So i've posted here before about various problems and thanks to all your help, various online things, and other people IRL i've been able to successfully get my TWH Skyy to gait. He will do a flatwalk/dogwalk and a RW. I had to change bits to a walking horse bit from the snaffle but once I did he was like a different horse. Although he sometimes paces we have made a significant improvement, i correct him right away, and we are gaiting away.
Now onto my questions...I have been getting help with a nongaited horse trainer. She 'knows' gaited horses but is not a gaited trainer. I've also gotten help with a gaited trainer. There IS a difference as i'm sure people know. I am SO conflicted on what to do with my horse.
I never got him for the glide ride. It was just a perk (Although now it seems like it's more of an annoyance but you'll read why) . I honestly LOVED his temperament and did a lot of trail riding. I could NEVER ever get rid of him and I cannot afford another horse. His personality is the best and he literally has no bad vices. I'm not just saying that. He's the horse anyone can ride and you really form a strong bond with.
I want to get into showing but can I ONLY show in gaited classes? - He LOVES to jump and we have been working on his canter but it does need improvement. TWHs are said to be so versatile and my nongaited horse trainer says I can do gaited classes and let him pace in others - so I could still compete in other things....?
He is NOT a speed horse (barrels poles etc). - He is HUGE 17hh but amazing. As far as western and english disciplines can I ONLY do gaited stuff? I thought I could do a BUNCH of different things with him and the gaited trainer told me I cannot let him lope/canter and the pace is an inferior gait. He also said that he isn't built to do a rocking horse canter. I know all about the pace and how awful it is to ride, what it looks like, etc. BUT NONgaited horse lady says I can ride it for fun (though its not really fun to ride) and I could do jumping with it (I guess instead of a trot?)
I really dont' care what we do but i'd hate to limit myself to just gaited classes. (honestly I will probably never own a gaited horse after this because I feel so extremely discouraged on what I can and can't do and if I didn't love him to the moon and back i'd get another horse more for what i'm looking for) Gaited classes realllly don't tickle my fancy but it's been my DREAM to show. Never had a horse as a kid finally living the dream now. Can FINALLY show this year.....I don't' even care if I win. Just the experience...
At the open shows by me they have speed jumping and I would DIE to do that with him because he's so naturally talented at it. Jumps no problem - lady who owned him before did some jumping and I work with him free jumping just because he loves is to much. That would be my ulimate awesome thing. Not like hunter jumper or anything fancy. Just for fun jumping.
ALSO - he does perfect trot canter transitions on the ground when I free jump him. Obviously when I ride this is not the case and he often paces (nongaited trainer had me riding in the pace for a long while before I told her about how i wanted to work on his gait because I didn't wanna screw him up and started to doubt her)
So I guess after all that my questions are:
- Can he Canter? (He does but will it ruin him?)
- What classes besides gaited ones can I show him in?
- Can I ride him in the pace/let him pace under saddle/pace instead of trot? (not that I like him too)
- Could I ever compete for fun doing speed jumping (NOTHING jumping professionally like fun shows or around the barn)