ridecamp@endurance.net: Gaited vs. Arab

Gaited vs. Arab

Wendy Milner (wendy@wendy.cnd.hp.com)
Mon, 10 Mar 1997 12:39:48 MST

At 05:59 PM 3/9/97 -0700, gerhardt wrote:
I have
>really wondered why more people are not flocking to the gaited horses
>generally and Mountain Horses specifically, rather than keep on riding
>horses that they have to stand in the saddle to get away from a body
>pounding trot, instead of a horse that they can sit on in comfort for both
>themselves and the horse.

That "pounding trot" is a matter of training, not something that is
inharent with the breed. The real problem is rider education.
I can get Drake into a wonderful, smooth, big, long trot, but it
takes work on my part. He knows how to do it naturally, I've seen
him as he blazes across the mountain.

I was at a ride, trotting smooth but slow (it was Drake's first ride),
and I was very please with what he was doing. Along comes a rider
on a hollow backed, head high, almost out of control horse. She (the
rider) says to me "You need to teach that horse how to trot." A few
miles down the trail, Drake is still going strong. Her horse is back
sore and tired. She is tired and sore from all the bouncing. If she
learned to ask for the nice slow trot, then she could ask for a ground
covering trot and still get the *nice* part. I came in second, she
came in around 20+. So much for my slow trot.

Now a gaited horse starts out knowing how to do a nice smooth gait.
(Most of them anyway.) But the rider can still ruin it. The rider
must still get some education in what to do and what to ask for.

As for the Rocky Mountain horse, I'm not a fan. I went to an exhibition
of horses last year and watched a group of Rocky Mountain horses.
Every one of them was drastically different from the other. They
ranged in size to small pony to extreamly large horse. The confirmation
was very different on them. Where's the standard for the horse?
If I ask for an Arab, I can pick out a couple of differences, and know
what line (Polish Arab, Egyptian, etc.) they come from.

The Arab is a very intelligent horse. It is very high in personality.
I think it has the best temperment, is the most beautiful, the most
versatile, and the most wonderful of all the horses. That's why I have
them. But a lot of people just can't stand them. That's why we
have so many different breeds.

[Warning - gross generalization being done here]
On the endurance trails, you find arabs, cross arabs, and more arabs.
There is a scattering of other breeds. Basically, 80% of all arabs
can do endurance if trained properly. 20% of the other breeds can
do endurance if lots of training is done. So, which odds do you


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Wendy Milner HPDesk: wendy_milner@hp4000 Hewlett-Packard Company e-mail: wendy@fc.hp.com Mail Stop A2 Telnet: 229-2182 3404 E. Harmony Rd. AT&T: (970) 229-2182 Fort Collins, CO, 80525 FAX: (970) 229-2038

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