What is a gaited horse? - Page 2

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What is a gaited horse?

This is a discussion on What is a gaited horse? within the Gaited Horses forums, part of the Horse Breeds category
  • How train standardbreds to singlefoot
  • Standardbred camel

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    12-12-2012, 09:07 AM
Green Broke
The owner says he is a standardbred which makes the color even more unusual. I don't think the USTA even uses any paint/pinto colors on their papers.

I had a standardbred that did the running walk and would rack but she was already older when I got her so I didn't open her up often. I recognized the running walk but her high speed gear I had no idea what to call it for years. Gaited horses are such a rare sighting up here.

And sometimes the old girl just wanted to go so I let her. It was a blast!
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    12-12-2012, 12:37 PM
A pacing standardbred is a gaited horse whereas, a trotting one is not.

And, you will get some that will disagree, but I've found most of the standardbreds can be very fast, but usually lack a good slow gait. That's why most of the videos of them show them flying low.
    12-12-2012, 07:06 PM
Green Broke
I'm talking about the color. He is very unusually colored for a standardbred. Greys are rare and I don't believe the USTA has anything to designate a paint/pinto marking. I know on older papers most were just labeled brown rather than bay or chestnut. I think they seperate the two colors now but don't break it down much more. My mares papers said brown. She was a dark seal brown bay with a couple white marks on her feet. Nearly black but not quite. The stallion I had here for a short time was just brown on his papers too.

Most people here try to train the gait out of standardbreds. I was the heretic that encouraged it. I even watched one dismissed from a local show because the judge thought the mare was lame. She wasn't, she gaited rather than trotted. I even have had people ask me if my mare has something wrong with her legs.
    12-12-2012, 07:13 PM
Its my understanding in breeding the singlefoot horse. That you use a single foot stud, (which is cross bred) over a pure standard bred mare.

Now if the stud is pacey. You breed him over a trotting standardbred mare. If the stud is on the trotty side, you breed him to a paceing mare. You hope it balances out the foal.

Alot of the show singlefooters have a rough gait. Almost ready to break. Break into a pace. And for some reason this is desireable in show stock. Whereas for just riding, you want a much smoother gaited horse. If watching the videos. Some of the horses are a little rougher riding or pacey looking.......and some are smooth as silk. No matter how fast they are racking

Im just repeating what I was told couple wks ago. Right or wrong.
    12-12-2012, 07:45 PM
Green Broke
The walker mare I have now is what you might call show bred. She is very pacey. We are working on it ever so slowly. If it wasn't for the darn thing people call a job I have to go to most days it would go quicker. My big priority is a sensible trail horse rather than flash. I get the distinct impression she was a brood mare broken quick for sale. She is quiet but doesn't know much.

From riding former race trained STB's I will tell you that the pace does smooth out when you get to racing speeds. That side to side roll will jar your brains out for a length or two then it levels out.
    12-12-2012, 07:47 PM
Im curious as to what your doing exactly to work that pace outa her?
    12-12-2012, 07:59 PM
Green Broke
Nothing more than a lot of walking and running walk. When she starts pacing I slow her down and get her back into the right gear. I also have a lot of hills here, more hill than flat.

I did the same thing with my old mare. She was race trained and wanted to pace at speed. I wouldn't let her do it much because of her age and she kind of fell into the run walk and rack as a horsey protest. When she did it I encouraged it. Made her hold the gait. Eventually she would just fall into it and go on a loose rein.
    12-13-2012, 01:15 AM
Originally Posted by SueNH    
Nothing more than a lot of walking and running walk. When she starts pacing I slow her down and get her back into the right gear. I also have a lot of hills here, more hill than flat.

I did the same thing with my old mare. She was race trained and wanted to pace at speed. I wouldn't let her do it much because of her age and she kind of fell into the run walk and rack as a horsey protest. When she did it I encouraged it. Made her hold the gait. Eventually she would just fall into it and go on a loose rein.
Yup, that's pretty much how to do it!

Our second Walker was a three year old Sir Winston gelding that paced like a camel. After doing all the wrong things (heavy shoes, messing with foot angles, 9" shank bit, etc.) I got some "education" and trashed all the things the "experts" were telling me.

Our program was to put the old boy in snaffle, take up the contact, and then start at the dog walk. Then ask for just a little bit more with the leg. As soon as he started to pace then back off to a correct form and keep him there for a few days. Then ask a again for a small amount of increased speed with the leg. As soon as the pace appeared, back off to that correct form. Sessions were seldom more than 45 min. And we worked five days out of seven.

This "stair step" worked very well. It took almost 90 days of work to get a decent running walk out of him but we did it. This program also has the advantage of really "legging up" a horse. Many horses don't gait well because they are weak and unfit.

One thing I didn't do then, but would do now, is add the canter to program. This is a very good exercise to build wind and it "breaks up" the pace by requiring the horse to use himself in a different fashion. We're talking about once or twice around the ring in each direction, here. Don't get too enthusiastic.

This is really a slow process but it pays huge dividends.

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    12-13-2012, 07:38 AM
Green Broke
Mine doesn't seem to understand leg or seat, direct reins only so I spend time working on that. Since I'm alone here 999% of the time and riding alone in the middle of nowhere I'm more concerned with getting a reliable trail horse. Worrying about her gait comes when there is nothing else going on. Both gait and reliability come with miles so I'm not that worried about it. She seems to have a good head on her shoulders. She hasn't seriously spooked at furry woodland creatures. Needs more work with the troll under the river bridge but it will come.
    12-13-2012, 10:20 AM
The "stair step" approach works in an arena or on a trail. The arena will bring on progress faster as you can concentrate the horse's attention. Indeed, some good ground work assists in the process as you can put the horse's attention on YOU and nothing else. If the horse is paying attention to YOU it doesn't have time to worry about furry creatures, bridge trolls, etc.

A lot of folks want "just a good trail horse." They have to ask themselves, "What is a good trail horse? What are the skill sets that such a horse should have? What's the most efficient way build them?"

This is where the pencil and yellow pad come into play. Write down your goals and the skills you think you need. Then share them with someone more experienced. That will help you "vet" the list to ensure that you've not missed anything and that your approach is the most suitable for your location, skill level, etc.

Good luck in your program.


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