Gaited horses : Do they gait in the pasture?
Some one at the barn I board at has a curly/freisien/missori fox trotter gelding. He gets ridden almost never, and only then at a walk. I have never seen him ridden at a trot, neither have his owners. They claim he is gaited. He doesnt gait in the pasture. When I told them I had never seen him gait, they replied "thats because he's never been taught".
Is it possible this horse is gaited and just has never been taught to do it, or am I correct in assuming that if he doesnt gait without a rider or in the pasture he can not be taught to do it?
Hm kind of both and neither.
I used to think gaited horses didn't gait in the field but it was just a weird thing I was seeing. The ones I observed would trot when with other horses and I almost always saw them with other horses. On their own they would gait. Under saddle they would gait and not trot.
So... It's very possible that he is gaited and just not doing it in the pasture. Gaiting is a genetic thing.
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".... am I correct in assuming that if he doesnt gait without a rider or in the pasture he can not be taught to do it?"
With the horse being a mix of the breeds mentioned, he may or may not naturally gait. There are gaited Curlies, but is my understanding they are a smaller percentage of all Curlies a nd Friesians aren't known for being a gaited breed. Floating regular gaits, yes, but not a foxtrot, running walk, or other traditional gaited gaits. The MFT in the horse may not be enough to bestow the fox trot..
That said, not all gaited breeds gait right off the bat. Some do from birth, but some need training to enhance the gait, or maturity to develop the muscles and movement for gaiting.
My horse, a Rocky Mountain, both gaits and trots freely in the pasture and some days he only trots while playing with his friends and you would swear he is not a gaited horse, however he only gaits under saddle and never trots.
Clear as mud, yah? :-P
I can't speak for other breeds and especially can't speak for this fella since I think his gaiting gene pool is probably so confused it just trots.
I have three Tennessee Walkers and they all perform their intermediate gait in the pasture.
I do have one TWH that will trot if he gets behind my Arab.
Some never do anything but gait out in the pasure, some never gait out there with most falling in the area of they do both depending on how the mood hits them. Pretty much all gait under saddle so long as they've been taught conditioned to gait.
My QH was boarded for a short time when I became her owner, and there was a Missouri Fox Trotter gelding there as well - daily I would see him gait just beautifully in his paddock all by himself along the fenceline with the other horses :)
My pony does not gait in the apsture, but I can feel it when i ride her. I need to have omeone video tape it to make sure I am not imagining it lol.
I have a foxtrotter mare and she frequently gaits out in the pasture; I have also seen her trot and canter when the herd is moving off quickly.
I have Peruvians and they gait from birth, in the pasture loose and under saddle. I think they are the most naturally gaited of the gaiting breeds. They have been bred to only gait for more than 450 years.
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