he is doing, and ask again for him to gait.  Hold him very straight 
and steady.  Gradually he will be able to be consistent at longer distances 
as it becomes easier for him. 

Nancy Cade

Fraom Panelists Laura
It sounds like your horse is starting to work nicely in gait - he just needs 
to develop the correct muscles for gait.  Don't worry too much at this point 
that your horse can't maintain his gait  -  he will develop more stamina as 
he goes along.  You could try just dog walking your horse when he breaks 
gait.  It builds the same muscle groups as the running walk and doesn't get 
your horse in the habit of staying in a pace.  Please have some patience and 
give your horse the time he needs to learn his gait.  It sounds like he spent 
a good portion of his life learning to pace and stay in that gait so it will 
take some time to teach him the "new" gait. 


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