Sunday, April 12, 2009

Our Spring Gaiting Hillwork

I've really enjoyed GreyHorseMatters blog entries on conditioning horses after winter. I work on this mainly with John as Montana's work stays pretty constant through the winter.

John's gaiting is smooth these days, and his tendency to pace has largely disappeared (for the time being, knock wood). But he needs strength training and to lose a few pounds so we are doing roadwork.

In this video you see my favorite gentle hill, on the road near the barn, and a favorite pastime for Johnny and me in the spring: gaiting hillwork.

He is not easily bored outdoors so he doesn't mind repetitions; we go up and down this hill maybe 3-5 times in a ride.

His gait when at its smoothest should be 1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4, all beats perfectly equal in time. If you listen carefully to this set, you will hear him start out right, get a little pacey, correct, slope into a little paciness, then correct again.

I like the ways his ears are forward and he is checking everything out: that's my trail scout Johnnie!! We startled a few ducks and a plastic bag on this trip. John found them stimulating but not unnerving.


Funder said...

Hahah, my husband turned completely around in his chair to stare at me when I turned up my volume and clicked play.

He sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing that! What a sweetie :)

Molly said...

The song 1234 by Feist is going to be in my head all day.
I'm ready for some road work, now that you mention it.

Flying Lily said...

Funder: Thanks! I'm picturing your husband listening to that racket...with a look!

Molly: I love that little song!!

Grey Horse Matters said...

Looks like you two had fun. My husband also said what the h___l are you listening too.
Anyway, I'm more impressed with your camera work than anything else. Nice work capturing the gaits. That seems like a great road for conditioning the boys.

Anonymous said...

What fun - he looks very fun to ride! At my (advancing) age gaited horses are of interest - but I already have too many horses and none of them are gaited!

Flying Lily said...

GreyHorse: Thanks about the camera work - his gait is smooth when it's right so filming is not hard. I really loved your blogs about conditioning!

Kate: He is more fun than a barrel of monkeys. Gaited is definitely the way to go for longer trail rides. You know you need another horse!

Anonymous said...

Just had to leave a comment that I'm glad to hear that you recognize when your horse is in the correct gait! It's a rare find in these days! Thanks for sharing your video!

For the Tennessee Walking HorseWhen the Painted Horse ComesThe Murder of the English Language

Anonymous said...

Oops, sorry about the crappy run on links--I am trying again!

For the Tennessee Walking HorseWhen the Painted Horse ComesThe Murder of the English Language

Anonymous said...

WTF? Oh, never mind...

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