So... I had this really abrupt awakening last month when my horse of the last 11 years protested his saddle fit with some head tossing while getting saddled. Needless to say, it was immediately taken off him. However, it sparked some research on my part - the end result of which was OMG, I have a gaited horse.
Until then, I did not understand just what that really meant . Most obviousely, I need a new saddle, but there is a whole lot more to it than that. My horse is registered Pinto, with half Arab half Saddlebred breeding. As I don't show, I never bothered with getting him triple registered, though he could have been (half Arab, and Nat Show Horse).
He is naturally five gaited (????) as he will rack at both the trot and the canter, though he has only done it at the canter twice. As a trail horse, who does medieval games and down the road driving part time, I have never given much work to his gaits. I can cue him into his rack at the trot, but it is a lot of work for him and he sweats up fast so we don't usually do it very long.
I have always had Arabs and only recogonized his rack as 25 years ago I had an AngloArab who had been trained to rack - though we called it a one-step. It seems to be the same movement...
What I am not sure about, is what to do about a saddle. I am too old to ride bareback and like to bring my daughter's filly out with us on trail, so I need a Western or Aussie Western with a horn to dally to. My first thought was to go to an Ortho Flex (used of course - if I can scronge that kind of money), but will it even fit? Is it worth my time to even look at the cheaper saddles that claim to be made for gaited horses?
My Circle Y trail saddle has been giving him dry spots at his shoulders for a while, but I did not have the funds to replace it. I dont' want to get another saddle only to have it not fit. I am thinking of making a cast of his back to drag around with me to look at saddles.
Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Soggy in Seattle