How to find and pick out a good gaited horse?
 
 

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How to find and pick out a good gaited horse?

This is a discussion on How to find and pick out a good gaited horse? within the Gaited Horses forums, part of the Horse Breeds category
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    12-13-2013, 01:20 AM
  #1
Foal
How to find and pick out a good gaited horse?

I've been down in New Mexico for a while, going to be here for a few years at least and horse fever is starting bite me. I think I'm ready to start the slow process of finding a horse to replace Lance, who I lost a couple of months ago to a freak accident. I fell in love with the gaited breeds and really would love to own one for trail riding/camping. That said, how in the heck do you find one in the middle of the southwest and what do you look for in conformation, breeding, and training? I think I'm leaning toward a standardbred but some of the more stout twh have caught my eye too. I wouldn't mind traveling a fair distance to buy a good horse but I do want enough knowledge going in before hand to make a good decision.
     
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    12-13-2013, 01:42 AM
  #2
Weanling
I'd love to have one myself and have been stalking some sites for sites for a few years. Some are WAY more expensive than others and I don't know if it means you're getting a better horse when you pay that much more.

If you find any good places let us know....I'm on one on Facebook but can't remember the name now, if I do, I'll post it.

Good luck!
     
    12-13-2013, 09:17 AM
  #3
Yearling
It's probable that you will have to travel to other areas to look for a gaited horse. There are some TWH breeders out there but they are few and far between. The Law of Supply and demand functions there, also. Prices can be rather dramatic.

First, narrow your search. The phrase "gaited horse" describes a type, not a breed. Each gaited breed is a variation on the theme of "gaited horse." What variation do you like the best? When you answer that question then go looking for one that works for you.

What is your budget? Don't post it here; that might cause you difficulties later! But have one in mind. With breeds like Walkers or Rackers, where there are many available, the price will be relatively lower. With the somewhat less common breeds (Marchadors, Icelandics, etc.) the price will be somewhat higher. Presently, most parts of the equine industry below the elite level are suffering. This is good for buyers.

While price is not always an indicator of quality it often can be.

When you've narrowed your search plan a trip to someplace where you can see multiple examples of your selection. If you decide on a Walker then you're likely headed for TN. For a Racking Horse (and many others) you're headed for the South Eastern U.S. You can go to most breed websites and get listings of breeders. There will be "mini-concentrations" around the U.S.

In short, follow the Willie Sutton Rule in planning your trip.

Plan on more than one trip. I know this adds cost to the whole project but you are not just shopping but also educating yourself; you don't want to buy the first time you visit. If you come to the Southeast (which is likely as it is the epicenter of North American gaited breeds) you will find yourself awash in horses for sale. You ARE dealing with "horse traders." They are the moral and ethical ancestors of used car salesmen. Some are slick as bacon grease and will pressure you to buy "this really good horse." Don't bring your money with you.

Last, and far from least, remember the mantra from Alois Podhajsky, former Riding Master at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna: I Have Time.

Good luck in your search.

G.
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    12-13-2013, 10:14 AM
  #4
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guilherme    
Plan on more than one trip. I know this adds cost to the whole project but you are not just shopping but also educating yourself; you don't want to buy the first time you visit. If you come to the Southeast (which is likely as it is the epicenter of North American gaited breeds) you will find yourself awash in horses for sale. You ARE dealing with "horse traders." They are the moral and ethical ancestors of used car salesmen. Some are slick as bacon grease and will pressure you to buy "this really good horse." Don't bring your money with you.
G.
This is important if you're new to gaited horses. Different gaits feel different, and there can be variations within the gait. Start trying different horses to find out what *you* feel is comfortable. When I first started shopping I thought people were lying to me when they said their horse was smooth. Some were lying, and some hadn't ridden other gaited horses and actually believed their horse was smooth.

Overall the price makes a difference which is true for buying any horse. Budget for as much as you can. If you don't have to spend it all, that's great. But if the right horse is a higher price, you'll have it.
     
    12-13-2013, 11:35 AM
  #5
Foal
As much as I want to answer your question, I guess I'm in no position to do so because I am not that knowledgeable with horse breeds. But I will try to look for people to help you if that's okay. I am attending a university so there's a possibility that I can find someone, specifically a professor teaching about animals to help me.
     
    12-13-2013, 12:21 PM
  #6
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guilherme    
It's probable that you will have to travel to other areas to look for a gaited horse. There are some TWH breeders out there but they are few and far between. The Law of Supply and demand functions there, also. Prices can be rather dramatic.

First, narrow your search. The phrase "gaited horse" describes a type, not a breed. Each gaited breed is a variation on the theme of "gaited horse." What variation do you like the best? When you answer that question then go looking for one that works for you.

What is your budget? Don't post it here; that might cause you difficulties later! But have one in mind. With breeds like Walkers or Rackers, where there are many available, the price will be relatively lower. With the somewhat less common breeds (Marchadors, Icelandics, etc.) the price will be somewhat higher. Presently, most parts of the equine industry below the elite level are suffering. This is good for buyers.

While price is not always an indicator of quality it often can be.

When you've narrowed your search plan a trip to someplace where you can see multiple examples of your selection. If you decide on a Walker then you're likely headed for TN. For a Racking Horse (and many others) you're headed for the South Eastern U.S. You can go to most breed websites and get listings of breeders. There will be "mini-concentrations" around the U.S.

