ridecamp@endurance.net: Re: Gaited vs. Arab

Re: Gaited vs. Arab

Truman Prevatt (truman.prevatt@netsrq.com)
Mon, 10 Mar 1997 15:57:54 -0400

>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.

Absolutely. It is training. Dan had a hell of a fast high hang time trot.
We have been learning how to forget how that gait. Now Dan, unless he
looses his head, has a nice easy slow trot, a nice smooth well rounded
medium trot, a slow trail gallow and a gallop. The big trot is gone and
that is the way it is going to be.

>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.

Actually I own both TWH's and Arabs. My walking horses seem to be much
more intelligent than the arabs. Now one can use the weak law of small
numbers - "and damn thing can happen and will" to deduce that all walking
horses are smarter than all arabs! Now matter what you can do to smooth
out the arab trot (and I don't mind posting a trot), I will take Misty's
trail lope any day of the week.

>From my experience the arab can usually handle heat better than other
breeds, and this is no surprise. It also takes more time to train a
walking horse, which means one has to go slower for a longer period of
time. But this also tranlates into better conditioning on the legs. Misty
has only taken two lame steps - once she fell into a rut on a ride and was
slightly off the next week - although she finished the ride sound. She got
kicked in the neck and came up lame on a ride. This is in almost 2000
miles. Why is this? It took three to four years of year round riding to
get her ready. But this sure paid off.

One season Misty started off with a win in a very tough ride which took six
hours, came back in three weeks to a second place 3:40 fifty and won best
condition. She went on to have a great season. But this was after three
seasons. On both those rides the max time she took to get to parameters
was two minutes, which was better than the arabs there. The next year she
finished the ROC. I have seen a lot of wonderful arabs do a sub four hour
50 their first season - which also turned out to be their last season.

So with a non arab the training is different, it takes longer, but that may
actually be a benefit rather than a determent. With Misty laid up with a
foal, Dan will become the first string. He has had a year of easy LSD, and
has done one slow 50 - dead last on purpose. He will have another year of
slow 50's with a little speed work during training rides. Then he will be
ready to go to 100's. Maybe after a few 100's when the time and situtation
is right I try a fast 50 with him. What I learned from Misty has been
very valuable in training Dan. He has the recoveries to do fast 50's right
now, but not the legs and I want him around for a while.

One of these days I will breed Misty to an arab and get the best of both
worlds. Maybe tha will be my old age horse.


Truman Prevatt
Sarasota, FL

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