Gaited horse gaits - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 05-12-2011, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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Gaited horse gaits

Can someone tell me about the gaits a gaited horse has besides walk trot and canter? Also how can you tell what the horses is doing... For example if I took my gaited gelding in a local show what would his gaitedness count as? A walk or a trot?

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post #2 of 6 Old 05-12-2011, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by AQHA View Post
Can someone tell me about the gaits a gaited horse has besides walk trot and canter? Also how can you tell what the horses is doing... For example if I took my gaited gelding in a local show what would his gaitedness count as? A walk or a trot?

A trot is a trot. At a show if the rules call for a "trot" and you don't trot then you get penalized (or at least don't gain any points). If the judge is willing then you may ask to have a soft gait substituted for the trot. At local shows or fun shows or even schooling shows this is usually not a problem. At any sort of higher level or rated show with open classes it might not be.

If you have experience with gaited horses you can usually tell what the horse is doing by feel. If you don't then get somebody to video you while you ride and you can see what the horse does.

I cut the following from another thread. It might help identify a given soft gait:

A friend in Brazil, to simplify discussion of gait in a breed where three gaits are permitted, came up with this:

Pace L4 L3 L2 L1 Center D1 D2 D3 D4 Trot

In this diagram "L" means lateral, "Center" means an isochronal four beat gait, and "D" means diagonal. Pace and trot are self explanatory.

Using this scale we get away from some of the terminology confusion that runs through the gaited horse world. This scale can be used to describe the gait of any horse (trotter, pacer, or in between).

Every horse has a "native way of going" that can be placed on the scale. Ordinary training can move horse one number of the scale without too much difficulty. But moving more than one number will be much more difficult. This is why breeders should aim for the center. If they do thier job right then even if you produce an L1 or a D1 you can easily train to the center.

A major point of confusion in the "gaited horse world" is that given points on the continuum can have multiple names. Using the alpha-numeric system that confusion is removed.

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post #3 of 6 Old 05-13-2011, 08:57 PM
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Gaited horses should not trot, though they can. If you don't have gaited classes, then I would try to chat with your judge and make sure they know you are riding a gaited horse.
Their gaits differ according to breed and conformation- Walkers have a flat walk and a running walk, rackers will, well, rack, and so forth.
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post #4 of 6 Old 07-31-2011, 03:17 PM
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Not sll Gaited horses can trot. The Peruvian Horse does not have the trotting gene and cannot trot. When I ride in an open pleasure class, when the judge asks for the trot I give them a medium "Paso Llano.. Faster then a walk yet not to fast.
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post #5 of 6 Old 07-31-2011, 07:05 PM
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Here's the way I like to explain it. There are really 4 different easy gaits. Many breed organizations think that their breed's gait is unique, but in fact they are giving different names to the same thing.

Following is the most common name of each gait, a description and the most common synonyms given to it.

Foxtrot (marcha batida): Diagonal gait with uneven footfalls.

Running walk (passo Illano, marcha di centro): Literally a fast walk.

Rack (saddle rack, singlefoot, paso fino, paso corto, paso largo, tolt, marcha picada): The horse lifts both legs on one side together but sets the hind foot down first, creating 4 even beats. There is a slight difference in footfall timing depending on speed, but only some people recognize the difference.

Step pace (soberandando, broken pace, amble): The horse lifts both legs on one side together and sets them down close together, creating 4 uneven beats. This gait is considered undesirable in most breeds because it puts strain on the horse and is sometimes less comfortable for the rider.

There is no guarantee that a certain breed will always perform the gait it was bred for. The only way to be sure what a horse is doing is by watching a video of it.
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post #6 of 6 Old 08-08-2011, 06:37 PM
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a few more

Hello! I'm new to the forum and this is my first post, so bear with me if I'm a bit shy. I wanted to add there are a few more gaits in there. There is the trocha, trote and galope. Still somewhat new to the gaited world but is making a huge impression and is really fun to ride.

Not sure how to insert a link however if you google trote y galope horses you'll find a lot of information about them. Like any other gaited breed, some are smoother than others but it's still a fun ride.
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