New to the gaiting world...
   

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New to the gaiting world...

This is a discussion on New to the gaiting world... within the Gaited Horses forums, part of the Horse Breeds category
  • Gait fox trotter walker
  • Gaited horses in nystate

 
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    03-03-2011, 10:59 AM
  #1
Weanling
New to the gaiting world...

... and kind of apprehensive about it.

I already have back and neck problems, despite not being that old. I've been doing jumping and dressage, but I'm wondering if I should listen to my body and do something that's easier on it. It's hard though, since my friends and people I associate with only do jumping and dressage. I don't really know anyone who rides gaited horses, so I haven't seen... what you can do with it. I just picture going on trail rides (which, unfortunately, I think is kind of boring).

I'm sure there has to be something wonderful about the sport and horses if people are doing it. So after a long introduction:

What do you like about gaited horses? What made you choose this sport? Which gaited breed is your favorite?
     
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    03-03-2011, 05:14 PM
  #2
Foal
I love my Missouri Foxtrotter, the gaits are so smooth, it does not jarr your back. I have seen gaited horses in a lot of parades. I just enjoy riding around my own property, it's a little hilly. I have actually never been on a trail ride with her. I went once up in NY state it was very nice riding through the woods. Other than that , I think they can do just about anything.
     
    03-03-2011, 05:34 PM
  #3
Showing
I have had a Missouri Fox and a Paso Fino in the way of gaited horses, both have been excellent and smooth mounts, both have been very calm. My Paso is VERY versatile. He rides Western, English, jumps, trail rides, drives, shows and wins in gaited classes, rides bareback and bridleless....They have both been very smooth horses.
     
    03-03-2011, 07:24 PM
  #4
Green Broke
I like gaited horses because they're FUN. I love the gaits; something else to do aside from posting trot. I like the technical challenges that come with gaits and I like learning about them. Gaited horses are a smooth ride, but those gaits are HARD to train into them. It takes incredible time and effort to train a gaited horse, because they don't read their papers. My mare has gaits across the board; she trots, paces, step paces, racks, and run walks. Sometimes it's hard to tell what she's doing. I want her to run walk, but a run walk and a stepped pace can be awful similar feeling.

Why I choose gaited horses...

I've always wanted to do endurance. So, I "should have" bought an Arab. Well, I have no problem with Arabs, but I do have a problem with blending in. I have a black sheep complex; I can't just be successful, I have to come up the dark horse and win. I like to surprise people. Winning is a ton more glorious if people thought you never would. Winning endurance on an Arab is typical. Winning on a gaited horse is not. It'll get you remembered. ;)

As far as breeds, if it gaits, I'll ride it.
     
    03-03-2011, 09:12 PM
  #5
Foal
I have a Missouri Fox Trotter and my daughter has a Standardbred.

What Do I Like About Gaited Horses:


I enjoy posting, (hate the sitting trot), but there's nothing like gaiting along with your friends when they're bouncing up and down but you get to feel like you're sitting in a slightly wiggly armchair! LOL! More than anything, our two gaited horses have wonderful personalities. I know "personality" isn't specific to any breed, per se, but that's what I love about mine. My Saxton is very respectful, a gentleman, he also loves to work with me learning new things. My daughter's mare Spur isn't the sharpest crayon in the box, but she's enthusiastic and very, very sweet! She gives kisses! It's really just about the horses, and the time spent with them more than any particular breed or horse sport for me, anyway. My non-horse friends think I'm nuts that my favorite time of day is when I'm down at the barn mucking. It's so nice to just be there with them while they're eating, to interact with them, and it's a beautiful, peaceful respite during the day.

What Made Me Choose This Sport?

To be honest, I don't care much for trail riding myself, though I do a bit of it b/c that's what *everyone* up here where I live does. My aversion to trail riding is probably inconsistent with riding gaited. LOL! I really like arena work a whole bunch. Mostly I just keep teaching Saxton new things in the arena. We started with the Clinton Anderson Groundwork for Respect exercises and moved on to Riding With Confidence I, and we're into RWC II now. That's really what I like to do... just keep learning new things, like to disengage the hindquarters, or two-track, or sidepass. I've also been teaching him to kneel, which is fun! You might enjoy the Clinton Anderson "Gaited Horses" DVD, just to have some exercises you can do with your gaited horse if you like that kind of thing.

