Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Central Missouri
Actually, I did not include the Big Lick TWH in my opinion.
I'd never recommend a Big Licker of any breed for trails, but as far as smooth is concerned, all of the ones I've ridding(not many) have been very smooth.
The naturally gaited racking horse, regards of it's breed, is IMHO, the best all around. They are better on our backs and less tiring to ride. Not saying so much for the, trained to gait, rackers, some of them will beat you to death with their in and out of gear gaits.
The single, biggest thing we've found with smooth horses, is their heads have to be up and the nose NOT tucked. It is true you can train them to go heads down, nose tucked, but it, is seldom natural to the horse, and hinders their ability to perform in a smooth gait. As a rule of thumb, if a gaited horse is going naturally with it's head down, and/or nose tucked, it is poorly conformed for a gaited horse. The very first thing I look for in a gaited horse is the shoulder angle(indication of high head carriage), and its way of going in the rear. Most of them will trot at liberty, but you can still see their natural way of moving in the rear and their natural head carriage.
And before all of you THW trainers try and say you get them to gaiting with the head down and walk, walk, walk to get them to start the running walk. Let me clarify. IF you have to do this to get them going they are NOTTTTT, conformed correctly for the gait. AND, unfortunately, this is the case with a very large percentage of them. BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. That's were we started with gaited horses. Practically everyone said the TWH was the best to start with, WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. Took us a lot of horses and many years to find out differently.
Last edited by bbsmfg3; 08-24-2013 at 10:36 AM.