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September 04 , 2007

Easy-Gaited Horses

Gentle, humane methods for training and riding gaited pleasure horses


For more than 30 years, Lee Ziegler has been one of the foremost advocates of gaited horses in North America and Europe. Through her writing and in her clinics, she has introduced countless riders to the pleasures of riding a horse that is calm, obedient, relaxed, alert, sure-footed, easily maneuvered, and consistent in his gait.

Now, in Easy-Gaited Horses, Ziegler offers a comprehensive guide to riding and training gaited pleasure horses. Her training methods are gentle and humane and produce a gaited horse that can be ridden in his gait barefoot, trimmed to his natural angles, with a mild bit, or even without one.

Ziegler begins by defining various types of gaits, explaining how they look to an observer and how they feel to the rider. Next, adopting a whole-body approach to training, she reveals the importance of understanding equine anatomy. She then discusses how to introduce the horse to a variety of gaits: the ordinary walk, the flat walk, the fox trot, the running walk, the saddle rack, and the canter. She explains how to ride a multi-gaited horse, how to handle gait problems, how to retrain an easy-gaited show horse for pleasure riding, how to train gaited foals and colts, and how to prepare before taking a young horse on his first ride.

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