Make sure your horse is physically strong enough to start racking. If when you first try and your horse is unable to rack, rather give him another 4 to 6 months of jogging in the jog cart, trotting poles and just riding. If you are positive that he should be a gaited horse chances are when you try again he will be strong enough to succeed.

When teaching your horse to rack be aware that these muscles that you are asking him to use have never worked anywhere before in that way. He has to learn to sit on his haunches and carry his and your entire bodyweight on those muscles. If you overdo your gaited training your horse will get very sore muscles and become anxious to the extent that he will develop behaviour problems trying to get away from the pain. While you are teaching a horse to rack ask him to rack for a while and come back to the walk allowing him to relax and drop his head enabling those muscles to rest for a while, then ask him again. If you have a uphill allow him to totally relax at a walk and drop his head allowing him to build those muscles in his hindquarter making him strong for racking. Never rack a horse up hill.

You are now developing your horses whole body enabling him to become the horse you are asking him to become.

by Irene vd Westhuizen