Any forbidden show classes for gaited horses? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 08-08-2010, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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Any forbidden show classes for gaited horses?

Hi all,
Been reading the forums for a while, but this is my first excuse to post.
I've been involved with horses for a very long time, but never gaited. I'm now considering buying a gaited horse. Mostly I trail ride.
However, my curiosity got the best of me, and I just started wondering what sorts of things gaited horses are excluded from?

I'm not much into competition of any sort, but a couple times/year a local club puts on some fun shows that can be a blast. There are a few hunter/equitation classes, western pleasure classes, jumper classes, and lots of gymkhana stuff.

So I got to wondering... can a gaited horse enter a hunter show? Western pleasure? What about the egg-on-a-spoon gymkhana event? (Seems like we'd have a bit of an advantage there ).

What sorts of events have you found yourself forbidden from entering, just because your horse is gaited?

This in no way plays into my decision about buying the horses I'm looking at, it was just something that crossed my mind.
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post #2 of 12 Old 08-09-2010, 12:14 AM
Join Date: Apr 2010
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My gaited horses never held me down on showing. If it is just a fun show then I would guess that all bets are off. Gaited horses can jump and the only thing you would need to substitute for is a trot. Depending on your gaited breed, you would pick the speed closest to a trot. I showed a TWH mare in 4-H for years. English/western/games/showmanship. We did well. There is even gaited dressage now. Very interesting stuff!
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post #3 of 12 Old 08-09-2010, 01:24 AM
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^ yeah, that! If these are fun shows, then most certainly, your new horse (if you get the gaited one), shouldn't be excluded from the shows or any of the events. I would definitely think you would have an advantage in egg and spoon, hahahaha...that's always been one of my favorite events, Lol!

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."
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post #4 of 12 Old 08-09-2010, 03:43 AM
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the only problem i have ever seen at shows is the judges preferance for trooters or gaited. around here most show judges are looking for gaited entries. people riding saddle seat are expected to be on gaited ot saddle good friend who rode arabians had a horrible time getting ribbons.
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post #5 of 12 Old 08-09-2010, 08:15 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the thoughts. Good to know we can probably enter, even if not win.
I don't really care about bringing home ribbons. I just go to meet other people, have some fun, and expose my horses to new things.
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post #6 of 12 Old 08-09-2010, 10:25 PM
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I would ask the coordinator at your local shows. Some will allow you to gait in classes that require the trot, and others won't.

However - you can still do endurance, competitive trail, show trail, reining, cutting, roping, gaming, jumping, cross country, etc. Any class that doesn't call for the trot!
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post #7 of 12 Old 08-11-2010, 08:39 AM
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Usually you need to get it changed to trot or appropriate gait in the description. Call someone in charge of the show and see if they will ad that wording. They usually try to accomidate you. A met a judge at the vet clinic and she invited me to a show she was judging. At the line up she came over to me and told me I was lovely but she didn't judge me because I didn't trot. The show organizer called me a week later and asked if this was true. When she heard I wasn't judged she did refund my money.
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post #8 of 12 Old 03-12-2015, 06:19 PM
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You'll definately have fun with egg and spoon! Me and my gaited horse win that one every time.

As for the other events, you can enter them with your gaited horse. I show in them all the time with my fox trotter (at a local, state, and regional level). If you are a good rider and you have a nice versatile gaited horse you should have no problem placing. But, I will say this (based on a lot of experience showing a gaited horse) you may not place as high with a quarter horse judge. If you enter a western pleasure class with AQHA rules and a judge from that background do not feel bad if you don't place very high. Some judges will judge a gaited horse the same as a non gaited one, but there are those judges who will not.

Also, if you want to do hunt-seat it is not normal to post on a gaited horse. Depending on the gait the horse does, you could mess up a gait posting or confuse the horse. So in hunt seat you will not probably do as well, if posting is required in the class. You may like Gaited and western dressage; they becoming more populare. Both of these events are very accommodating to gaited horses. Trail classes are also great for gaited horses.

Depending on the breed you get, you may want to check out their showbills for their regional and national shows. Breeds like the fox trotter offer several versatility classes including jumping, hunt seat, reining, ranch horse, western pleasure, and more.
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post #9 of 12 Old 03-13-2015, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by ponyroll View Post
You'll definately have fun with egg and spoon! Me and my gaited horse win that one every time.
There is tough competition from the western pleasure folks. They can lope and never worry about someone in front going too slow in a crowded class. Lots of gaited people NEVER neck rein their horses, so egg and spoon leaves them with a horse with little directional control.

That said, my horse was disqualified once when they asked for trot and post and the young lady riding had no idea what to do. (We don't do no stinking posting, we have a better ride!)

Wearing ribbons can help the judge(s) recognize that your horse has a different standard from the other /n/a/g/s/ horses.
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post #10 of 12 Old 03-13-2015, 01:34 PM
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To the best of my knowledge there are no competitions that explicitly exclude gaited horses. Some, however, do explicitly require a trot as part of the judging system. In such classes if you don't trot then you either are DQed or marked down. That is not any sort of "invidious discrimination." It's just applying the rules evenly across the board.

When we began competing at the National Cavalry Competitions we informed the judges that we were riding gaited horses. Our scores suffered because we didn't trot but we were not DQed. That just means, for us, that we have to work harder to make up those points in other areas. My wife and I have finished in the top three in three different years (of the eight years we've competed) in Horsemanship even with the loss of points for the trot (and the fact that we use a mounting block; Horsemanship competitors at the NCC enter dismounted and are judged on their mounting procedure).

During the Mobility Test at the NCC the course is to be completed at the trot (8 mph). My mare at the time would not hold gait form at that speed. So we did a really slow canter and she was fine. Indeed, for her that slow canter was an easier gait than a slightly slower marcha (as shown by sweat patterns during practice rides). In that event the judge cut me some slack and I wasn't DQed for riding the canter.

Letting the judge know you're on a gaited horse is not a bad idea. It does not, however, guarantee that there won't be a penalty for failure to perform the trot.

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