Thanks Darrin. I'm planning a trip to a farm near Ocala that has been training TWH for many years. They seem to have some really nice moving horses and are happy to have me come up and ride them. I don't have back problems thank goodness but as I get older the thought of a smooth ride just makes more sense. That's interesting about the motions of the different breeds being more comfortable from one person to the other. I'm anxious to try a few to see if it's what I think it will be.
Sent you a pm, as I think you're headed to a farm I'd mentioned.
I love the tw's though finding a naturally gaited one can be a challenge. Like somebody mentioned, all gaited breeds will trot or pace though you dont want that under saddle. INHO when chosing a gaited breed, pick one that is going to match your temperament and that will be a smooth ride.
Paso's are super smooth, for me, more so than the tw's. You'll find that are easier gaited, it's more natural to them than it is for the tw's but they're overall hotter horses. They tend to be more reactive..awesome horses but if you're timid at all, they can be intimidating with all that energy. MFT, tw's, kmh's usually have a laid back personality. Some of the Pusher bloodlines for the tw's can be hotter than some...look for the older lines like Roan Allen.
With the tw's comes the many debates about bits, shoes, what gait are they doing, soring, etc..it can be daunting and confusing to the new tw owner. For me, keeping my horse as natural as possible without having to resort to long shanked twisted wire bits (which you'll find at the farm you're headed to if it's the one you'd mentioned) heavy shoes (which aren't needed unless there is a hoof issue especially here in sandy central fl).
If you want a nicely gaited horse for a good price in this area, you might want to contact this woman Performance Trail Horses
She's not the sort who is going to sugar coat anything so bring your thick skin, however I don't think she'd sell you a pig in a poke so to speak. I've butted heads with her several times, but I'd rather see you there than at the other place. Good luck and please, keep us posted.