many things that you must work through and to eliminate in order to
successfully re-train the Pacer.
Re-build the muscle
groupings by relaxing the longitudinal muscles and strengthening
the under muscles.
Relax the lateral
re-correct the neck
and top line.
Attempt to lift the
back and to tighten the belly
Gain more engagement
from the hind legs and get them beneath the horse more.
Teach the horse that
it is ok to canter or trot.
Relax the horse by
being empathetic, understanding and to guide with softness.
all Veterinary issues. Make sure there is no injuries and pain
within the horse. Sore horses are tense horses and tense horses will
thing that I do with one of these most lovely horses, is to check
out the mouth. Surprisingly, they generally have a far better mouth
than the Thoroughbreds off the track but they can all be improved.
You have to check the 'Lateral Mouth' and the 'Front Wheel Brakes'
check the Lateral Mouth as you are going to be using this a lot.
Bred Horses are often stiff laterally and you will be needing to
improve this for many reasons. Go here for one exercise that you should train and establish. Go
here for another
exercise that you need to teach your horse. Go
here for another and
here if you want
the best re-mouthing system on the Planet.
out the front brakes, simply put a bridle and roller on the horse,
attach two lunge reins, one to each side of the bit, pass them back
through the rings of the roller, get behind the horse and prepare to
long rein it, but don't.
still and wait for it to go to walk forward of it's own accord. Set
your hands in concrete and allow the horse the decision to run into
the contact and for it to choose how much force that it will be
wanting to apply to it's own mouth before giving, stopping and
backing off the pressure that it has established. Right there and
then, you will have felt the 'Front Wheel Brakes' and can rate them
out of 10. You will want to improve that mouth if necessary.
horses are brain washed to Pace. By their Breeding and their
Training. A fair percentage would be disciplined for trotting and
they are all hobbled to stop them doing it. You have to teach them
that it is OK to trot without getting into trouble via the whip or
through the mouth. This will form a major part of your challenge and
much empathy and patience should be used.
horses are often like boards and lack the flexibility training that
the Dressage Horse gets. They are stiff through the back and the top
line because the gait dictates this and they are stiff laterally as
well You need to undertake a programme of methods to aid the horse
to loosen up.
to flex on the ground to where your boot would sit and whilst you
are doing this, teach it the forehand turn to prepare for leg
yielding under saddle. Whilst holding the head around, put your
fingers behind the girth and ask for the horse to yield the rear end
over and off pressure which is applied on a scale of 0 - 10. Reward
and Relief for any try.
teach the horse the various Dressage moves and prepare it just like
a Dressage Horse. You are going to need to ride it like a Dressage
horse down the track and you will be needing some of the various
aids to allow the horse to balance which will form relaxation and
allow for the trot rather than pacing. Go
here if you don't
know how to train those things.
You should be preparing
the horse to be able to go 'on the bit' down the track a ways and
while you are at it, start stretching the top line and back muscles
of the horse. Prepare it to give it's back rather to hollow it. Go
here to see what I recommend for these horses and see a photo of a
Pacer on the first day. STAY AWAY FROM SIDE REINS.
BEING ABOVE THE BIT CAUSES PACING DURING THE RE-EDUCATION PROCESS!
During all of the
formative training, ride the horse on a pleasure rein. You will take
up a contact down the track, only when the horse is thoroughly
prepared. Months down. Then, you should ride the horse 'round' and
proper if you want to advance. You may need lessons, you may not.
LONG AND LOW
You should train the
horse to relax the back when you walk around or on the trail. Train
it to follow the bit down gently and lower it's neck. Ask your
Dressage Coach how to do that. The more you can free up the top line
the better. At the walk, it is ok to take the contact.
reins on a trotter 5 minutes.
This should be gained
via the articles recommended above and whilst lunging with the
running reins as well. Have the horse flexed slightly in the correct
way of travel.
During the first few
months, the pleasure rein should be used for the trot and canter
attempts. Later, as training in all aspects start to come together,
a contact may be taken up as you head towards the Dressage type
training and flat work. You should get the trot established before
collecting the horse up.
Reward and relief
should form a major part of your training regime. You must get them
to believe that it is ok to trot and canter. Reward for small tries
by voice, stroking and long rein walk. Gradually build up.
The utilization of trot
poles in their flat work is of great use to break up their will to
pace and to pick the stride of the trot in order to stop hitting
So too is riding on
rough terrain or thick sand. Even in the shallows down a beach will
see them use the trot to extract themselves from trouble.
Use the steep hills to
get the canter going. Do not worry about speed. Stay off their
mouth. Trust them. It doesn't matter how fast they are going and for
the first few times, that may be hell fast and not pretty. The
steeper the better as they have difficulty pacing up hill.
Do not attempt to
canter in a 20 metre wide Dressage Arena until you have things well
established in so far as circles go. Use a far larger area to
establish the more difficult task of cantering in a circle. You will
only take away their confidence. Make sure you have the Dressage
aids described above established before asking for the canter on the
circle. The horse must be off your inside leg, up in the inside
shoulder, bent, flexion correct and straight in the footfalls, even
though you are on a circle. You cannot afford to have the hinds
tracking outside of the tracks of the fronts or to the inside for
Teach them at the trot.
Use the walk as the reward. Establish the trot, contact, roundness
and the like at the trot. Do not progress until you have things
sorted out at the slower gait.
You will find that
often they will start chewing, grinding the teeth or exhibiting
other nervous signs. Often they have been mis-treated, been bashed
or are having a flash back to a past that they would rather forget.
You must do everything in your power to convince them that you are
not like that and eventually it will subside. Pacing can be brought
on by fear and worry as much as anything else. You would be amazed
at how complex this mental side of things can be.
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