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Re: [RC] gaited horses - Truman Prevatt

David & Maggie wrote:
I have had and worked with several different types of gaited horses.
I don't claim to be an expert, but:
rack--4 beat gait; action is more vertical; very smooth; when viewed from behind, the tail looks like waves of water traveling downward; very little head bob, but more than a non-gaited horse; can be lateral or diagonal, but more often lateral; if the horse isn't 'in his gaits well' it will not be evenly cadenced
A good rack should be exactly 4 beat - not lateral nor diagonal. It is a pretty high headed gait. The rack should be fast.
running walk--foreleg action is more reaching; head bob is more pronounced; 4 beats, tends to be lateral gait; should be evenly cadenced
A good running walk should be exactly 4 beat also. It is a walk that is speeded up with lots of overstride and a pronounced head nod. The front end should be light. I've heard the running walk looks like they are trotting in front and walking in back.
singlefoot--very little action; this gait is a 'get there comfortably' thing, and not showy; the tail thing is really obvious; can be lateral or diagonal, although the Appalachian Singlefooter Horse Breeders prefer diagonal; supposedly, there is a period when only one foot is on the ground; it is a very evenly cadenced gait; this is the gait that most non-gaited breeds do if they are going to do something 'odd'; it can be a very fast gait
Missouri Foxtrot--I am not an expert here, I've ridden one once; very smooth; pronounced head bob; unevenly cadenced; obvious tail thing; they tell you they walk in front and trot in back (or is it the other way around?), but that makes no sense to me.
See the walking horse, the MFT is said to look like he is walking in front and trotting in the back. The foxtrot doesn't have the overstride of the running walk so it doesn't have the pronounced head nod. A good one is an exact square 4 beat giat.
Paso Fino and Peruvian Paso gaits--Again, I've ridden a Peruvian once and seen several Paso Finos; lateral gait; very smooth; they have names for several different pacing-type gaits; they tend to 'paddle' their front feet; less pronounced head bob
If anyone can elaborate or correct me, like I said, I'm not an expert. It's been a long time since I sold my Singlefooter mare. She would rack when 'psyched up', running walk when shod heavy in front, singlefoot in the pasture and on trail. My Morgan gelding's sire was also a registered racking horse. He made the difference between rack and singlefoot obvious. He did both beautifully. Both my mare and gelding did well in distance sports.
Hope this helps,
Maggie Pritchard--finally got thawed out enough to ride!!!

[RC] gaited horses, David & Maggie