Virginia 4 year old Quarter Horse ridden in  Western Bridle and Saddle in Pasture by Beginner.
 

Question: I want to know how to make my Quarter hose gait. I need to know what kind of shoes to put on him, and if I should put heavy shoes on the front or back.
 



From Panelists Lee

It is very hard to get a typical Quarter horse to do any of the easy gaits.
They are not born to be gaited, in most cases, and you  can't manufacture an
easy gait on a horse that is not built to do one.

However, some Quarter horses can do a fox trot.  But, the way to teach them
to do it does not rely on heavy shoes. Keep your horse shod at his
physically appropriate angle in normal keg shoes.  Now, to get him to do a
slow fox trot, first teach him to do a fast ordinary walk.  Ride him in the
walk he does, then squeeze with your legs at alternating steps, encouraging
him to take longer and faster steps. At the same time, check him with light
squeezes and releases on the reins (use two hands for this) to keep him from
going too fast.  When he starts to do a faster walk, reward him by relaxing
in the saddle and slacking off any pressure on the reins.  This process may
take several weeks to a month, but eventually he will be doing the fastest
walk he can.  When he is comfortable in that fast walk, again push him for
some speed, but this time check him just before he breaks into a trot. (same
method, light squeezes and releases on the reins to slow him, squeezes from
both legs to push him on for speed).  In time, if you are careful in the way
you time your leg and rein aids, he will start to do a very slow fox trot.

That is about all you can expect from a Quarter horse in the way of gait.
They have been bred for a long time *not* to be gaited and in a way you are
working against nature to ask one to do anything other than a walk, trot and
lope.

Lee Ziegler



From Panelists Laura

Getting your quarter horse to gait depends on how much natural ability he has for producing a smooth/4-beat gait.  Some trotting breed horses can do a single-foot or amble which can be fairly smooth & nice to ride.  If your horse doesn't already have some natural ability, putting heavy shoes on his feet won't force him to gait.  You could try putting a wide-web keg shoe on his back feet, leave the front feet barefoot and ride him downhill a lot to see if he will start swinging with his back end.  You might be better served by not messing with his feet and enjoying him with an activity which he was bred for.  

Laura

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