Monday, October 31, 2016

Galloping

The other day, I was riding Stinker up in the pasture where the path is cut for a gallop track.  He moved up into the trot, so I let him go.  He proceeded to start cantering and I said why not and let him go.  It was fun and it felt like he was going fast, but I don't think he is actually very fast*.

Not a gallop, but it is pretty much the same just quicker

His stride is quick, but it is also very up and down.  Plus he doesn't know how to stretch his neck out and lengthen.  What I don't know is if this is something that will improve as he continues to strength and figures out how to balance with a rider.  A quick google search didn't turn anything up.  So my question is do horse's gallops improve or is it something they are just stuck with?

*He doesn't need more speed for anything I want to do, this is purely out of curiosity.

16 comments:

  1. I think that it can get better - Carmen's is very up and down because she gets tight. As I urge her forward she will stretch into a lovely canter.

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    1. I'm hoping that some of the up and down is just due to tension that we can work out of with time.

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  2. You can improve the gallop a bit, with more strength and by learning how to ride it to suit the particular horse in question, but IME you can't really change the natural tendencies (ie less ground cover, too much knee, pounding the ground, etc). It's much like the canter in that way.

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    1. You mean I can't make him gallop like a thoroughbred??? I couldn't even type that with a straight face. :)

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  3. I have no idea, but now you've got me wondering as well!

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    1. Read on and you will see the general consensus

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  4. I'm with Amanda. You basically just learn to ride it better and coax out the best. Dee also moves up and down quite a bit. She doesn't have a gallop that would ever make time at Prelim or above because the faster she goes, the higher her knees get. It's not exactly conducive to covering ground.

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    1. The up and down is great for dressage but not so much for covering ground... I am hoping that with more relaxation it will get a little less choppy.

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  5. It certainly can improve in some ways. Kachina used to have a very tense and unbalanced canter, she would also frequently cross-fire when at liberty. A couple years of riding, lunging and getting time in a massive pasture have made her more comfortable using her own legs and she can now produce a ground eating gallop that looks effortless.

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    1. I don't think we will ever make it to the ground eating gallop, but I am hoping that some of the tension will disappear and improve it a bit.

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  6. you can fix tension to a much larger degree than you can influence the mechanics of the canter or gallop. for instance the tightness and going more up and down instead of covering ground can sometimes be related to tension

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    1. Yeah, I really don't know how much of the up and down is tension vs just his way of going. It will always be pretty up and down, but I hope that I can get a bit more ground cover with time.

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  7. The canter and gallop can absolutely be improved. Particularly if they are tense. My Arabs, morgans, friesians and NSHs have had to had their canters worked through.

    Making them learn how to compact and extend, and also be very laterally soft makes a huge difference in the quality of their canter. But the biggest changes to the canter comes when I can get them out to trails and really gallop them forward.

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    1. We have the tense part down...I am glad to hear that there is room for improvement as the tension lessens.

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