Best horse breed for back problems? Gaited Horses? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-18-2012, 03:41 AM Thread Starter
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Best horse breed for back problems? Gaited Horses?

I was wondering what breed of horse would be easiest to ride for someone with bad back issues.

I'm thinking gaited horses, but I don't totally understand. Is a gaited horse a smooth ride or does it just means that it does a unique gait? Also, can any of these horses be used for sports?

The horse would be my mothers, but I still want to compete, since I'll be doing all the care for it :)

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post #2 of 7 Old 07-18-2012, 09:42 AM
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Gaited Horses are definitely smoother to ride. But because of that motion, you give up some of the performance that other breeds offer.

I own a Saddlebred/Arab that I ride in endurance and 3 foxtrotters. I love riding the foxtrotters, Smooth riding good minded horses. But they can not match the speed of my Saddlebred/Arab.

And while Foxtrotters can do a lot of things very well. There is a reason, that you don't see them at world finals level of Roping, cutting, barrel racing, or quarter mile race tracks, Their ability for a smooth ride cost them in the performance world.

This is true for most gaited horses. They can participate in any performance event. But you will always be slightly handicapped when compared to horses bred for speed.
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post #3 of 7 Old 07-18-2012, 09:23 PM
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I doubt your mother is interested in barrel racing is she?

A good smooth gaited horse in many cases can extend the time a person with back problems can ride.

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post #4 of 7 Old 07-18-2012, 11:07 PM
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They just aren't built for the sharp turns and speed necessary in poles, barrels, flags, etc... Doesn't mean they can't do it in any way, but that's not their niche and they typically aren't able to be top competitors. Though I do know a girl that competed in mounted shooting with her TWH, Zombie! You can do other things with them though. Endurance, obstacles, gaited dressage, and of course IMO they're the ultimate trail horses. My mountain horse gelding and I always outshine my boyfriend and his friends on their qh's and paint:). I think you need to go look at a few and try them out, I absolutely love my boys gait!!
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-19-2012, 12:36 AM
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You just can't beat breeds that have specialized in a sport as they've been bred to do it for generations. Gaited horses have been bred to have smooth gaits and temperment. Now they are pretty darn good all around horses but as already said, you wont be top of your class on one. So you can rope, barrel race, jump, and whatever else you like to do on your horses.

As a tip, different gaits have different motions. That means, depending on how your moms back hurts, one gaited breed will provide a good ride while another might agravate her back. Try different breeds to see which works best for her.
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-19-2012, 12:54 AM
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I had a TWH gelding loved it! smooth and easy! i did barrels and poles and i won classes on him passing horses that went to pro training and i trained him when i was 10. i was always first, second, third or fourth in classes. and he was faster then most horses there. my mom loved his gait and he was so trusting over ice, water, in the woods, feilds, anywhere really.
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post #7 of 7 Old 07-19-2012, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by HorsesRForever View Post
Is a gaited horse a smooth ride or does it just means that it does a unique gait?
A true gaited horse is very smooth. You just sit there. I know several people who only got gaited horses because of the back problems, so yes, I believe something like TWH (that are also very gentle usually) is a good choice.

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