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Elizabeth Bowers 07-24-2013 06:47 PM

Showing gaited horses in speed events?
Hello all!

My new Mountain Pleasure horse mare seems to have a lot of go, whether out on a trail or in pasture. She truly loves to work. So i'v been considering showing her at some local shows. Honestly Mountain horses are NOT very popular in my area at all, if there even heard of.
So i was considering showing her in a few speed events, like barrels or key hole or something along those lines. I wanted to ask how well gaited horses do in speed events? I'm not going out to rack up the points or anything, just for fun and see what she thinks of it. I have noticed she does good around cattle, we'll see where it goes. :-) She has a lot of potential, i'm just not sure what to do with it all LOL.
Thanks! :D

Saddlebag 07-24-2013 07:35 PM

If I tried barrel racing my twh they'd have to wait 5 seconds to start the timer just to give him a sporting chance.

Guilherme 07-25-2013 05:52 AM

You don't really "show" a horse in a speed event. The competition is more against the clock than other horses and the judging is pretty much objective (as opposed to somebody standing in the center of a ring and saying "I like y'all best in the following order...").

If you think you''ve got a fast horse then do it! You'll quickly find out if your horse is fast enough. :wink:


Macslady 07-25-2013 06:45 AM

First start working on her canter, I find what these horses need to learn is how to go into the canter and not crossfire. Once you get that down start working on the speed. You may not be able to do much this year, but by next year she should have it down. It's just basically helping to teach them how to. There are some who use their mountain horse for sorting cattle, team penning and several that use them in poles and barrels. It's just a matter of training. I have also read this actually helps smooth and improve their gate. Good luck and have fun!

I had to add this, the more I think about it I would start this year going to the shows and get her used to the barrels and poles at some fun shows. So what if you don't win big, it's the fun of doing it.

david in md 07-25-2013 05:15 PM

Not an expert but in a fun show last year my Rocky Mountain ridden by my 13 yo niece beat the riding instructor's barrel trained paint ridden by a more experienced kid so it can be done. We seem to have the speed down but often don't get the turns as tight as they should be. Have fun with her.

beau159 07-25-2013 05:33 PM

It it's just for fun, and its a local fun show, do it! Who cares how fast you go, because its just for fun!
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toto 07-25-2013 05:41 PM

I used to barrel race a paso fino in open class- he won me money every time i showed him.

Youll have fun learn a lot about speed events and meet new friends.. yes! Definitely go for it!

Endiku 07-25-2013 06:14 PM

I've taken the mare that I ride (8 year old TWH) the local rodeo multiple times and I think its a blast. We had to do a lot of prep work to get her canter and hand gallop to a respectable looking, balanced gait, and it took a couple of tries to get her to open up and really use herself during speed events but she loves it! I've never won much money with her but she definitely wasn't the slowest horse out there either. I've done keyhole, barrels, sorting, and team penning with her.

If you and your horse like it, go for it!

SueNH 07-26-2013 09:34 AM

Go have fun!

I watched a big belgian run barrels once. He didn't make a spectacular time but standing near the finish line was a complete thrill. The ground shook as he ran home.

Elizabeth Bowers 07-26-2013 08:31 PM

WOW, Thanks everyone!! I'll definitely give it a shot then! I know she'll need some work first, but i think it will be fun.
Thanks! :-)

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