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I have always owned a quarter horse and have recently purchased my first gaited horse. YEAH! I have a young spotted saddle horse that doesn't know "gait" from gazunheit, and I don't know how to communicate with him how to do THAT perfect butter smooth gait. I live in the Hendersonville area, so would like to find someone not too terribly far away (under 30 miles would be ideal). Anyone know a good trainer that can train ME and him?! Thanks for your help

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Gosh, I don't know of anyone in that area. The closest one I know of is in Columbia, TN. I use him often. I usually give him by 2 year olds to finish, he keeps them for 2 to 3 months. Let me know if you are still interested.
We train horses in College Grove, TN. My ex wife and daughter actually live in Hendersonville. We have a great facility and have a good reputation. If you'd be interested in our services please let me know. Thanks.

Where is College Grove? What town is it close to? My horse is broke, he just hates to be alone. And I don't think a horse is truly "broke" till you can ride him alone. That's my primary concern. Also, I need to learn how to get him into that most perfect smooth gait and keep him there. That's all..... so can you help me???

Kyle Winters said:
We train horses in College Grove, TN. My ex wife and daughter actually live in Hendersonville. We have a great facility and have a good reputation. If you'd be interested in our services please let me know. Thanks.

Yes I'd like to maybe check out your place -- please let me know how to get in touch with you == thanks much
How old is he? Does he gait at liberty? Lee ZIegler's book EasyGaited Horses is on Amazon and occasionally at TSC, has lots of useful info on riding and training and even identifying the gait your horse is doing or conformed to do. I have gaited and non gaited horses, the older I get the better I like my gaited horses!
I know of a wonderful trainer that used to work with the big shod horses in TN but now lives in AR. He is very very good and all of us here in TX use him for our Walkers and Rocky Mountains. He will train you for a couple of days after he has worked with your horse. I took mine for a refresher from having his feet cut too close and he started pacing. He kept him for 30 days and then taught me how to ride him, keep him relaxed with head low etc. He is gentle, patient and very very reasonably priced. I don't know how far he travels but I know he goes to the shows. His name is Kevin Webb, dad was a famous TW trainer and he is Lamar AR.
I think after all is said and done and mileage aside you should just contact Larry Whitesell up in Cookville. He came from the old school training with gaited horses and will tell you that knowing how to win in the gaited show ring has very little to do with training correctly.

I have seen him make horses gait with string for reins, no tricks or bits or shoes just true knowledgble horsemanship.

This is from his webpage:

Larry Whitesell has been training gaited horses since 1980. He has been very successful in the show ring, winning many regional, national and grand national championships. He held judges cards in several gaited breeds. In 2002, he was Trainer of the Year.

In the early 1990's, Larry was not satisfied training horses to just win ribbons. He wanted to train "using" or pleasure horses to a very high level, to make a safer, more dependable horse for his clients. Horses trained like this should also do well in the show ring or anywhere else an owner wanted to take them.

Larry began learning classical dressage because he wanted correctness, and liked the lightness and softness these horses showed. Later, after spending time with several "natural horsemen", he felt they were teaching him the same things his classical teachers had. They taught the same movements, philosophy, and basically the same techniques. They just called movements different names and dressed differently. So he continues to learn from both schools.

Now, Larry travels the U.S. and Canada doing clinics and horse fairs. He still primarily spends time training the ultimate pleasure horses for people around the country.

Riding is a team sport. Getting better, like any other sport, takes commitment, but it should be fun for you and your horse.

In the gaited horse industry, many horses need to be brought into a more classical frame to gait. It is common practice to use large bits and equipment to try to obtain gait. The problem is that many horses trained by these methods become pacey or reactive or both, as the use of force creates stiffness. The gaited horse, like all other breeds, must have rhythm in his movement and footfall. When there is stiffness or braces, the horse loses rhythm.

We must train our horse not only physically, but mentally and emotionally. Horses express their emotions often by tensing up physically against outside stumuli, including any form of contact with the handler. Instead of getting relaxation, so we can "teach" a correct response, it seems easier to put a piece of equipment on the horse to persuade him. Depending on the severity of the equipment and the riders hands or temperment, the horse begins to react. Horses that react are not as reliable or consistent as those that learn to respond to subtle cues. Crisis management is not management. It leaves many victims in its path. We don't want to "get" horses to do things, that is not training.

It depends on the level of training you want your horse to have, but most people should be able to put a "basic handle" on their horse. That means you should be able to get your horse to the right place at the right time with the least amount of effort.

Jim Apple
I agree with Jim...going to Larry Whitesel for some lessons would probably be a wonderful thing.
As far as being 'alone' ..as you know that is basic horsemanship,experience..knowing what to do when they would rather be with their buddies than you. I study natural horsemanship,i would be happy to coach you in some lessons is you came to my place. Get gait etc...IF you want your horse started,or finished for a couple of months that is a different story. GOOD LUCK ! as we say in the Parelli world...when do you get off ? the first time is crosses your mind. do some ground work...get your respect back,and his confidence..try again. step by step
There's a good trainer in Franklin, Ky and I know of one here that is just outside Shelbyville, TN. These are sound horse trainers also. How far are those towns from you? I would prefer to drive a little further in order to get a better trainer myself.
I have the smoothest ride on the planet in Rock n Roll's Miss Missy and what I found just by doing it is get her to where she almost wants to lope, then hold your reins out to the sides, not stiff, just enough to hold the horse back from loping, then give him time to find that gear he's been looking for. He may be confused at first, so be patient till he figures out what you want. I'm not a pro or anything, but it worked for me and we've been happy ever since. Since then Missy's found a variety of speeds to gait in, just cluck her up.
I moved my horse to a barn with an indoor arena for the winter. I am PUMPED. I think that if I work with him a couple of days a week I will find that gait, as you say. I'm going to try this holding the reins as you suggest. Also I've found a woman that I have some faith in, that she will be able to show me how to ask and my horse will understand. He is smart and he's a quick study. I'll update you in a couple of weeks and we'll just see if he's as smart as I think he is!! woo hoo!! At least I'm riding, gaiting or not!


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