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Re: [RC] speaking of twh/mft - Paul Latiolais

Well Lori, that was my question when I first started LD rides with my paso fino last year. He has done well this year; He is currently listed as the top BC horse in LD in the NW region. He IS a good endurance horse in that he can go the distance, but he is not particularly competitive against arabs.

Why do I say that? Well, the reason we are doing well on the BC front is twofold: luck and weight. The luck part I won't go into, but the weight part is straightforward. Gaited horses can carry more weight for long distances. This year my gear and I weighed in at 235 lbs. If I can make top ten, I am hard to beat. A 120lb woman coming in an hour before me does not have a chance, if Pete (my horse) has a passable recovery rate.

As for Speed. Pete and I can go like a bat out of hell downhill, because of the gait. We can really beat other horses there, BUT on the straight at a "trot speed" we cannot keep up. I was out riding with Snip (a great arab formerly owned by the Teeters) last summer. Snip's working trot is Pete's hand gallop. A four-beat gait does not have that over-reach that those really competitive arabs have.

The original Morgan horse was gaited. The U.S. cavalry bred it out of most of the breed, why? They wanted to cover more ground. Pete's speed at gait max's out at a little over 9 mph. Not real fast. To make top ten we need a lot of straightaway in which to gallop, some long slow down-hills AND not too much competition, so we can make top ten.

Now as for your question "I was told that a gaited horse could not fair as well, because of the stamina, and because their tendons couldn't take it.", That is NOT true for Pete, but as Amy Berggren pointed out to me at the Dust Devil ride, Pete has a "pleasure" gait. He does not lift his feet up high like some gaited horses are bred and encouraged to do. That way, he covers more ground with less energy.

As I go up to 50's next season, I will be really interested to see how we do. I am a little scared with all this talk of dying horses, but the LD's just aren't doing it for us any more.

Wish me luck,

-Paul L

On Tuesday, December 30, 2003, at 05:24 PM, Lori Greene wrote:

Trying to find out info on endurance.....
My question is this...if you are riding an arabian and the "idea" is to keep a trot going over long distance for the race, then why wouldn't a gaited horse be more suited or the cross as someone mentioned?? My life of horses has been mainly riding trail/show the quarter type horse, with a dabble here and there in some gaited horses.? I guess I look at it as a gaited horse naturally covers more ground and more smoothly, why would that not be the best ride?? I was told that a gaited horse could not fair as well, because of the stamina, and because their tendons couldn't take it.? But if the horse is built and bred for what he does, how can it then hurt him?? I guess not knowing anything about all of this yet (endurance) brings me to that.? I would think that the long gait would be more healthy, than to try to keep a horse in a trot?? Just wondering??????? thanks : )

[RC] speaking of twh/mft, Lori Greene