Riding a Pacer

Mary Ann Bright

New Member
Jun 10, 2002
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a friend of mine may be leasing an ex-pacer soon, and has said that i can come out for a ride!(yay!)

I dont know if the horse tends to pace or if it trots and canters, but if it paces, how do you 'ride' it? i imagine you cant rise like a trot as it is a side to side motion, not diagonal up and down.

Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Thanks very much:)


..of a different kind
Oct 1, 2000
New Zealand
I had a pacer,He didnt do it much. When he did you just sort of sit to it,it isnt that hard,much easier than trot. I found that when he took off on me once it was easier to sit to the faster he got-strange! hehe. When you feel the pace then you will naturally just sit to it. :)

Tina J

"Mature" rider
I ride a natural pacer in France sometimes when I visit there. Its a bit weird, but as Emma says, you just sit to it. Just relax to the rocking motion. The one I ride has to give a sort of leap into canter which can be a bit disconcerting, but she has a nice rocking canter as well. Have fun.


Jan 5, 2002
USA (((maine)))
my moms horse is an ex-racer! and sometimes she still paces...sometimes her trot goes faster and faster untill its a pace! she trots though (yay)... but when she does pace i either sit to it.... or if it gets so unbarable i woah her up and trot... she loves to pace so sometimes i let her do it and sometimes i will just get into my half seat and that way its much more comfy! lol... she is however VERY hard to canter lol

have fun, it will be great experiance


New Member
May 8, 2002
It takes some getting used to!

I had a trotting horse, and I found it really hard at first, especially as his back was really stiff ( he'd been retired from trotting just before I got him due to a back injury). So it was OK when he was going at a reasonable speed - I just rose to the trot although it was much more comfortable to sit for a while too. But getting him to stay in a reasonable paced trot was impossible! He would just get faster and faster - and I Definitely had to sit to that!!! I did get him to canter once or twice in the year I had him, but he would rather trot faster and faster rather than break into canter! It was a great sense of achievement when I got him to canter - basically expecting him to "unlearn" everything he had been taught. Very hard to get used to the mad frantic trotting though - especially as I couldn't school him very easily in circles!

Have fun!!


Saddleseat/Bareback Rider
Oct 2, 2001
At the barn
Pacing horses are fun, not like trotting at all :D Fast and smooth (still like racking horses better, though.) Pacing isn't hard, you don't have to post or anything, just sit and bump the bridle when it feels like she/he might break and trot or break and canter. It feels sorta wierd at first, like you're swining from side to side, but just lean back slightly and that should make you feel more stable.


Well-Known Member
Apr 16, 2000
Just sit to pace like a sitting trot.

With Icelandics they shouldn't be allowed to pace from walk, trot or tölt. they should pace after canter and as fast as you/they can.

You can actually rise to the pace if you feel uncomfy or cannot keep sitting up for that long...and it's slow enough. Fast pace you cannot rise to, it's too fast.
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