I have not had a great deal of experience with Arabs, so I can't say
whether they are more intelligent than other horses. I will say that I
found Paso Finos to be extremely intelligent horses when I was involved in
them, but left them after 10 years for the same reason that Arabs did not
appeal to me, too spirited for me to handle. This from a lady that started
out on busted off the track thoroughbred colts that the stable I worked at
turned into dressage and eventing horses in a year or so after getting them
as 3 year olds! I had my share of wrecks 25 years ago.
Your comment that Arabs can take the heat better than other horses would
sure make sense, they are after desert descendants. I also found your
observations on training your TWH interesting. Perhaps the answer to the
gaited horse question is simply that it takes longer to condition one for
endurance than it does an Arab, but if one has the patience to do so it
will pay off, as you have found. For many people the reasoning may be that
why should they take the time with a gaited horse, when they can get an
Arab and be winning or placing much quicker. If they don't mind the trot,
then there would be no reason for them to take the time it apparently takes
from your experience to condition a gaited horse for endurance riding.
You also noted that Misty has quite a temperament. Is that necessary for a
good endurance horse, do you think? This is why I asked why in the world
people would ride the horses I saw being described. If an
temperament is a requirement for endurance horses, I can see it will never
be a sport I would enjoy. I like being safe! At 46, I don't bounce like I
used to, it breaks more easily, and takes longer to heal! I will add that
the temperament that I saw in Walkers, not to mention the gait modification
practiced in that breed, is why I did not go into them when I left Pasos,
and instead went into Mountain Horses.
Thank you again for taking the time to answer.
> From: Truman Prevatt <email@example.com>
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Re: Gaited vs. Arab
> Date: Monday, March 10, 1997 12:57 PM
> >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
> 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.
> has only taken two lame steps - once she fell into a rut on a ride and
> slightly off the next week - although she finished the ride sound. She
> 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
> 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
> finished the ROC. I have seen a lot of wonderful arabs do a sub four
> 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
> 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,
> 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
> ready to go to 100's. Maybe after a few 100's when the time and
> 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
> 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