Square gaiting foal

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Fantasia

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My week old foal is square gaiting or pacing! Never seen a foal do this before! Does it at walk, at trot, then sometimes trots properly but then usually breaks into canter to chase Mum.

I've never seen this before! Has anybody else had this?
 

Minimor

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I haven't yet seen a mini, foal or adult, that paces, but several years ago I heard that there were some in a couple of herds years ago.

When we had Morgans we had a couple that would singlefoot; we had one foal that would do the most amazing running walk (huge stride under with his hind feet, nodding head, the whole bit! Would have made a natural big lick horse if he kept it up) when he was a young foal. (Same breeding as the two that did a singlefoot) He outgrew it and by the time he was a year old never did it again. I'm not sure if pacing is likely to be outgrown, or if your foal will do it all his life.

To add to this--a fellow in this area had two mares that were bred similar to our singlefooting mares, and his mares paced. He would try to show them in dressage and it didn't go well at all because the mares would change from trot to pace to trot again as they pleased. The one mare as I recall would pace more often than not. The other one would trot for awhile and then change to a pace & then would stay at the pace for awhile--it had to be extremely frustrating for him and after a year or two he sold them and started showing other horses--ones that didn't pace.

I was always thankful that our mares did not pace--the singlefoot was nice to ride, and it never interfered with their true trot. Both of our mares were good trotters and they would never break gait--we would cue for a singlefoot, but if there was no cue they would hold the trot. There was no problem in showing them.
 
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Katiean

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I have a mare that paces. She does it the most when she is in harness. I don't know what to do to stop it.
 

Lizzie

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Pacing is an awkard gait for most horses. Most of the time in older horses who don't pace naturally as a breed, it is because they have trouble rounding their backs. Your foal might just have not got the hang of trotting properly yet and he might outgrow it, but he might not of course. Some horses and dogs will pace, while just trying to get into a proper trot, but it is not something they do all the time. We have a couple of lines in Gypsy Horses, who will pace occasionally. It does seem to be a genetic thing. Do either of your foal's parents pace at all - or even occasionally?

Give him time to strengthen his back and muscles and see how he goes. He is still very young.

Lizzie
 

Fantasia

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Took about three weeks and then she got control of her legs!!!!! Nice trotting action now :)
 

supaspot

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Ive had a couple that did it a little in the first few hours , thankfully it didnt last lol
 

Windhaven

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Yes many foals will pace a little while they are learning to use their legs. This is not uncommon. I have seen many of my foals do it for a while but never for long.
 
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