Developing Impulsion in Your Gaited Horse

The most common problem I discover when dealing with gaited horses is their lack of forward impulsion. This isn’t a horse problem so much as it is a challenge to the rider. If you want your horse to gait well, then the second thing you absolutely must do is teach it to actively move forward in a correct 4-beat walk with energy generated from the haunches.

I say this is the ‘second’ thing because. . .as most of you surely know by now. . .the first most important thing is to make sure your gaited horse’s saddle, pad and bit are well fitted for a full range of comfortable motion. Assuming this is the case, then there is absolutely no reason–nor excuse–for riding a lazy horse. While some folks will point their finger with exasperation at the animal and claim he/she simply will not move forward with energy and consistency, I have yet to find a well fitted horse who couldn’t be taught, usually in a matter of an hour or two, how to attain and maintain good forward action.

The secret here is persistence, and consistency, on the part... READ MORE