why do horses rack?

why do horses rack?

Post by Carrie » Tue, 01 Jun 1999 04:00:00


Why do horses rack?  If you have a horse that racks and trots is there any way
to keep them from racking?  Could someone explain the gaits of a racking horse
to me?  Thanks! Carrie
 
 
 

why do horses rack?

Post by Suebar » Tue, 01 Jun 1999 04:00:00

Quote:
>Why do horses rack?  If you have a horse that racks and trots is there any
>way
>to keep them from racking?

Generally, the tendency to rack is conformational.  If a horse racks, it is
usually because of a difference in the lengths of the tibia and femurs of the
rear legs, when compared to other (trotting) horses.  

The rack is a 4-beat gait in which the rear leg strikes the ground, then the
front on the same side, then the other rear, then the other front.  It's
smooth, and very desireable for trail riding or any riding where you spend all
day in the saddle and want to cover a lot of ground.

Yes.... often you can teach a horse that racks and trots not to rack (or to
rack only when you want him to .... heehee).  It may also be accomplished (or
aided) by adding a little more weight to his front feet (like toe clips).
Another little "trick" that will square him up will be to teach him dressage.
Rounding through the back will produce the trot rather than the rack.  Have
fun...

Sue

 
 
 

why do horses rack?

Post by Rayko » Tue, 01 Jun 1999 04:00:00

 >>Why do horses rack?  If you have a horse that racks and trots is there any

Quote:
>>way
>>to keep them from racking?

I have a saddlebred mare who was trained 3-gaited, retrained 5-gaited, and now
I am showing her three gaited again.  If a horse has been taught to rack, it is
a very specific cue using both the reins and the seat.  Horses that rack
naturally need to associate a specific cue with it.  If you teach your horse a
specific cue to rack and a specific cue to trot, you can use the two gaits as
you wish, as 5-gaited riders do.

Whitney + Guido + Munde  

------------------------------
"I take my chances every chance I get" - Mary Chapin Carpenter
"Wild horses run unbridled and their spirits never die" -Mariah Carey

 
 
 

why do horses rack?

Post by Ignatzm » Tue, 01 Jun 1999 04:00:00

Suebaru2 posted:>Generally, the tendency to rack is conformational.  If a horse
racks, it is

Quote:
>usually because of a difference in the lengths of the tibia and femurs of the
>rear legs, when compared to other (trotting) horses.  

This is an interesting theory --please  any actual physical evidence from
studies of living horses.  (the mind storms of a certain gentleman in Canada
are not admissable as evidence <g>)

Actually, the tendency to rack is the most common of gaited breeds around the
world -- it comes from conformational inclination to travel in a hollow or
ventroflexed manner (usually long back, long lumbar span, often long
tibia/short femur (but not always), steep or very horizontal pelvis, and often
high set on neck.  (this position can be man-made in horses that do not have
this extreme type of conformation, simply by forcing the horse into strongly
ventroflexion through riding style (saddle seat is a good example) and use of
certain bits.

In addition to the physical traits that may predisposition a horse to rack,
there are some neurological pathways that seem to be more developed in those
that rack -- the nerves that fire the muscles that move the bones work in such
a way as to produce the coordination necessary for the rack.

There are several varieties of gaits that are called racks -- the true rack
(one foot, two foot support sequence -- lateral timing in the lift off of
hooves, but even timing in the set down)  the "saddle type" rack -- which can
be a two foot, three foot support, with the same timing.  They are all even 4
beat in set down, but slightly lateral in lift off timing of the hooves.

Fun to ride, but can be *** the horse due to the ventroflexion involved
(causing possible impingement of the vertebrae, just like bad dressage!) and in
 the true rack the support system of one leg holding all the horse's weight at
a time.  the high action that often accompanies this (natural or induced) is
also *** a horse because of concussion.

If you do not want to rack, lower the horse's head, shift your weight a bit
forward (to at least the old Cavalry "Balanced seat" , and ask him to relax and
stretch his neck forward.

Does this explain more than you want to know?

Lee
Lee Z,   Still riding after all these years.

 
 
 

why do horses rack?

Post by cdhowar » Tue, 01 Jun 1999 04:00:00

Quote:

> Why do horses rack?

      because God wishes it to rack<wink>

               Tamara in TN