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Imus 4-Beat Saddles are the best!

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2nd Generation Imus Comfort Gait Bit

Comfort Gait Bit

Don't trust the cheap imitations that loosen and break apart in horse's mouths. Go with the best!

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Brenda Imus

This site is dedicated to Brenda Imus- who dedicated her life to her family and friends, as well as to her enormous gaited horse family. She will always be missed!  -More About Brenda Here

Imus 4-Beat® Elite

The  Imus 4-Beat® Elite saddle offers all the quality and durability of the all-leather 4-Beat® saddle, but at a much lighter weight,and price!


  • Only 24 lbs fully rigged
  • Structurally Identical to the full leather version 
  • Oil and wax infused thread is used for the synthetic parts, offering durability and water and dirt resistance

My Gaited Horse Won't Canter

I have an up and coming 4 year old TWH who has a beautiful gait, but when I ask for a canter or more speed, he only picks up his gait until he
Canter is flying, and getting hot. Then he donsn't listen to what I want. He also does this when I ask for the trot, but is the trot as important as a canter? I hope to do some showing this season. I ride in a western roping saddle, with a curb bit, I don't use the strap. Should I? I don't have shoes on him, should I? Or to show him? Any advice would be great!
Thanks, Staci

Hi Staci,

Your horse is still very young, and there are a number of things you need to do to prepare him to canter properly. Riding him fast until he breaks into a gallop--if ever--is not the way to proceed. As you're beginning to see, you'll end up with a horse that's out of control. You'll also be confusing him as to whether you want gait, or canter. There needs to be very specific, and different, riding cues.

First: get a curb chain, and put it on the ring under where the headstall is attached. Second, get your horse properly shod by a good farrier. Not necessarily one who specializes in gaited horses. . .you just want a well balanced hoof with a simple keg shoe. Heels or toes should not be exaggeratedly long, or short.

I would recommend either getting a lighter, more flexible tree like that in our Imus 4-Beat Gaited Saddle.

Now, as to the canter: the easiest way to start is on a slight incline, or hill, as this encourages the horse's weight to fall back over his haunches. Ask him to move actively--not gaiting, but fast walking--up the hill. Then, collect his energy on the bridle (shorten the rein), move your right foot behind the girth, lean forward, and at the same time you give him a strong nudge with your right foot, release the reins and say, "Canter!" If he tarts to gait, bring him back to walk, and start over. DON'T ALLOW HIM TO GAIT WHEN YOU ASK FOR CANTER, AND DON'T ALLOW HIM TO CANTER WHEN YOU ASK FOR GAIT! Once he's cantering, just let him go for a few steps, then bring him back to a walk and praise him. Repeat this several times.

If he just won't canter, try going behind another more experienced horse on the hill, and have the other rider start to canter exactly when you ask your horse for the canter. One cantering horse generally will encourage another to canter, as well.

If this doesn't work (and it might not), you need to buy my book The Gaited Horse Bible, and go through the exercises in it. Actually, based on your questions, I highly recommend that you pick up a copy of the book anyway. It will prove to be very useful as you learn to work with your wonderful young horse!


Many happy-and smooth-trails!



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3 DVD Training Set


Dealing With a Pokey Young Horse

Because I have to "push" him to get any forward momentum but then need to pull him back down once I get it because he breaks into a trot won't I be working against myself in instilling the gait in him? I have a really hard time getting this guy to collect as any contact with the bit seems to slow him too much or stop him all together.  Read More