Originally Posted by bbsmfg3
"I consider it a myth that if you use "non-gait muscles" in a horst that you will somehow negatively impact the ability to gait. I was told when I bought my first Walker in 1987 that cantering is bad for Walkers as it will ruin gait. The "liberals" (those who didn't think cantering was bad) to me that you had to "fix the horse in gait" before you even thought using canter or you would "confuse" the horse. I've learned over time that both of these sets of advice were incorrect. They were repreating a myth."
For the average gaited horse rider, it is NOT a myth, but rather reality. The average gaited rider is lucky to keep their horse gaiting, without any other distractions. To add gaming, cantering, etc to the mix can be done, IF you have the ability to accomplish them and still keep the horse's signature gait. Don't believe it, just watch the number of gaited horses that do nothing but walk on trail rides. It's not that they want to walk, but rather they don't want to be beat up with the trot or pace, and don't know how to fix it.
I suspect there's some truth in what you say. Still, if it's reality it's a human reality not horse reality. Human ineptitude is not an excuse to continue stories of myth and legend.
The gaited horse world is quite often mired in a "bunker mentality" because of comments like those in the video. That is truly unfortunate. What's worse is that professional trainers, breed associations, and people who should know better refuse to leave the "bunker." I suspect that all breeds, disciplines, and actitities have a few of these people. The gaited horse world is a swarm of them.
Gaited horses cannot do all the things that trotters do (and vice versa). Follow the "horses for courses" rule and you'll do much better than if you try to impose a philosphy.