Big G

Photo with his owner.
I've had the absolute pleasure during the holidays of riding a new-to-me horse, Big G*.  He came to the barn a few months ago as a moderately underweight rescue and I was entranced with his big bone structure and the fact that he's gaited.


Due to some of his health issues (and the need of building muscle), the vet has recommended that he be ridden fairly regularly.  Raise your hand if you can spot locking stifles a pasture away.  Anyways, this has been done mostly through his owner and another boarder.  In text, the owner invited me to take a shot on him and the other boarder was thrilled to have the help.


I spent some time in text with both the owner and the other boarder, because I hadn't ridden a gaited pony since high school.  I could also tell from having seen this guy be ridden that he wasn't going to be exactly like my ancient molasses-trudging TB.  The general assessment was, basically, just leave him the fuck alone and verbally tell him what you want.

"What, lady?"

My husband came out with me the first time I rode him (safety!) (..and video!).  Big G was crawling backwards towards the mounting block, but as soon as I got in the saddle, he was off like a rocket.  I immediately clued in (though I had later derp moments) that they were dead serious about leaving him alone.  To turn, I open my shoulders.  I kept a running monologue the entire time.  To move forward (hah), I lifted my hands.  God forbid my nose itch.  I giggled maniacally when he first picked up the running walk.  And then asked my husband (rhetorically), why the hell we even rode horses that trot.


A video posted by bekaburke (@bekaburke) on

We've spent some time during our rides together working on walk, a faster walk and the running walk and transitioning between those.  I've taken him over a few trot poles as well.  I'm completely smitten with this pony (he's taller than Archie, I think), who is brilliant and has an incredible work ethic.  I think he can count and he certainly figured out my running-walk-on-the-diagonals,-walk-on-the-short-side exercise.  He didn't really need me.  His owner said that he was used in field trials prior to her purchase of him.  I should be riding him about once a week.

Fail.
Trying to get photos of both the boys.
Archie doesn't share well.
*I use nicknames for all the people and pets, simply because they never asked to be blogged about.

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17 comments

  1. My rescued TWH has locking stifles as well and I'm just now easing her into work. I love Walkers! Very different ride than other breeds.

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  2. Gaited horses are SO fun to ride.

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  3. That looks like so much fun! I've never had the opportunity to ride a gait.

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  4. He's so cute. I love gaited horses. I was just commenting this weekend while riding my TWH that I wish I had a gaited horse for endurance. Screw posting. I will point out he's doing step-pace in the video you posted, not running walk. Here's a video of TWH gaits explained: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usZCp-nJEYI

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    1. Oh, dear god. There's more?!? I'm going to have to look into this more because I can't quite see the difference yet. Is it the beat or the hoof fall?

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    2. I don't know all the gaits very well myself. Running walk looks like walk - each leg moves one at a time. Step pace looks like pace (the 2 same-side legs moving at the same time) but the horse steps down with the hind a split second before the front, so it doesn't feel as bouncy as pace. In the video, he looks like he's pacing, but you're not bouncing so I am guessing he's step pacing. I can't see it myself unless it's in slo-mo.

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  5. oooh he has beautiful eyes - i'd love to see closer pics! sounds like a fun guy ;)

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  6. So happy you're getting to have fun on another pony! :)

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  7. I get to ride some variety of gaited horse about once a year and it's always SO FUN!! Glad you're getting to enjoy some riding on him!

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  8. Yay bring on the funnel getting to know a new poneh

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    1. Bring on the fun of getting*
      Not funnel, sorry typo!

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  9. He looks like such a typical lug headed Walker that I am in love. Yay for getting to ride another ponito!

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  10. You look pretty awesome on a gaited pony. I won't tell Archie though.

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  11. He's cute! I had the chance to ride a Paso Fino on my honeymoon and that was my first gaited experience. SO COOL

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  12. How fun! :D I'm glad you are able to swing up!

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  13. Gaited horses are so much fun. Some day I would love to have one as a dedicated trail horse.

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