Breaking a gait.
Right now I have a Blondy. He broke his pelvis but he is getting way better now.(: I am going to get a different horse named Turbo. The bad thing about him is that he is gated...I want a horse for Barrel Racing. My aunt that is going to buy me a horse, she told me that you can break a gate....is that true and how hard is it to break it? Is a gated horse a good idea for barrel racing. He's really fast.(:
Gaited horses, as a general rule of thumb, don't make great barrel horses. They are designed for long distance travel in a straight line, not bursts of speed and quick turns like you need in barrels.
Good horses can be found for a pittance these days, why not look for a breed that generally excels at barrels, like a quarter horse, paint, Appy, thoroughbred, something like that?
I agree with smrobs on this one, while gaited horses are some of the most versatile of the breeds and are quite athletic, depending on your level of competition you may want to look into something bred for the sport.
Gaited horses are road horses. They are very good at taking a rider from here to there in relative comfort. A good road horse can perform all three gaits, jump small obsticles, negotiate common obstructions, and be quiet in temperment while doing it. This is the core of that "versitility."
A small percentage have some "cow." A small percentage have other specific skills.
But if you want to be competitive in a specific discipline you'll ned a horse that is bred to that discipline. For barrel racing that means a QH with the right blood lines.
Teaching a gaited horse to trot can have a place in a training program. Expecting that horse to be competitive in a trotting oriented discipline is expecting too much.
Gaited horses are wonderful. But it is almost a sin to try to "ungait" one, in my humble opinion.
It's like taking a TB and asking it to do draft work, or taking a QH and asking it to "gait."
It would be better for you and the horse to just get the right horse for the job to begin with.
Puttzing around with barrels or games is different. But if you want to actually compete, please don't buy a gaited horse and try to ungait it. :-(
My friend bought a Fox Trotter they tried to make a rope horse out of. I have no idea why, she wasn't even built anything like a stock horse (some of them are, but this one wasn't). Needless to say that horse didn't work out for that purpose and my friend bought a lovely Fox Trotter for trail riding cheap.......wish I had gotten to her first! :-)
I'd say you're lucky to have an aunt that cares enough about you to buy you a horse.
I hope you said thank you.
As the old saying goes, "never look a gift horse in the mouth".
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