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Gaited horses, newbie questions

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  • Foxtrotter horse gait or limp

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    08-08-2013, 03:31 PM
  #1
Foal
Gaited horses, newbie questions

So my mom and I went to look at (what I thought was) a very nice tennessee walker the other night that is a potential buy as a "beginner/kid safe" trail/road riding horse. I have never owned a gaited horse and have only ridden one twice. I have recently decided that I REALLY like the smoothness of the ride with gaited horses and I am fascinated by their movements. I am hoping that you guys can give me some more information on gaited horses. I have done as much research as I can and I can see that learning the names of the different gaits will just take time and experience. But since these movements are different than what I am used to, I have some questions about them. When a gaited horse is lame or sore, will they limp like a non-gaited horse? Can you feel them limping while riding? Is special tack required for riding them or does it just depend on the horse? When a gaited horse is doing one of its special gaits, is it hard on them and does it wear them out quicker? I appreciate the help since I'd rather hear the answers from people with experience than just assuming something published online is true. Thanks so much!
     
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    08-08-2013, 04:15 PM
  #2
Weanling
Yes, when they are sore or lame they will limp like any other horse.
Like any horse, you should be able to feel them limping while riding.

Tack: Most of your gaited breeds will require more freedom of movement in the front shoulders, consequently, you need a saddle that will not interfere with the shoulder motion.

Gaits: The 3 most common gaits are pace, rack, and runningwalk. The amble, the singlefoot, the corto, the largo, and the fino are all the same gait as the rack. Different names for the same foot fall. There are some variations of the pace, like the stepping pace, and the slick pace. THW will usually have the running walk as their signature gait, but some of them will have the rack. The Paso Fino's signature gait is the corto, largo and fino. Standardbred's will usually either be trotters or pacers, and many are taught to rack, some do it naturally.

The signature gait of most of the gaited horses is not hard on them. However, the fino of the paso fino is a very tiring gait, as is the Big Lick gait of the TWH, and the show gait of the big lick racking horses.
Corporal and kbg7506 like this.
     
    08-08-2013, 04:21 PM
  #3
Foal
Wow, thanks! There are soooo many names! Like I mentioned, I just love the smoothness and it sure does make for a nice ride. The mare we went to see (TWH) seemed to really enjoy and prefer doing her running walk (at least I think that's what it was). Is that pretty common?
     
    08-08-2013, 07:22 PM
  #4
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbg7506    
So my mom and I went to look at (what I thought was) a very nice tennessee walker the other night that is a potential buy as a "beginner/kid safe" trail/road riding horse. I have never owned a gaited horse and have only ridden one twice. I have recently decided that I REALLY like the smoothness of the ride with gaited horses and I am fascinated by their movements. I am hoping that you guys can give me some more information on gaited horses. I have done as much research as I can and I can see that learning the names of the different gaits will just take time and experience. But since these movements are different than what I am used to, I have some questions about them. When a gaited horse is lame or sore, will they limp like a non-gaited horse? Can you feel them limping while riding?
Yes you will be able to tell but a lot of untrained eye's will see the running walk head bob as a sign of lameness.

Quote:
Is special tack required for riding them or does it just depend on the horse?
Properly fitted tack for the horse, not breed. As someone said, keep the shoulder and hip clear.
No special bits or shanks to get a horse to gait.

Quote:
When a gaited horse is doing one of its special gaits, is it hard on them and does it wear them out quicker?
Most natural gaits are good and the horse in condition will handle a good distance.

Quote:
I appreciate the help since I'd rather hear the answers from people with experience than just assuming something published online is true. Thanks so much!
Hope it all works out for you:)
KigerQueen likes this.
     
    08-08-2013, 08:10 PM
  #5
Foal
Bbsmfg3 how is the rack the same as a corto or especially the fino ? They are not the same gait at all as I can tell and I own both a paso and a racking walker. Not being contrary just wondering how you came up with that comparison.
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    08-08-2013, 08:18 PM
  #6
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbg7506    
Wow, thanks! There are soooo many names! Like I mentioned, I just love the smoothness and it sure does make for a nice ride. The mare we went to see (TWH) seemed to really enjoy and prefer doing her running walk (at least I think that's what it was). Is that pretty common?
Yes. With any well bred,well trained, relaxed twh will prefer to gait and can cover a lot of ground in that gait. Most walkers I have trained and or ridden will push themselves and give you their all. A wonderful breed and truly a remarkable horse.
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    08-08-2013, 11:21 PM
  #7
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by trailwalker    
Yes. With any well bred,well trained, relaxed twh will prefer to gait and can cover a lot of ground in that gait. Most walkers I have trained and or ridden will push themselves and give you their all. A wonderful breed and truly a remarkable horse.
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I am really starting to see how awesome they are. I think I may be hooked! But we will see where my shopping takes me. I just want to make the right decision and not limit my options.....but I don't think I'd miss trotting when it's been replaced with something so smooth and pretty!!!
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    08-08-2013, 11:41 PM
  #8
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbg7506    
I am really starting to see how awesome they are. I think I may be hooked! But we will see where my shopping takes me. I just want to make the right decision and not limit my options.....but I don't think I'd miss trotting when it's been replaced with something so smooth and pretty!!!
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My TWH can trot, I've seen her do it when she's turned out. Never had her do it under saddle though, it may be something you can train them to do I'm not sure though.
     
    08-08-2013, 11:48 PM
  #9
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by xXcre8tiveXx    
My TWH can trot, I've seen her do it when she's turned out. Never had her do it under saddle though, it may be something you can train them to do I'm not sure though.
I definitely wouldn't mind a trot as one of the gaits as well just because it can be fun =]
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    08-09-2013, 09:29 AM
  #10
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by trailwalker    
Bbsmfg3 how is the rack the same as a corto or especially the fino ? They are not the same gait at all as I can tell and I own both a paso and a racking walker. Not being contrary just wondering how you came up with that comparison.
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The foot fall is the same. The amount of animation may be drastically different, ie, the fino vs the corto. To verify, look at the gaits in slow motion and do pauses. You'll see the foot fall is the same, ie, same gait. But, the amount of animation is drastically different. Just like the running walk of the Big Lick Horse is the same foot fall as that of the pleasure horse's running walk. And Big Lick racking horse has the same foot fall as the pleasure racking horse.

I don't know that it really makes a lot of difference, other than knowing what gait your horse should be doing. If you know what the foot fall should be, a video, or an experienced observer, can aid in fixing problems. Especially true, when they are off just a little, but enough to make it rough or not acceptable to judges, if your showing.

It really gets confusing when you have a horse with a very smooth ride, but it's foot fall doesn't match any of the common gaits. That's were the descriptions of slick pace, stepping pace, and a whole lot of other names, have been applied. If the horse does not have a common gaited foot fall, you can get a lot of differing opinions on what to call the gait. Unfortunately, this happens a lot. When the gait has been taught because the signature gait is unacceptable, the percentage of them being slightly off of the true gait is very high. Or when you have breed a horse to another one with differing signature gaits.
     

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