Having ridden with gaited horses, on my non-gaited boy, I gotta say, it makes for tricky times. I'm constantly asking my slow poke to trot up. Much more relaxing and pleasant to ride with similar-strided horses, for sure.
If you can aim for safe and gaited, I'd go for it. In reference to developing skill, if he can ride HIS horse and you two enjoy putting miles behind you, who cares?
The kid thing is tricky. If finances are flush enough that having a child won't strap horsie activities too tight, then giddy up! You won't be benched for long and your kiddo just might be joining you very soon. Our son took his first rides on his pony outside the arena during his 3rd autumn. We dally him with me and head out on all kinds of trails! Posted via Mobile Device