Florida Horse Training; Reasons for a Choppy Gait

by Jennifer on May 6, 2013

SOME REASONS FOR ROUGH
AND CHOPPY GAITS
• The horse does not get to travel
long enough in the one gait to
become more skilled at it:
- Without a rider
- With a rider
• The rider impedes the horse by:
- Positioning their weight in the
wrong place for the horse’s gait
(overloads the forehand, the
horse can’t use his hindquarters
properly)
- Gripping with their legs (restricts
the rib cage, makes sensitive
horses emotional and bracy)
- Holding back on the reins (the
horse gets more emotional,
braces and hollows the back)
- Adjusting the stirrups too long,
causing the rider to lean forward
and preventing them from getting back with their weight
- Driving into the horse’s back with
their seat, “pushing” the horse
• The horse is impeded by the
saddle because:
- It is too narrow and pinches
the spine
- It jams up against or over the
shoulders (causes the horse
to move defensively, restricts
shoulders)
- The cinch/girth is too tight or
close to the foreleg, restricting
the movement of the spine and
ribs, causing the horse to feel
trapped and uncomfortable (like
too tight a belt!)
- The middle of the saddle pushes
into the horse’s back, causing him
to hollow out, or the front or the
back of the saddle pushes into
the horse’s back causing pressure
points (look for dry spots, white
spots under the saddle area)
- The saddle tree is damaged
or twisted, restricting the
horse’s back
- The breast collar is too tight
• The rider is impeded by the saddle
because the saddle is too small; it
restricts the flexibility of the rider’s
spine, pelvis or legs, pushes the
rider into a “position” and doesn’t
allow the rider to adjust to the
horse’s gaits and needs

SOME REASONS FOR ROUGH AND CHOPPY GAITS• The horse does not get to travellong enough in the one gait tobecome more skilled at it:- Without a rider- With a rider• The rider impedes the horse by:- Positioning their weight in thewrong place for the horse’s gait(overloads the forehand, thehorse can’t use his hindquartersproperly)- Gripping with their legs (restrictsthe rib cage, makes sensitivehorses emotional and bracy)- Holding back on the reins (thehorse gets more emotional,braces and hollows the back)- Adjusting the stirrups too long,causing the rider to lean forwardand preventing them from getting back with their weight- Driving into the horse’s back withtheir seat, “pushing” the horse• The horse is impeded by the saddle because:- It is too narrow and pinches the spine- It jams up against or over theshoulders (causes the horse to move defensively, restrictsshoulders)- The cinch/girth is too tight orclose to the foreleg, restrictingthe movement of the spine andribs, causing the horse to feeltrapped and uncomfortable (liketoo tight a belt!)- The middle of the saddle pushesinto the horse’s back, causing himto hollow out, or the front or theback of the saddle pushes intothe horse’s back causing pressurepoints (look for dry spots, whitespots under the saddle area)- The saddle tree is damaged or twisted, restricting the horse’s back- The breast collar is too tight• The rider is impeded by the saddlebecause the saddle is too small; itrestricts the flexibility of the rider’sspine, pelvis or legs, pushes therider into a “position” and doesn’tallow the rider to adjust to thehorse’s gaits and needs

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