Went to a Mountain Horse Club versatility day... not many horses there,
but met some of Yankee's cousins...
Talked to some of the folks who train, and observed riding. I was told,
as I have been before, that to get a horse to gait you have to have a
strong feel on the bit. What I observed is people sometimes cranking
down on their horses, a lot of long curbs, and some gaping mouths. I
also observed that horses somehow managed to gait even when the rider
didn't have a deathgrip on the reins, as in the case of the kids
What I'm wondering is: Is this "necessity" for a strong hand a true
necessity, or more like a tradition? What I mean is, is a strong hand
needed because that's the way the trainers train the horses to be? If
it's needed, can someone explain to my why a horse that gaits naturally
without a rider would need all that to gait with a rider, when horses
that trot don't need that at all?
I admit I'm still fairly ignorant about gaited horses, but have trained
young horses before, and hope to train Yankee myself when the time
comes, but I keep getting told that not only will he have to go to a
special trainer, but that I'll need to take special lessons as well to
learn to ride gaited - which from some observations means slumpy with my
legs forward, and a strong hand on the reins... Not all riders of gaited
horses seem to ride like that, but I'm seeing that a lot on the Rockies.
Always willing to be eddicated: