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BarrelWannabe 11-03-2011 11:17 AM

I'm looking into gaited horses. Help! :)
Hi, I'm looking into getting some kind of gaited horse when my financial situation and hay prices/availabilty prove to be more stable.
I have no clue how to ride a gaited horse, or anything about them in general. I know they're horses and they should be ridden and treated as such, but are there tricks to get them to gait? Do I have to use a certian bit? My questions are endless.

Another endless and possible absent-minded question is what gaited breeds are not necessarily beginner friendly but inexperience forgiving?

I was thinking maybe a Walker/WalkerX or RMH?
I have no clue what would be the best choice other than it being a well trained, well broke, level headed horse.

If I've answered my own question by saying what I've said, please, don't hesitate to tell me. Haha.

Joe4d 11-03-2011 11:42 AM

well trained well broke level headed. Thats pretty much it. What are you going to do with the horse?
Paso finos are good if you trail ride with QH people, then can match the pace pretty wll. Walkers generally like to move out a bit faster.
I wouldnt want a cross as I dont want a trot showing through. Generally a decent Walker should slow gait and do his runwalk shuffle gait without much prodding, I ride in a simple short mild port western curb type bit. They dont need the big heavy Walking horse bit that many use. I guess if you are in a show ring and want a perfect head or step. I love my walker for what he was bred to do. Give a nice smooth mile eating trail ride with minimal imput.
Come on buddy, Walkon,,, gets him walking, "hep hep hep" , gets his gait, and YAH MULE ! and some wacks on the butt gets him in high gear. whoaaaaaa mule gets him back to a walk...
Hey dont blame me I learned to ride watching Yosemite Sam.

farmpony84 11-03-2011 12:14 PM

2 Attachment(s)
I favor the TWH's. I've had a few and they are really big hearted horses. They are what I like to refer as gentle giants, although they aren't all huge or anything.

I leased a gelding for a few years that was the safest beast I'd ever met. No kick, no bite, no buck. He gaited fast and slow. He happened to be a lazy walker. They never LOOK lazy because of the way they move but they aren't nearly as firey as they look when they are moving along. Most of them gait naturally and if you are just looking for a trail horse then you don't want that high step unnatural show look anyway.

I had another gelding that lived to be 38 years old. Again, no buck, no bite, not kick. He on the other hand wasn't a beginner safe horse because he liked to go and if you didn't have good coordination he was going to go and go and go and he would pick the pace. He liked fast! He could go slow and on zero rein contact but he liked to go. Never a spook and never said no.

Black (around 38)
Attachment 78376

I now have a mare. She's 6 with no real training. I am not a mare person but this little girl is a pure angel. She did kick a little when I got her but not out of meanness. It was out of not being handled much. If you went into her field and spooked her she popped a kick first then looked. She no longer does that, it only lasted a month until she got used to her new environment and she never made contact. She never says no and she rarely spooks. When she does, it's tiny. She is definely beginner safe for a teen or an adult and will be for a smaller child very soon. She's a lazy go and her favorite pace is slow.

Attachment 78375
With a walker you ride with your legs a little bit more forward then when you ride a non-gaited horse and they actually like a little bit preasure, they use it to shuffle. I use a walking horse bit but a very mild one although with my mare we've used french snaffles. If you want the correct head carriage though, I'd go with a gaited bit... They are cheap...

Look to spend about 1500-3500 depending on where you are. They don't actually go very cheap....

BarrelWannabe 11-03-2011 12:21 PM

Thanks guys!
I'm mostly just interested in trails and pleasure riding. I might try to show but that is probably years down the road.

Great to have conformation on the price of a walker. I saw several around that price and I kept thinking, "That can't be right!" haha. Guess it is.

Brighteyes 11-03-2011 07:21 PM

If you don't know how to ride a gaited horse, I would get a horse that is already well set in his gait. Gaited horses, when allowed to do whatever they please, will generally do a pace or step pace. The pace is as bumpy as a trot (and bad for the horse's backs); a step pace feels like driving over a bumpy road really fast. A well trained gaited horse will know what is expected of him and give you a proper gait without a lot of tomfoolery. :wink:

As far as "tricks" to get them to gait, it depends on what gait you want them to do.