I didn't really "choose" gaited. I fell into it. I'd never even heard of a gaited horse before! LOL! But my friend knew I was looking for a horse and hooked me up with her friend's Fox Trotter, and the rest is history.

Which Gaited Breed is Your Favorite:


So far, Missouri Fox Trotters and Standardbreds! LOL! But I've only ever met TWH's and some sort of grade racking horse that gait, and neither of them floated my boat a whole lot, but I didn't know them well, either. Standardbreds, by the way, aren't great for riding. They pace b/c they're bred for harness racing. But we drive her, and under saddle she trots, so my daughter riders her like a non-gaited horse. Just FYI.

As far as being competetive, gaited horses seem to do pretty well in endurance racing. I understand Fox Trotters were actually bred to cover hilly terrain over long distances.
     
    03-04-2011, 11:13 AM
  #6
Yearling
Actually, a lot of people are surprised at just how versatile gaited horses can be. I have heard of people competing with them in barrels, jumping, of course there are breed shows, lots of parades, poles, a friend of mine actually got to level 4 in Ladies Mounted Shooting on a Walker. The only reason she sold him is because he wasn't quite fast enough to keep progressing. I am seriously considering giving it a go with my RMH/Gaited Morgan!

I know, I know, a lot of gaited riders say you can never run a gaited horse. I've actually heard someone say if you run a TWH you'll break it's legs. NOT! They run in the field don't they? I admit, it may feel a bit different than cantering/galloping on a QH or TB but they most definitely can, will, and love to! I didn't start to work on cantering Jack until last summer because I wanted to make sure I didn't confuse him as to what cue means what gait. As long as they're well gaited and you make sure to give a specific cue for canter/gallop and just like any gait don't accept them falling out of it into a gait you're good to go, IMO.

Also, for the last few years there has been an upsurge in gaited dressage! Check out the three phase event in Kentucky!
     
    03-04-2011, 11:11 PM
  #7
Started
I have a super versatile Missouri Fox Trotter. I do halter, showmanship, gaited classes, reining, and trail (show trail as well as pleasure). Basically any discipline that doesn't judge a horse on its trot is open to gaited horses. That includes jumping. Gaited horses are usually not allowed to compete in regular dressage (there is gaited dressage but it's not very common) because the judge would have a very difficult time judging the horse's gait if they aren't familiar with it.

Missouri Fox Trotters tend to be easy horses to transition from non-gaited to gaited. Their gait is very similar to a trot, although smooth and four-beated.

When you buy your gaited horse, if you'd like to do jumping, pretend the horse is not gaited. Judge them the exact same way you would judge a TB you wanted to use for jumping. There are gaited horses out there that would make terrible jumpers, just as there are non-gaited horses that would make terrible jumpers. Just make sure the horse isn't too trotty or pacey and is "set in his gaits".

These are MFTs...

http://freereindesigns.com/images/Ph...MFT_Jumper.jpg
http://www.greattrailhorse.com/image...umping%209.jpg
http://www.greattrailhorse.com/image...6589-3-006.jpg
http://www.greattrailhorse.com/images/JAKS%204ft.jpg
http://www.greattrailhorse.com/image...029%20copy.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2281/...7df9a9f670.jpg

The palomino mare jumps four feet and is as fast as anything. She competes in show jumping, other english classes, gaming, and cutting. She wins every jumping class she goes into.





Another thing you might want to consider is a Saddlebred. Not all Saddlebreds are gaited, but all gaited Saddlebreds are trained to trot as well. So if you got a gaited Saddlebred, you could gait most of the time to help your back and neck, but could still compete in regular dressage classes.

Here are some Saddlebreds jumping:

http://friesiansincolor.homestead.com/pete.jpg
http://www.saddlebredsarefun.com/Ima...jump%20640.JPG
http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/h...red/JUMPER.GIF
http://www.americansaddlebredsportho..._20jumping.jpg


Here are some Saddlebreds in dressage:

http://www.cfh-dressage.com/images/img_0621_ldli.jpg
http://americansaddlebreddressage.co...rry_at_PN5.jpg
http://www.cfh-dressage.com/images/harry_passage_ml.jpg
http://www.phelpsphotos.com/copyrightPhotos/106983.jpg
http://www.americansaddlebredsportho...arry_20psg.jpg
http://www.cfh-dressage.com/images/mg-flag.jpg
     
    03-04-2011, 11:27 PM
  #8
Foal
That's awesome, Clouds Mystique! I grew up doing hunter/jumper and have wanted to get back into it. Not sure I really will, and don't know if Saxton has it in him. He was pretty clumsy over the cavaletti, but I haven't given him a chance. At any rate, I am *so* glad you shared!!!
     
