Do they...LIKE gaiting?

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Do they...LIKE gaiting?

This is a discussion on Do they...LIKE gaiting? within the Gaited Horses forums, part of the Horse Breeds category

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    08-16-2011, 07:16 PM
Do they...LIKE gaiting?

There's a TWH at my barn who has a running walk (when he gaits. They call it his running walk), but also has a trot. His owner likes him to gait but sometimes he breaks out of it and trots. He's full TWH...I was just curious if they, well, enjoy gaiting? It just looks very labored and uncomfortable for him when he does it...
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    08-16-2011, 07:34 PM
Depends on the walker. Some are "naturally" gaited and gait as easily as they breath. I have one of those and he's never not gaiting with or without a rider.

Others are gaited but need to be trained to stay in gait when ridden. Good luck making them gait 100% of the time when not being ridden but you will see them passing through their gaits in the pasture. These walkers will be more on the trotty or pacey side of the gait. I also have one of these, he's pacey.

Some few can't gait to save themselves and those they call rocky mountains (just kidding!).

Anyway, yes gaiting is also more work then a trot or pace for those not naturally gaited. To do it properly you have to muscle them up. If you don't they'll keep dropping into the a trot or pace when they get tired because it is easier for them.
    08-16-2011, 07:38 PM
Gaiting is very instinctual... it's not so much about what they "like" as what their brains are wired for. The TWH you're talking about just didn't inherit a strong enough tendency to gait instead of trot, and so he gets mixed up between the two.

Besides you can apply the question "does the horse like doing this?" to any discipline. Does a horse like jumping? Doing dressage? Well, some do and and some don't.
    08-16-2011, 10:23 PM
I only know two things that all horses like doing for sure:

1. Eating

2. Hanging out in a nice, grassy pasture where they can eat

Stallions are a special case; they like to:

1. Fight

2. Breed

3. Eat

In that order.

The more centered the gait the less effort the gait is for the horse.

    08-16-2011, 10:33 PM
A horse that is truely gaited likes to gait because it is what he know how to do.
It's genetic.
A TWH's trot will jar your teeth out. It probably jars them too.
    08-17-2011, 01:41 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by xxEmilyxx    
sometimes he breaks out of it and trots. He's full TWH...I was just curious if they, well, enjoy gaiting? It just looks very labored and uncomfortable for him when he does it...
It is entirely possible the horse needs to see an equine chiropractor because he IS uncomfortable. Not because he's a Tennessee Walker but because something in his skeletal system is out of alignment.

The only time I've ever had a Walking Horse break out of his gait, start trotting under saddle and look "labored and uncomfortable" was when his Atlas Bone and his sacrum needed some adjusting. He was out enough that I had to give a week of rest, which ended up being two weeks. That all happened in the pasture at play, so it doesn't have to be anything the rider made the horse do.

When I got back on him, he was a gaitin' fool with a beautiful head nod.

I have three Walkers who all perform their intermediate gaits equally well at liberty, under saddle, barefoot or with shoes on.

Their ages are 23+; 16+ and 13. I have owned the 23 & 16 yr olds since they were 2-1/2; an age when a Walking Horse is still "finding its feet".

I guess I got pretty lucky to have three Walkers who are "naturally" gaited and never needed lessons on to perform what is their birthright
    08-17-2011, 02:15 PM
Guilherme, pretty funny!! ..and pretty true!!
I can't speak for ALL gaited breeds, but I have noticed that all of the TWH's I've owned AND the 1/2-TWH's that I've owned have SIX gaits:
--running walk
--broken washing machine
    08-17-2011, 02:18 PM
--broken washing machine

Oh how true!
    08-17-2011, 03:07 PM
Love the broken washing machine gate, perfectly captures the feeling!
    08-17-2011, 04:22 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by Darrin    
Love the broken washing machine gate, perfectly captures the feeling!
Well put and my Dearly Beloved in my avatar, who neverrrrr does anything wrong, will do that if he's mad at me about something.

As soon as I hear him huff I know I am about to get my teeth jarred out and can he's good at kicking up a notch when I ask him to slow down.

He slows down alright but somehow he has a knack of really making the agitator go out balance with a load of blue jeans before he comes to a complete stop.

It is with full intent and knowledge of what he's about to do that this horse jars the caps off my teeth. He is the alpha dominant horse in the pasture and it shows in his nasty-wicked sense of humor

So far we have had 21 years of great fun and adventures. I can only hope the insulin resistance doesn't take a toll on him to the point where we can't ride at all.

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