I really like racking horses. Super fun ride and smooth as sugar. They tend to be a little hotter than most gaited breeds, however. TWH are lovely horses, but finding one that does a true running walk is a chore!

I have an SSH. She's a doll, as are most other SSHs. They're the sweetest horses in the world! They aren't very standardized as a breed, so they can proform all sorts of gaits and generally vary widely by bloodline. There are several "strains" of SSH.

DragonflyStables 11-03-2011 07:55 PM

Hello, New Here, Starting a Gaited Trail/Pleasure Horse Operation in New Jersey
Hi all. I have been training gaited horses for years now, but am newly moved to New Jersey. There are really only a few gaited horse trainers/providers here, and so, I am excited for the opportunity to bring them to the area. Is anyone here in New Jersey, or surrounding area? Any feedback on this would be so appreciated!
Thanks very much!

churumbeque 11-03-2011 07:57 PM

I would ask an experienced owner to show you how to tell when it is gaiting properly. I have one horse who gaits best with his head set a little lower and the other with his head up high. If you position their head wrong they can't gait as well.

Darrin 11-04-2011 10:52 PM

Personally, whatever breed you choose (TWH is the BEST!) take some lessons from a trainer of that breed. Depending on your experience level this can be a couple or a lot. Anyway, you'll pick up tips on how to get them to gait properly.

Also, I highly recommend reading, reading and doing some more reading on training the breed you choose (better be a TWH!). I can't tell you how many times I've run across a problem and suddenly a solution will float to the top of my brain that comes from something I've read.

DragonflyStables 12-21-2011 01:25 PM

In general, I prefer FoxTrotters Rockies, and "Old Blood" Walkers, for personality, and conformation. Rockies are definately beautiful, but carry the "pretty" price tag as well! I personally prefer a solid black or chestnut horse, I think they are classy! However, my favorite personal mount was a modern, show bred TWH! They are much like any other breed in the fact that they do each have personalities! There are some different things to keep in mind, such as seat and hand position, and saddle choice. I ride gaited horses in the gentlest bit I can. Some will gait just fine in a halter, some need a hackamore, and some need a little shank (I NEVER use harsh shanks or ports, no matter what!) The best thing to do, is to go and look at different horses. Keep a notebook with you, and take a picture of each horse you look at, along with what you did and did not like about each. After youve looked at a few different ones, see if you find yourself leaning torwards a certain breed, or just certain characteristics. Above all, a properly trained horse will make the best mount. You can tell a lot about the horse you are looking at, by the way of the person selling it! Hope this helps!

bellagris 12-21-2011 06:19 PM

If youre experience is minimal in the gaited world, I would suggest any gaited horse that is well trained in their gaits. If you are training it, most times (unless you get a miracle horse) you will want a trainer or someone with experience on the ground to make sure you get it right as it is so hard to tell if you dont know the gaits well. And honestly, if you buy a well trained horse, you may still benefit from having someone come give you some lessons so you can learn what is correct and how to ride them.

I have a TWH so don't know much about the other breeds, but I love this breed. Most of them are intelligent, willing to learn, and have good solid minds, like any breed though the lemons are out there. They do like to go and go fast once they learn they can, but it's a lot of fun once you get comfortable going on them to boogie on the trails.
I definitely wouldn't get a cross breed as the chances of you lucking out with a horse who gaits easily are minimal and you'll find the job of keeping them in gait trying as the conformation will probably conflict somewhere, especially for an inexperienced gaited horse rider.

My mare is in an Imus bit, she loves it and I am able to be very light in her mouth to get the results. There are many tricks to gaiting them, but mostly once you understand the gait and have ridden them some you'll see that it is all pretty basic when youre riding a well broke horse to get them back to their gait and is a simple correction.

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