ridecamp@endurance.net: RE: gaited horses

RE: gaited horses

Jude Hall (Hall@cc.denison.edu)
Thu, 13 Mar 1997 11:17:33 -0500 (EST)

Sorry to get into the discussion after it is pretty well over,
but I've been on Spring Break, came in today as it is supposed to

Karen (Sulys Maze) said:
>I'll throw in my two cents worth (when did I ever fail to do that!)
>I currently have an Arab that does a pretty darn good imitation of a
>running walk, and also an Arab/Walker cross. (snip snip)
>Personally, I am glad she trots! She is tough,
>has never been sick or unsound. But, her recoveries are every bit
>as low as my Arab.

I would cross my TWH with an arab if I thought I would get gaitedness,
as I am one of those who just cannot trot anymore. Smooth, slow,
well trained or collected, a trot just is more pounding than a 4
beat gait. If I could still trot, I'd probably be riding an arab,
but since I decided to try this sport with what I have been riding
for 6-7 years, I've found that the gaited breeds do just fine for me.
My TWH has very good recoveries also. I will never do 100 miles, due
to my physical limitations, but Truman's horse is an illustration that
breeds other than arabs can do it very well.

>Having owned a Foxtrotter, that I bought sight unseen based on her
>age, size, and NATRC record, I must say it was one of my big horse
>purchase mistakes. She was also the most I ever paid for a horse.
>I came to discover that I really hated the fox trot! It was a lot
>of work to keep her in it properly, and I disliked the motion
>anyway. I realized then, that I really DO like the trot-it is a very
>surefooted gait-something this mare definately wasn't!!

I've always heard that foxtrotters were very surefooted (one of their
selling points, I thought). I've only ridden a few, but I didn't
like the motion either. The ones I rode were very slow compared to
a TWH or racking horse, and I guess I like the speed.

> I had also talked to a lot of gaited horse folks
>(one who competes on a TWH-not Truman here), and he said that you
>have to be really careful selecting a prospect, because HE had seen
>a lot of stumblebums, and went through quite a few walkers before he
>ended up with the one he has. (snip)

That's an interesting comment, and I've heard it before about TWH
in particular as being clumsy, stumblebums, etc. I thought perhaps
it was because the people making the comments had only viewed the
"big-lick" padded horses who can barely walk on level ground. Maybe
I've just been lucky, but both my TWH and our Racking Horse (also
reg. Ky. Mtn Horse) are very very surefooted. They can both gait
very rapidly over uneven ground (roots, rocks, twisty up & down
trails). In fact, one of the places we can really outdistance other
competitors is on trails that are very rough. I don't know how they
do it, but they never miss a beat, and just don't stumble or trip.

But, we ride a lot pleasure trail too (conditioning, of course) ;-) and often
at a particular state park that is dominated by gaited horse riders. The
trails are hilly. I've never seen any horse on trail that appear clumsy -
most of the horses are TWH, racking, rocky mtns. a few foxtrotters. As other
gaited horse people know, most people riding gaited horses ride fairly fast.

As far as intelligence, Truman mentioned that Misty was very intelligent...I
would agree that Redbud, our racking horse, is probably the smartest horse
I every owned, but Angel, my TWH isn't very bright. I attribute that to a
deprived childhood (she came out of an assembly line show barn in KY). She does
love to travel on trail though, and will go anywhere I point her head (one
of the
not-so-bright attributes she has - Redbud will take care of himself and you).
Angel is willing thought, to try anything asked of her. She is very naturally
gaited (she & Redbud too, will gait as well "on the buckle" as collected) -
horse has to be "held in gait". Angel is "hot" and has a "lot of motor".
She is
happiest traveling for hours on trail, and very smooth to ride.

Endurance & CTR arabs are (IMHO), the epitome of the arab breed. I have a
who also has a TWH and competes with me. I started a year before her, and
to her always talking about "stupid arabs" (yes, she was really prejudiced).
always loved arabs, and always corrected her ;-), but it wasn't until she
her first ride that her eyes were opened! Yes, these were arabs,and yes,
they were
better behaved than our horses! :-) (And yes, after a year of the
excitement, our
horses are better behaved too!)

But, to those of you who are contemplating switching from a trotting breed to
gaited, by all means try it!

Jude in Ohio
who must have missed all the talking the last few days!
But, who really enjoyed some conditioning rides.

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