Trotting Tennessee Walking Horse to Gait
Tennessee Walking Horse gelding – Blaze
Blaze is Tennessee Walker who trots,
most of the time, rather than gaits.
This horse’s trot is very bumpy and we
really would like to see him gaiting.
I rode him in a the same tack the owner
rides with. I rode him in a plain
snaffle. I began the training with
teaching Blaze to relax and give his
nose. I do using a circling exercise
that helps them understand to give their
nose and relax their neck and later
their back. He very quickly got the idea
of this and we moved on to helping him
First I got him walking slowly and
relaxed. Then I asked for gait and he
just went into a bumpy trot, so I slowed
him down right away. I repeated this a
few times with the same result so I
tried something different. I asked him
to walk faster and faster before I asked
for the gait. This had better success. I
found, through trial and error, that
Blaze was more likely to pace or gait if
he was walking fairly quickly, but not
as fast as he could go. If I got it just
right, he would go into kind of a
stepping pace or gait. If I did not have
him quite ready, he would trot.
So, in about an hour, this horse went
from always doing a very bumpy trot, to
beginning to gait on a loose rein. This
was all done stress free and without the
horse getting hot and sweaty.
My goal is to keep the horse relaxed and
calm through the whole process while
showing him what we are looking for.
When a horse takes some nice steps in
gait, I always drop the reins and praise
them. By doing this, they begin to
understand what I am asking of them.