Gaited Horses Possibly?
So as soon as my beautiful Bo sells (:cry:) I plan on getting a nice just-for-fun/trail horse. Of course I've considered pretty much every breed, but I've been really curious about the gaited ones. I'm interested in the smooth ride and, of course, it just seems interesting. Since I haven't had one before, if I wanted one would I have to get with a trainer until I got the hang of it? Or are the cues easy enough that if I learned them I could work with it on my own? Also (if you reccomend I get one) what breed would be best? Thank you if you took the time to read this :)
So as soon as my beautiful Bo sells (:cry:) I plan on getting a nice just-for-fun/trail horse. Of course I've considered pretty much every breed, but I've been really curious about the gaited ones. I'm interested in the smooth ride and, of course, it just seems interesting.
Since I haven't had one before, if I wanted one would I have to get with a trainer until I got the hang of it?If you buy a gaited horse from someone that has owned them for a long time, and you feel you have enough riding experience in general, the Seller should be able to show you everything you need to know for fun and trails in an hour.
If you want to do some fun shows, then a trainer/instructor would be to your advantage:-)
Or are the cues easy enough that if I learned them I could work with it on my own? IMO, I don't see why not --- again if you feel you have enough riding experience in general.
Also (if you reccomend I get one) what breed would be best? All of the gaited breeds have great temperments. I have been riding Tennessee Walkers for 18 years, so my heart is with them - lol lol They are very forgiving of human error.
One thing to remember when looking at gaited horses:
The same intermediate gait can feel totally different on each horse within its breed because of their skeletal structure.
Two of my Walkers do the running walk. One is 16H, longer-backed, lanky & athletic built. The other one is around 15.1H short-coupled and almost Quarter Horse in build. When I bought the latter horse, I actually had to listen to his footfall to be sure he was doing what the 16H horse does - lol
My 21 yo Walker does the dreaded Stepping Pace. I say dreaded because that is a huge no-no with many Walking Horse folks.
Not only is his Stepping Pace every bit as smooth as the running walk, but I would have missed out on the horse of a lifetime when I bought him 18 years ago if I hadn't been "gait stupid".
He has never-ever made a mistake or a mis-step on the trails, in parades, riding down the state highway, riding up to heavy equipment that is running, or going eye-to-eye with a disgruntled Llama on an organized trail ride.
He has never bit, kicked, reared, or bucked and those rare times when he does shy, it's in place. I have always been able to crawl under him from side-to-side and front-to-back. Me thinks his smooth-as-silk Stepping Pace wasn't such a bad way to go:D
He is the horse in my avatar and was 16 when that was taken during lunch break on an all day ride.
Here's the link on this forum to my three Walkers; cursor down to my post on 10-26-08.
The first is Duke, the horse in my avatar. Duke is now 21 and metabolic . He is the Step-Pacer.
The other two both do the running walk, but just looking at how different their builds are, you can understand why the running walk feels so different on each of them.
My concluding comments would be to look at heart, work ethic, temperment, and of course the horse's general health.
TRIAL-ride the horse you are considering on the trails for at least 30 minutes out and 30 minutes back, even if that means trailering somewhere. Anyone I know that has a good trail horse for sale is more than willing to haul to a good trail and show off what that horse can do:-)
There are a many folks that think they have a trail horse because it's been ridden down the lane behind the barn, thru the woods for 15 minutes and back:?
If the horse's gait is smooth for YOU and you feel comfortable mentally and physically, then that's the horse to buy ---- regardless of which breed you end up with:-)
Thank you if you took the time to read this :) You are very welcome and I hope I have helped you a little bit:-)
Excellent information from walkin. I'm a little prejudiced I have Rocky/Kentucky Mountain horses and love them. The associations have great web sites full of information. They are the same horse just different associations
KMSHA Official Website
I've been fairly impressed with the Missouri fox trotters too.
I rode regular horses for years. I took one ride on a gaited horse and that was that. I never looked back :D
Check out this website for more information on gaited horses and gaited riding:
Gaited Horses, the site for the SMOOTH ride Enthusiast!
I can't thank you all enough! You were such a big help and now I know who to come to if I have any more questions about gaited horses :D
I would suggest a saddlebred - - many of them can do 5 gaits, so if you wanted to trot, you could trot, and if you wanted to rack, you could rack!
saddlebreds are known for "giving it all they've got" all the time :-)
I have a Missouri Fox Trotter and a Tennessee Walker. I actually still own a QH but to be honest that is my daughters horse. I will never ride anything but gaited horses.
The rides between the MFT and the TWH are COMPLETELY different, albeit VERY comfortable. You will have to ride a variety of gaited horses to see which one is more comfortable with you. You will not need any other training. The cues all mostly the same. (Actually cues differ from horse to horse anyway...so just consider it being just a new horse not a new breed)
Walkinthewalk has wonderful advice! Look at temperment first and foremost! Remember, you have to love the horse just as much as you love to Ride the horse! Incompatible personalities will end in disaster no matter how smooth or rough a horse is! (As you already know being a horse person that you are!!) Good luck and let us know if you have any questions! Between all of us, we can come up with a logical answer!
Don't forget about icelandic horses if you want a gaited horse.. they're small but sturdy and I love them. x) Worth a look at least, if you don't feel that a fuzzy pony sized horse is completey out of the question. :)
Just riding the gats is very easy if the horse have it and does it willingly, but I suppose more advanced stuff takes more knowledge.
Some standardbreds know stepping pace too and it can be very smooth, but at least here in sweden they're rarely trained with it and neither are their other gaits, so it might not be a good choice for you.
Theyre common in trail riding and for fun here, even tho not many of them have extra gaits (in sweden..I think it's the opposite in the US.. most of them have at least pace) and nobody here knows how to train it anyway, they only know about icelandics :P
Good luck on finding a good horse! :)
Just gonna add that I've learnt he does the rack, but a quite pacey rack - unless it has been better the past two months. I'll know tomorrow :)
Look into Gaited Bashkir Curlies. They also do MFT Curlies
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