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The Gaited Horse Bible
Last in print! Get yours now! Riding, training, and caring for gaited horses requires special training techniques, and this comprehensive, instructional manual thoroughly explains the ins and outs of working more humanely and effectively with every kind of gaited horse, including Paso Finos, Tennessee Walking Horses, and Missouri Fox Trotters. The basic tenets of this guide’s philosophy include proper hoofcare, appropriate bitting, correct saddle-fitting, and an educated riding style for optimizing the horses’ natural gaits. These techniques will prevent back, hock, and stifle problems, as well as solve common nagging problems in performance and behavior, resulting in the happy relationship that both the rider and horse deserve.
The "gaited horse"—one bred and trained to perform smooth-to-ride, ground-covering alternative gaits (not the trot/jog or canter/lope) that can often be sustained long distances and sometimes at astounding speeds—has steadily gained mainstream popularity as a pleasure or trail mount, in addition to its traditional status as a top-notch show-ring competitor. While generations of careful breeding have instilled a natural ability to "gait" in certain breeds—including American Saddlebreds, Tennessee Walking Horses, Peruvian Horses, Paso Finos, Icelandic Horses, among others—the "smooth saddle gaits" are not necessarily automatic. This means that riders, whether exploring the backcountry or vying for a championship ribbon, need to train their gaited horse to be able to perform, and then school him to perform well, consistently, and without doing damage to his body
"The best person to develop your gaited horse's smooth saddle gaits is you!" writes renowned gaited-horse trainer and clinician Brenda Imus in The Gaited Horse Bible.. "You need to learn only a few basic principles to develop and maintain your horse's gaits. As you do, you will build an important relationship with him (as well as saving trainer's fees). It's a 'win-win' situation all the way around."
Imus begins by providing the simplest, clearest explanation of the "Gait Spectrum" you'll find: whether a gait is "diagonal," "lateral," or "intermediate" ("square"); what is desirable in "form," speed, and footfall, and what can be detrimental to a horse's well-being. A discussion of gaited horse breeds (their history, characteristics, and uses) and gaits (running walk, rack, fox trot, tolt, trocha, for example) is followed by an in-depth study of conformation, movement, and soundness: How your horse is built affects both his gait orientation and his gaiting longevity—you need to understand how angles of the forehand and hindquarters, length and depth of bone, loin coupling, and overall balance contribute to his ability to perform gaits and perform them well over the course of his lifetime.
Year-by-year basic training—from yielding in-hand to obtaining a correct flat walk under saddle—and advanced schooling—including flexion, collection, and lateral work to improve natural gaiting ability—is broken down into useful instruction that anyone can put into practice. A superb problem-solving section features simple exercises for alleviating common behavioral problems such as rushing, spooking, or being herd bound or barn sour; ways to avoid and correct physical issues such as a locking stifle or sway back; and techniques for fixing deviations in a horse's smooth gaits, including stumbling, forging, pacing, and "slick trotting." With a summary of bridles, bits, saddle fit and back dynamics, as well as optimal shoeing and trimming for gaited horses, The Gaited Horse Bible is the perfect how-to package for every gaited horse rider and owner.
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