Kentucky Mountain Mare Trots
 
 

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Kentucky Mountain Mare Trots

This is a discussion on Kentucky Mountain Mare Trots within the Gaited Horses forums, part of the Horse Breeds category
  • Help my horse trots instead of gaits
  • Trouble holding rocky mountain horse in its gait

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    07-30-2012, 12:01 AM
  #1
Foal
Kentucky Mountain Mare Trots

I am looking at a 7 year old registered Kentucky Mountain mare. I am thinking of buying the mare for trail riding because of her nice temperament. I have always ridden English, so when I rode her, the mare's trot seemed normal to me. It was not smooth at all. The owner says she does not gait. I don't mind that she trots, but I started wondering why she isn't gaited, since she's a purebred. I don't know much at all about gaited horses. Are there some Kentucky Mounted horses that can't gait, or do they just need to be trained to gait?

Mary
     
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    07-30-2012, 01:02 AM
  #2
Green Broke
It probably isn't that she can't gait. She was either never taught or was allowed to get away with it for so long trotting became her preferred gait. It might be possible to teach her to gait if you could get someone with gaited experience to help you. So yes; she would need to be trained to gait again.

My mare trots. She's a purebred SSH. She also gaits, but only if you ask. She trots all the time for people who don't know how to ask her to gait. She's still gaited. Selectively gaited.
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    07-30-2012, 08:20 AM
  #3
Yearling
As a trotting breed will occasionally produce a gaited horse so a gaited breed will sometimes give you a trotter. It's the luck of the genetic draw.

It's possible that the horse could be taught a gait like the rack (I know some QH folks who sometimes teach a "shuffle step" to their horses for comfortable trail riding). But that can be problematical and has the potential to cause injury. It should only be done by a skilled trainer who knows what took for, and what to avoid.

G.
     
    07-30-2012, 09:27 AM
  #4
Weanling
Gaited horses are not automatically gaited....in theory they all CAN gait, but quite a few don't. As far as being purebred, the Kentucky Mountain Horse is a fairly new breed and accepts a number of different types of horses as long as they gait (I have friends with a Paso cross registered as a KMH). The Rocky Mountain Horse Assoc is similar, but the books have been closed awhile, making for a more consistent type horse at this point, IMO. My RMH mare is TWH thru her dam and is pacey as all get out.....sure, it's a gait, just not one you actually want to ride. We've spent the better part of two years working on her gait (among other things), and she will do a nice running walk when the wind is out of the SW and the stars are properly aligned. If gait is not a big deal for you and you like the mare, go for it. Just don't assume she WILL gait "with a little work" and that fact that she ISN'T gaiting should be reflected in her asking price.
     
    07-30-2012, 06:17 PM
  #5
Foal
Trotting or not, I like the mare very much so I decided to go ahead and buy her. Gaited horses are very rare in my area, and I have tried for a while to find someone to give me lessons but haven't found anyone. By far my greatest consideration is her temperament. She tried to do everything I asked and her attitude was excellent. Her price was lower than other RMH horses. So I am happy.

I tend to keep my horses forever, but if anything ever happens and I need to sell her, it might be difficult to find her a good home without being gaited. If someone wanted to breed her, her foals would not be eligible for full registration, because she doesn't gait. So if she were trained to gait, and certified by KMSA, then I wouldn't worry so much about what would happen to her if I died or couldn't keep her any more. I figure I will continue to explore the possibility of training her to gait. If she doesn't, it's okay with me.

I was wondering whether trotting is somehow physically bad for her, and vice versa. E.g If she's most comfortable trotting, would it cause her physical problems trying to train her to gait. Or is she trotting because she's strung out, and it would actually be better for her physically if she were more collected and in gait. Both ideas make sense to me. Any thoughts on this?

Thanks!
     
    07-31-2012, 11:50 AM
  #6
Weanling
Trotting is not physically harmful, but if you want her to gait you want to discourage the trot. To grossly oversimplify, if she not allowed to trot she will search for a faster gear that IS allowable & hopefully that "gear" will be a desirable gait. Case in point, my RMH mare is very lateral...she will trot and pace at liberty, but her gait of choice under saddle is a hard pace (ouch!). I let her walk as fast as she wanted, but every time she broke into a pace I pulled her down. She has figured out that she has a couple of other gears that she can use when she needs to hustle a little....a running walk and a stepping pace, and we are working on those. Is she ever going to be a super comfy "set in her gait" horse? Doubt it, but I bought her for her personality and good sense (okay, AND flashy color)....gait was not that important to me & was the reason she was priced as low as she was. Two years later I have SOME gait, still inconsistent, but an awesome trail horse that I wouldn't trade for anything!
     
