Which gaited horse to get?
I've been riding only peruvian pasos, because of their smooth gait, and no bounce trotting.. ( I ride western) I know there are other gaited horses, but Im told the pasos are the smoothest. Might a larger horse be even smoother on my back? I'm 6 ft 215 # and 53, so I want smoothness. any other horses I should consider? I am in so. CA
Peruvian pasos are my favorite gaited horses. But a gaited Morgan would be my second favorite. I would also maybe consider Tennessee walkers. Maybe.
Tennessee Walking Horses are available in much larger sizes than many of the gaited breeds.
Some of the smoothest horses I've ridden are little gaited ponies. Around 13.2 hands. But I'm a miniature person at five feet tall, so whatever. :lol:
TWH range from 14 hands to 17 hands. You can find some huge ones. The older lines have nice bone to them that is great for supporting heavier weights.
If you seek smoothness, just ride as many horses as you can and choose which one of smoothest. Just like trotting horses: you'll see 10 horses with 10 different quality trots. 10 gaited horses will all have different quality gaits.
Have you ever tried a Rocky/Kentucky Mountain Horse? They are very smooth and have a wonderful temperament.
I can only speak for the gaited breeds that I've ridden. Peruvian Pasos and regular Pasos are awesome. TWHs have great personalities and a smooth gait.
What kind of riding are you hoping to do?
You don't say where you are. That can make a BIG difference in what will be reasonably available.
What do you want to do with the horse? This question, beyond all others, should drive your selection of both breed and individual.
If you have a single focus (smoothness) the the Peruvian is a very good choice. If you want a wider range of ability then I'd look at the Mangalarga Marchador. They are QHs but with an easy way of going and a more even temperment.
Good luck in your search.
We've have tried them all. IMHO, the TWH is the worst and the racking horse the best, as far as being smooth and easy on the back, is concerned, with all of the others falling in between.
If they are naturally gaited or have been trained to gait, makes a huge difference.
youve been riding show walkers, not the big bodied real walkers. If he has narrow shoulders avoid like the plague if you are lookign for a smooth comfortable trail horse
My narrow built, Generator/show bred TWH has that champagne-smooth running walk people lust after and pay big bucks for. He is 16.1H and my toughest trail horse when the trails challenge him.
Even though he inherited a less-than-grade 1-club hoof from "The Old Man", I have only put shoes on him a handful of times in the 16+ years he's been with me. He just turned 19.
He has his personality quirks but he is extremely smooth to ride. I've had him on some narrow, drop off trails in Southern California that a lot of horses would have panicked about.
The guy in my avatar was also bred to be a Performance Walker and didn't make. He performs a stepping pace every bit as smooth as the 19 yr old, above, but it's obvious he is a broad built horse. He was 16 in the avatar, he will 26 in six weeks.
The really stocky 15.3H pleasure bred TWH will prefers to rack but he is also pretty smooth.
I lost a 5th TWH in a pasture accident, that was also show-bred and didn't "make". He was a strong Pusher horse. He had the most beautiful head bob at a running walk that anyone could ask for. He was just starting to make a great trail horse but I lost him as coming 4 yr old.
I have never had one bit of problem with my Walking Horses gaiting and being smooth- I must be one of the lucky ones, I guess.
If I were still trail riding, I would take a chance on a show-bred TWH any day but I've owned TWH's for 22 years and have been training my own horses for 54 years.
To the OP, as someone else commented, you can ride ten horses of the same breed and they will all feel a bit different -- body structure makes a huge difference in how the horse feels.
While there are shorter breeds that could carry your stature, being 6 feet tall, you need a horse that doesn't make you like a "elephant on a postage stamp" to coin one of my granddad's phrases:-)
My thought would be to not get attracted to a really round horse with no withers because saddles have problems staying on horses built like that.
At six feet tall, I would not want to see you on anything shorter than 15.2H and that depends on how the horse is built.
Missouri Foxtrotter might be another gaited horse for consideration. I personally am not comfortable with their gait but that doesn't mean you wouldn't be:-)
About the Missouri Fox Trotter Horse Breed
If you're in SoCal, I honestly don't know how common Foxtrotters are out there, or gaited Morgans, as someone has mentioned.
You might stand a better chance finding a Tennessee Walker or even a gaited Appaloosa (a/k/a Indian Shuffler).
Hope this helps some:-)
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