Re: Gaited Horses & Endurance

Bruce Murdock (
Wed, 26 Nov 1997 06:52:33 -0700


I've been asking the same question, but from a little different =
perspective. I am riding a Fox Trotter, and from my very limited =
experience, I am very pleased with the progress she has made. After all, =
this breed was developed for stamina, soundness, sure-footedness, a =
gentle disposition and travelling long distances in rocky, hilly =
country (non-commercial advertisement <g>). It sure seems that these are =
all desirable traits for an endurance horse. I don't expect her to be =
able to keep up with the front runners, but I am finding that her smooth =
easy gait can cover a lot of country. As her condition has improved, so =
has her ability to hold a faster pace for extended periods, only time =
well tell whether she has the potential to place in the top ten.
Here in Idaho, I have only encountered a few others riding gaited horses =
for endurance, and gaited breeds in general do not seem to be well =
represented. This is probably the biggest factor in my decision to try =
endurance, Fox Trotters don't mix very well on the trail with most QH's =
& TB's.=20

We got a late start this year, and were not as prepared as I would have =
liked, so next year will be the real test. It seems that Star has =
decided this is pretty neat stuff, I have been amazed at how rapidly her =
overall condition has improved. I can't wait for spring to find out just =
how far she can go.

Part of it may be a reluctance to be different, after all the Arabs have =
pretty well established them selves as the endurance horse. I think that =
a lot of people have the perception that only Arabs can do endurance. =
Look at any of the endurance related literature, what breed is featured? =
Actually, I've had a lot of fun with being a little different, and my =
experience has been that it really doesn't matter what you are riding, =
endurance folks seem to be pretty understanding. After all you have to =
be a little bit different to be an endurance rider anyway, right.=20

So I guess I'll continue to dance with the partner I brought to the =

Bruce & Rising Star (aka: The Trail Dancer)
Emmett, ID