    03-04-2011, 11:54 PM
  #9
Green Broke
My little Paso Fino mare loves to jump! We trail ride for the most part & after 3 year of riding her bitless, we are now using a mild snaffle, as she took advantage & has started bucking while running downhill to be w/her friends.Now she's fine & has fallen in love w/her new stablemate a "senior" Arab gelding. Godtta love all those quirks.
     
    03-05-2011, 12:42 AM
  #10
Yearling
What do I like....
The SMOOTHNESS! It's heaven for me! I have a bad back and bad knees, that gait is like riding on fluffy clouds of perfection. Paired with my Australian saddle, I'm in heaven.
I currently have two Missouri Fox Trotters, and a two year old TWHxMFT cross I'll be picking up soon. I have owned a TWH (two, actually) before and boy was he SMOOTH!
If you want something faster, go with a TWH. MFT's can gait out darned fast, but I've only met one (my dear Loki) that can either out gait or keep up with a TWH. I ride a butter smooth MFT at a friends place, last time we took her HUGELY fat broodmare out on a trail ride. That tonka-truck of a horse outpaced my gelding! I had to canter inbetween to catch up.

Oh and the canter...I just love it. Rocking, smooth and so much fun.

What made me choose it...

Before My Back and Knees I rode Arabians at the local riding stable. Then came My First Horse, General Patton, a 15 year old TWH gelding. The difference was incredible, I was HOOKED! I still rode non-gaited horses after that, but I've been a definite fan from that first gaited ride.

It does take some adjusting, going from gaited to non gaited again. I owned a QH mare for a time, and had to reteach myself to trot and post (many years had passed since I had ridden a trotting horse).
I only own one non-gaited horse, my dear pony Divo. We're going to have a lot of stirrupless lessons when he's finally undersaddle, and I have a lot of gym work to do before that.

Riding gaited is like riding a recliner with legs, it's so comfortable and easy to balance, you forget things like 'Bouncing Jackhammer of a Horse' (formerly Smoothest Lesson Horse They Own).
I rode an incredibly smooth QH on a trail ride once, a perfect example of what good breeding can accomplish. It was just lovely riding him, very comfortable, perfectly in tune. I would have taken him home if I could've.
My QH was a backyard bred number that threw smoothness out the window. Granted, she was a lovely filly, but it was a bit of a shock going from gaited to pogo stick.

Which gaited breed is my favorite...
I'll admit, I'm a wee bit biased. I like my Missouri Fox Trotters and Tennessee Walkers. I've owned an equal number of both, 2 1/2 Foxtrotters and 2 1/2 Walkers. Loki (my second) and Red (my fourth) horse are both Foxtrotters. General (my first) and Sammy (my fifth) where both Walkers. Squeaker, my newest, is half Foxtrotter, half Walker. It's the best of both worlds!

I ALWAYS suggest gaited, they are amazingly versatile. I've never met a gaited owner who has been unhappy with their gaited horse, especially those with pain issues. I've enjoyed every one I've ridden, and just about every one I've met. Theres a beautiful black across the road, pretty sure she's a TWH. I am so horribly tempted it's not even funny, utter sweetheart, big soft eyes....augh!

My five year old Red Man has beautiful form over jumps, and I may do some jumping with him after he's broke. He's also decided to clear the (admittedly low) dividing fence between the two pastures to rejoin his buddy Loki.

And don't fall for the 'DON'T CANTER THEM OR YOU'LL RUIN THE GAIT' hogwash! You should see my gaited's tearing around the pasture come spring time like a couple of mad fiends, pulling off moves that would make any bucking horse jealous. They also trot AND gait in the pasture, Loki's ALWAYS gaited undersaddle, but trots and gaits in the pasture. So strange
     

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