I met and rode an appy today. Very nice mare. We are going out on a trail ride on Monday. I'm hoping to get the Morgan out on Tues. Compare the two and see what I think about temperaments. I used to ride an Appy that was more like a calm headed Arab. TONS of go when you wanted it from her or a nice calm walk and no spook. She was my favorite! Couldn't really tell on this Appy today just in the arena. The owner said she has a nice big trot out on the trails as she really doesn't like the arena. So, we shall see. She did fine in the arena. All I had to do was kiss to her and she'd trot. But I was in her saddle and it was kind of big for me so it was hard to really judge. But the horse had a wonderful temperament and good manners and listens to leg cues etc...
I can vouch for the fact that there are some gaited horses out there that will jar your teeth. That's why it is always wise to ride the gait and bit and see what it is. The mare I owned was a grade Rocky with a long back which tells me she probably had a lot of walker in her. Big overstrike that literally threw you back and forth in the saddle. By the end of the day I felt like my back had been realigned.
The true morgan is supposed to be a docile, steady eddy type of trail horse. Willing to work, pull a cart and deliver its rider safely down the trail. There are also a few of them that are gaited. I rode a mare that was morgan QH and boy was she a smooth trot. A lot like some of those western pleasure mares that can trot and barely move you off the street so you only have mild posting to it. Wish I still had her.
Can't wait to hear how it goes on Tuesday. Remember each one is an individual. If you ride one that is not what you are looking for, look at another.
Also, someone mentioned Standardbreds. There are so many standardbred horses that are wonderful trail horses. As a breed they tend to be more level headed then some of the other "hot" breeds of horse. Best of luck in your search for the perfect riding partner.