In short, follow the Willie Sutton Rule in planning your trip.

Plan on more than one trip. I know this adds cost to the whole project but you are not just shopping but also educating yourself; you don't want to buy the first time you visit. If you come to the Southeast (which is likely as it is the epicenter of North American gaited breeds) you will find yourself awash in horses for sale. You ARE dealing with "horse traders." They are the moral and ethical ancestors of used car salesmen. Some are slick as bacon grease and will pressure you to buy "this really good horse." Don't bring your money with you.

Last, and far from least, remember the mantra from Alois Podhajsky, former Riding Master at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna: I Have Time.

Good luck in your search.

G.

^^^ That is excellent advice and should be Rule #1 taped at eye level on your refrigerator

Malda's advice should be Rule #2, stuck on the refrigerator

Further to Malda's comment, I have two Tennessee Walkers that both perform the running walk yet they feel totally different. That is because they are built totally different.

One is 16.1H long/lanky/athletic, long-backed and very "loose" in his swing/movement.

The other is 15.3H very stout, short backed, easily mistaken for a hunky Quarter Horse. He is also slightly sickle-hocked and THAT is something you really do want to avoid. I would rather see the horse slightly cow-hocked than sickle-hocked.

This horse has a shorter stride than the 16.1H fella and probably his lack of a "swingy" back end might be due to being a little sickle-hocked.

My 14.3H TWH performs the Stepping Pace every bit as "champagne-smooth" as the 16.1H fella. He is also a stout/short-backed horse BUT he is of good structure and has such an awesome reach, people comment on him when he's 1,000 feet away up on the ridge. He has such a swingy butt, I once had a lady tell me she'd date him if he were a man

Meaning, swingy back ends are good. How well a Walking Horse can bring it's back end up underneath itself contributes to good gait. I can't speak to any of the other gaited breeds.

Liz Graves web site may be of some help to you:)

Liz Graves:Gaited Horse--Gathering of Gaits

If you have a lot of horse experience, you might luck out and get a swingin' deal on a gaited horse off Craigs List. There's a lot on there that need groceries and kind hand.

There are a lot of web sites offering gaited horses for sale; some are ethical others are not, so beware of those, as well.

Best of luck in your search
     
    12-13-2013, 05:06 PM
  #7
Green Broke
I got my most recent gaited mare on CL & quite a bargain. Before that I went to breeders' & I was a breeder-had a great stallion & raised a few babies. My new girl isn't registered, but that couldn't make her any better-she has looks (color), the size I want, & a very smooth gait, plus she's young but very solid under saddle. So, keep searching, you never know what might be in the next ad.
     
    12-13-2013, 07:05 PM
  #8
Foal
Head due east.

Walkers are dime a dz. Here. Rackers slightly less. Speed rackers more localized but still plentiful. Fox trotters are less plentiful but still out there. Standardbreds not so common here.

Many walking horses are pacey. If I wanted a pacey horse id go for the standardbred types. More speed. But that's just me. You have to really ride the walkers to find one that is silk smooth. But with so many of them available, its not impossible.

But you should have no problem finding good gaited horses anywhere in the south. From the mid atlantic, down.
     
    12-13-2013, 09:02 PM
  #9
Green Broke
https://www.facebook.com/groups/211139235631962/ This FB group is for gaited people. There are gaited groups on FB for almost all states too.

Type in Gaited in New Mexico or wherever and see what comes up.

Or can look by breed too, as there are many of those also.
     
    12-14-2013, 11:35 AM
  #10
Weanling
"Overall the price makes a difference which is true for buying any horse"

Not any more. Price has absolutely nothing to do with quality. You can find excellent gaited horses for $500.00 as well as for thousands of dollars. The majority of the best buys and best quality are not advertised. The horse market is poor, poor, poor. A lot of quality horses are being sold just so they don't have to feed them. The trick is finding them.

It is very true, you need to ride a lot of differing gaits to find what suits you. However, the really smooth ones, are "USUALLY"(NOT ALWAYS) suitable for a broad range of riders. The single biggest difference you'll find between riding gaited and riding "walk trot" horses is your seat. You ride gaited horses in a "chair seat" the classical equitation seat is not appropriate and will almost always get you in trouble. The trouble being, they will get rough and/or loose their gait entirely. You'll hear a lot of arguments about this, but if you watch those that have the best luck with their gaited horses they all ride the chair seat.

To find the good ones and learn a lot about them, you need to make a week or more trip to eastern ky & tn, and western Virginia, and southern GA, MS & AL. This area, probably has the highest population of gaited horses. BUT, you need and insider to show you around. Their are places in this area, you do NOT visit without and invite, OR a local, to introduce you.

Just a quick word about the standardbred. They come in two flavors. Pacers or Trotters. Some folks have better luck getting the trotters to gait with a smooth gait and others like the pacers. Personal preference. If you are not an experienced rider, I'd highly suggests, staying away from either. Now the standardbred cross is usually a different story.

Liz Graves, makes a living selling material. She writes and teaches what will sell, that is too many times completely contrary to the reality of what it takes to have, and ride, a good gaited horse. You'll learn more from the common doer of gaited horses.

As a rule of thumb, avoid the Big Lick bred TWH. They are bred to be pacey, and generally do not make good pleasure gaited horses.
     

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