    08-01-2012, 05:05 PM
  #7
Foal
Start out walking her with a little rein pressure, click her and let out some rein as you go, let up on the rein pressure, if you find a smooth gait hold it, you can let it out some more but when it starts getting rough just apply some pressure to hold the gait. You can do it from a trot gently put a little pressure on her she may fall right into a gait. It takes a feel to get it right but if you should be able to find out quick if she will gait or not. I've ridden some in the past that took an expert to hold a gait (which Im not) and some that just fell right in it and after a while of riding would hold it.
     
    08-08-2012, 10:22 AM
  #8
Foal
Ky Mtn mare that won't gait

Yes! Walk walk walk walk walk -- Does she have a nice forward flatwalk? Just ride her at that -- the walk will help her time up as it is a 4 beat gait as well. I would walk her (not a slow sloppy dogwalk, but a forward walk) for a while before I would ask for any speed.

As for trotting, as others have said, no it will not hurt her physically. My horse Smudge (RMH) only trots at liberty - a big beautiful trot, but only gaits under saddle. He gaited the first time he was put under saddle, it isn't a taught gait. Most trotty horses make the best rackers. Smudge is a really square moving horse, always racky, never pacy.

I understand your falling in love with your mare's personality. The mountain horse temperament is what sets them apart from other gaited breeds (NOT saying that other gaited breeds are not good, just that the temperament has been bred FOR in the mountain horses for generations).

They are like having a big labrador retriever around, always 'wagging their tail', always wanting to please and be with their people.

I am a KMSHA examiner, if I can answer any particular questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.

BTW, since KMSHA books are wide open, I am curious to know your mare's lineage. If she is not KY Mtn top and bottom, she would have had to be certified before she registered. If she is Ky Mtn reg. By birth, she should indeed have the gait 'in her'. Good luck with her!

Jude in Ohio

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mason72    
start out walking her with a little rein pressure, click her and let out some rein as you go, let up on the rein pressure, if you find a smooth gait hold it, you can let it out some more but when it starts getting rough just apply some pressure to hold the gait. You can do it from a trot gently put a little pressure on her she may fall right into a gait. It takes a feel to get it right but if you should be able to find out quick if she will gait or not. I've ridden some in the past that took an expert to hold a gait (which Im not) and some that just fell right in it and after a while of riding would hold it.
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    08-11-2012, 07:03 AM
  #9
Foal
Thanks again for the great information. My mare has a beautiful forward flat walk. She moves right along. She also has a strong forward trot. I have been watching her in the pasture. She always trots, never gaits. I rode her when I bought her, but have been letting her rest for a couple of weeks. She was exhausted after shipping her here. I also need a new saddle before I ride her. My dressage saddles do not fit her at all. (A topic for another thread!)

With my very limited knowledge of mountain horse breeding, it seems like my mare should be able to gait. Her sire is Rocky Mountain (Silver Kid RMHA# 1998004922, by Kilburn's Chocolate Sundown) and her dam is Kentucky Mountain (Cherokee's Dandy Dream KMSH #20011096, by Cherokee Dream Catcher). I have her temporary registration but as far as I know she is not certified. I have been to the KMSA web site but have not yet figured out if I could still get her certified, since she is 7 years old. If it is still possible for her to be certified, I have been thinking of looking for a trainer to work on her gaits. The dealer bought her at an auction where the mare was on her way to a slaughter house in Canada. I plan to keep her forever, but I'm getting older and I could die or get sick and no one in my family knows anything about horses. I thought if she were certified she'd be worth more so she wouldn't end up going to an auction again.
     
    08-11-2012, 07:16 AM
  #10
Foal
I will need to practice this. I have ridden dressage for almost 30 years, with many years of classical dressage. I know how to collect a horse and how to ride soft and supple. What I don't know is how to cue for gaits or even what her gait should feel like. I have yet to find anyone in my area who owns a mountain horse and there are no trainers or instructors for gaited horses nearby. I live in western NY and have started looking in PA, OH and MA for somewhere to learn more. I may end up going to Kentucky just so I can ride some mountain horses so I know what they should feel like. Of course, a trip to Kentucky would be a dream vacation for me - lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mason72    
start out walking her with a little rein pressure, click her and let out some rein as you go, let up on the rein pressure, if you find a smooth gait hold it, you can let it out some more but when it starts getting rough just apply some pressure to hold the gait. You can do it from a trot gently put a little pressure on her she may fall right into a gait. It takes a feel to get it right but if you should be able to find out quick if she will gait or not. I've ridden some in the past that took an expert to hold a gait (which Im not) and some that just fell right in it and after a while of riding would hold it.
     

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