I never realized I had a 'gaited' horse and what that meant
So... I had this really abrupt awakening last month when my horse of the last 11 years protested his saddle fit with some head tossing while getting saddled. Needless to say, it was immediately taken off him. However, it sparked some research on my part - the end result of which was OMG, I have a gaited horse.
Until then, I did not understand just what that really meant :oops:. Most obviousely, I need a new saddle, but there is a whole lot more to it than that. My horse is registered Pinto, with half Arab half Saddlebred breeding. As I don't show, I never bothered with getting him triple registered, though he could have been (half Arab, and Nat Show Horse).
He is naturally five gaited (????) as he will rack at both the trot and the canter, though he has only done it at the canter twice. As a trail horse, who does medieval games and down the road driving part time, I have never given much work to his gaits. I can cue him into his rack at the trot, but it is a lot of work for him and he sweats up fast so we don't usually do it very long.
I have always had Arabs and only recogonized his rack as 25 years ago I had an AngloArab who had been trained to rack - though we called it a one-step. It seems to be the same movement...
What I am not sure about, is what to do about a saddle. I am too old to ride bareback and like to bring my daughter's filly out with us on trail, so I need a Western or Aussie Western with a horn to dally to. My first thought was to go to an Ortho Flex (used of course - if I can scronge that kind of money), but will it even fit? Is it worth my time to even look at the cheaper saddles that claim to be made for gaited horses?
My Circle Y trail saddle has been giving him dry spots at his shoulders for a while, but I did not have the funds to replace it. I dont' want to get another saddle only to have it not fit. I am thinking of making a cast of his back to drag around with me to look at saddles.
Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Soggy in Seattle
How long have you been using that saddle? My first thought after reading your post was "is the horse of an age where he could havehurt his back"? But then again dry spots dont have a whole lot to do with him, it's the saddle at that point. You can get a nice gaited aussie saddle fromstate line for about 500......
I bought this saddle for my horse when he was four, he will be turning 13 this year. So we have been using it for the last nine years. I had been just assuming that his age was changing the shape of his back - until I started researching how much more room gaited horses need in the shoulder area, which is where we have been getting dry spots. A tempory fix of using a second pad under the back 7/8ths of the saddle gave his shoulders enough freedom to get rid of 90% of the dry marks and gained us an extra year.
So, yes, while he could have also hurt his back recently, we still need a new saddle. There is going to be a horse chiropractor out at the stable later this month and Shaman is on the 'list' to be checked out, just in case.
I may do a lot of things with my horses, but asking them to be in pain is never one of them.
I am talking to someone who has offered up a possible trade as her saddle was too long for her horse. We will see how that goes.
LOL, there is also a very nice person who offered to sell me a saddle that looks great, but she did not leave me contact info and I am too new to this forum to send private messages. And since I read it, the forum has not eaten it so I can't even tell you who sent it to me... But, in case you read this, if the above does not work out, I get paid in two weeks and would love to talk more about the Lady saddle.
yadlim - who is goign riding in two hours even if it is barebak!
I would love to see pics of your horse because I don't want anyone going thru the saddle-fit issues I have had with the Wide Body guy. It's either a custom saddle or I continue to ride him bareback and hope he doesn't jig hard enough that I tipple right off thim:lol::lol:
Does anyone remember the Wide Body cartoons in the old old Western Horseman? I'm talking back in the sixties- lollollol
Yes, horse's bodies change with age, and their back will change. Mudpie is 6 and he is still changing, resulting in a constant need to change saddles. -.-
So I rode today .... sort of. My gelding has been sitting for three weeks to make sure his back recovered. I could not find any sore spots so started going through every saddle I own - no way any of them fit right.
Another boarder offered up her brand new saddle for me to try. It was less than a week old, but had a gaited tree. After fussing with it for half an hour I came to the absolute conculsion that it fit perfectly on one side but had a bad pinch point on the other. Checking the saddle off the horse, it's tree was croocked! However, it did prove to me what I want. On the one side he had complete freedom of movement and nice even pressure.
Giving up on that, I put a training curcingle (I spelled that wrong) and took him outside to the really cool mounting area where there is a shoot area for the horse and two foot wide blocks for the people to stand on to mount. The moment my but was on him he was in reverse at full speed. I asked him to turn in towards the barn thinking we would walk around the indoor arena for a bit, and he was off at a fully collected rack. When I asked for a whoa, I got a rack at a canter instead.
The barn manager was cleaning stalls and was quick to come out and catch him by the bridle as we came to a sort of halt at the closed gate to the arena. His feet could not hold still as I dismounted quickly... Oh he LOVED the full freedom of movement in his shoulders and was REALLY excited!!
Mental note... Shaman does not get to sit for three weeks and then have me try to ride bareback. He needs my daughter to take him for a gallop first!!! She was not riding today as she had too much homework.
Shaman worked for an hour on the lunge line instead of being ridden today. I am told that he looked fantastic and the barn manager wished she had had a camera going!
Sigh. I am going to take my still and sore (have not ridden bareback at faster than five minutes at a walk in about ten years...) body to bed.
yadlim the sore... who would post a pic, but have not figured out how to yet
I'd love to see vid of your horse racking. Never heard of a horse racking at the canter.
Just for reference, if I remember right from my saddlebred stablehand days, the 5 gaits are walk, running walk, trot, rack, canter. Not necessarily in that order.
Please correct me if I am wrong as it has been 8 or 9 years ago!
Pssst...minihorse, I looked it up on the saddlebred association website and you're correct.
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