We did/ are doing a thing! After some adjustments to my saddle we went to work inside the barn tonight while the rain sprinkled down on the tin roof.
Note how far forward Jean-Luc is bringing his back foot. He also isn't moving the legs the same side of body together, but instead in a four-beat pattern. The gait starts in the back left leg. Watch as his back feel hit (ever so slightly) before his front. The head bob is also a dead giveaway that a horse is gaiting, because he is hollowing out the base of his front shoulders. He has to in order to properly perform a gait. Building those muscles in particular are difficult, but the foundation for which everything else grows.
According to the trainer I've been working with, these are the first signs to properly training the gait and getting rid of that pace. GOOD BOY Jean-Luc! He doesn't have much speed or control yet, and he still isn't all that smooth, but the progress we have made in the past two weeks can't be ignored.
Our number one one goal for the next few months is absolutely going to be locking that gait in and working on muscle tone. As I keep tweaking our work, and equipment, I find myself continually amazed at the education we are both receiving.
The other night I was able to ride a true gaited horse, Lil Bit, for a brief period of time. Experiencing his gait was pretty disheartening initially. He was so smooth, and honestly his movement was so foreign to me. I clearly did not buy a gaited horse, and I clearly have much to learn.
That said, I laughed all the way across the field - this is my first gaited adventure after all. After feeling how Lil Bit moved, I can absolutely see why people love it. Riding the "wiggle" must produce some wild brain chemistry, because I really could not stop laughing as we zoomed through the field. It didn't take long for me to become encouraged and happy that I have something to work on with Jean-Luc, too. I have faith that we will get there. We just need time. He's 13 years old and was never taught how to properly use his body. The amount of retraining we must do is extensive.
Besides, as my horseback riding rock, Liz, always points out, "I bought a horse with a good head." Jean-Luc is very smart, spooks little, and minus a few things as close to perfect as I could afford. As I have posted before, we are finally starting to have fun together. He is my 12-year-old self's dream come true.
Below is the longer form video of some of our lesson tonight. Watching it back makes me laugh. I felt like our gait was SO FAST, but it really isn't, it's just that it is a gait.
Do you have something that took forever to train your horse? What did it feel like once the finally started to learn? What was your breakthrough moment?
My name is Chelsey.
Generator's Cuevo Gold, or as he's known around this barn, "Jean-Luc Ponycard", was foaled in 2004 from Generator's Hurricane & Cheyenne's Little Bit.