I've seen gaited horses come and go over my past 18 years in Endurance
Riding. There are very few that can compete with the Arabians. They
just don't stay sound and the majority are not built to handle the
sport metabolically (too much large muscle). I can think of a couple
"Bandit" the TWHxArab that Smokey Killen rode held up for ten's of
thousands of miles. But, those were slow miles for the most part. At
least, when I met them, they were not burning up the trail with speed.
And, that horse had a large percentage (at least 1/2) of Arabian blood.
>From the videos I've seen of that horse, he did not look like that smooth
a ride, either.
I currently know of one little TWH mare that is about 14h. Very slight,
looks like a barb x pony (but really is a registered TWH). Can trot
like the devil, goes all day in a REALLY ROUGH trot, with her head up and her back hollow and can beat alot of Arabs. The only time she's gaited
is when she trots out for the vet. I don't think she has a lot of miles
yet. It seems like she's not raced very often.
As a general rule, to be successful in endurance, a horse needs a straight and even way of going and the correct muscle type for metabolic efficiency during endurance. It also helps to have a somewhat "hot" temperament
if your eventual goal is speed and not LSD. This does not describe the
majority of gaited horses I've seen. But, it does describe the majority of Arabians.
I've been thinking of getting a gaited horse for my husband, who will
never be a horseman and hates to be uncomfortable. But, he'd probably only ride it twice a year so it would probably be better just to rent
I've never met an Arabian, which was conformationally correct, that had a
rough trot. I never "stand in the saddle".
Yep, there are a lot of cheap Arabs out there. But, that's not why they dominate the sport of endurance. They are the prototype. And nothing
yet has come along to improve upon it.
Linda VanCeylon & crew
Buhni, Sunny, Rabbit, & Fiddler
On Sun, 9 Mar 1997 17:59:24 -0700 "gerhardt" <email@example.com>
>I have been following this group for about a week, and have really
>doing so. This is a very knowledgable group of people. Now I will say
>something here that may get some people annoyed with me, but I think
>group is open enough that no one will get too bent out of shape. I see
>people talking about all the Arabs out there, how there is such a
>of them, and some of the behaviors of the horses and wrecks, and I
>why in the world anyone would ride such a horse. The reason there are
>many Arabs not finding homes is, I think, precisely because the
>rider does not want to deal with such behaviors. I know I certainly
>I can understand the desire to have a horse that can compete and do
>work that the endurance and distance riders are asking of them, but I
>know that there are people riding the breeds I work in, Rocky Mountain
>Horses, Kentucky Mountain Horses and Mountain Pleasure Horses
>Horses), in endurance and distance riding events, and doing very well
>them. Distance riding at speed and with comfort for the rider is what
>Mountain Horses were bred to do, and they do it very well. They were
>as basic transportation to get from point A to point B, in areas that
>not have decent road systems for motorized vehicles right up into the
>century. The same characteristics that made them very functional as
>substitutes for vehicles in the Appalachian Mountains are exactly the
>characteristics that endurance and distance trail riders seem to be
>for in their horses, but as naturally gaited horses, Mountain Horses
>the advantage that the rider does not have to, indeed should not,
>the saddle. They also have the very calm warmblood temperament, so
>of the people doing endurance rides in California on a Mountain
>only 9 years old.
>Is there some reason that I am not aware of that people are not using
>gaited horses for endurance and distance trail riding? Has it been
>that other gaited breeds do not hold up or are unable to compete over
>distance and time? Could it be because there are so many Arabs around
>horses can be obtained at dirt cheap prices, as the discussion that
>been going on shows, whereas gaited horses start at prices that people
>unwilling to pay? I have seen some horses advertised in this group
>in the price range like my horses, $3500 for a yearling filly, $5000
>6 year old mare, so I am not sure that the prices are the problem. I
>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
>themselves and the horse.
>Thank you in advance for any comments in response to this that anyone
>care to make. I saw a message asking for comments to be endurance
>so if the group feels this is not of general interest, I will
>limit my conversation to private email if folks prefer. Annette