ridecamp@endurance.net: Re: Gaited Horses

Re: Gaited Horses

Sullys Maze (Sully@Forsythe.Stanford.EDU)
Tue, 2 Dec 97 07:39:03 PST

REPLY TO 12/02/97 02:25 FROM ridecamp@endurance.net: Re: Gaited Horses

I've always been interested in Fox Trotters that are succesful in Endurance
Events since I really love them for their wonderful personalities and unique
gaits. I know that they do well in Competitive Trail Rides but I've only met a
few people that rode Fox Trotters in Endurance Rides. Those of you riding Fox
Trotters out there, are they really foxtrotting for 25, 50 and maybe 100 miles
and what are your experiences with the gaits? Don't you have to ride your
horse somewhat collected (meaning with contact on the bit) in order to get a
real foxtrot and how do you maintain this over a long distance?


I briefly owned a Foxtrotter that had been used several times for
NATRC. It was not a very good experience. I found out she was
really un-surefooted, and fell with me once going up a fairly
steep and narrow trail (something the Arabs spring right up).
Changing angles on her feet did not help any.

In addition, the Foxtrot gait was not very comfortable, and if you
didn't keep her collected she went into a really awful fast rough
pace. She did have a nice fast walk, and a lovely smooth canter.

It did convince me, that I like a horse with a good trot (that doing
an easy post was good my for legs), and that I felt that the Arabs
IN GENERAL were more surefooted than the majority of the gailed
horses I ran into. My discussions with other gaited horse owners
verified this also, though there definately are exceptions to the
rule, such at Trumans mare. Anyway, that is the opinion I CAME
to, for what it is worth.

I have a TWH/Arab cross now, and the main benefit is not the gait,
but the size. She is not as surefooted or handy as my Arab, but not
bad. She does have a wonderful, smooth canter, and a decent trot.
Occasionally she goes into some sort of "gait", but it is a lot of
work to hold her in it. She also got some of the "flightiness" of
the Arab, along with the strong opinons of the Walker. IN general,
a sort of nasty disposition, though it all boils down to just being
an alpha mare.

I came to the opinons that I would certainly not go out of my way to
find, or pay the extra $ for a gaited horse. but maybe ask me in 20
more years!

I still think the best "deal" out there is buying an ARab that has
done some endurance rides, perhaps one that "isn'T going to be a top
ten 100 mile horse! Y ou see them all the time in Endurance news,
seasoned, but young horses, with trail experience, camping
experience, group riding experience, good breeding, etc. Often for
$1500 to $3,000. I think in this price range you can get a darn
nice horse, whereas by comparison, the gaited horses can run $3,000
for just broke, no experience.


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