I am going to be going to look at two TWHs over the weekend and I have a totally stupid question. Do I really need a saddle that has a gaited tree, or can I ride them in a normal saddle?
I also want to ask about gaited bits...what exactly is a gaited bit and how does it differ from a regular bit?
I feel like I have a lot to learn!
Gaited saddles? No, it's not really neccessary. Just find you a saddle with plenty of extra shoulder room (that's really why they are different).
Bits? Choose what you want. TWH bits are made to swivel to the TWH's natural head bobbing (and you'll notice, if you ever see one in person that they DO).
Just take your time :)
So would like a dressage saddle because of the straighter cut be good? I know they are suppose to give better shoulder clearance for dressage horses...
The one horse rides in a snaffle, the other one rides in a hackamore, so I guess I won't really have to worry about bits.
I am pretty excited to go try these horses out!
Use whatever saddle makes you and your horse comfortable. Gaited saddles usually have a bit more flare in the front for the shoulder movement required for gaiting, and walkers usually have pretty wide shoulders, but every horse is different. As far as bits go, there are several different bits used for walkers, I would ask the current owners what they use, both in saddle and bit.
If you like a dressage saddle, it's up to you. Although it would work nice.
There's also a "cutback" or "Lane Fox" that is made especially for a gaited horse (english style), but a lot of riders find them uncomfortable. Me included. :P
Really, just find a saddle that you like, and that you think fits your horse ok. A gaited saddle is not *required* ;)
Just be sure you do not have the saddle sitting on the points of their shoulders as they will not be able to gait correctly. You should be able to slide your hands to the point of the shoulder and be sure that they have at least an inch of room between the tree and shoulder. It varies by horse so you may have to use some trial and error on where exactly to place the saddle.
Good Luck :)
But all are other gaited horses sit the saddle right in the spot you are describing.
I work with multiple gaited horses, so I have gotten really used to the trial and error of it. I can normally get it really close, but each horse is a little different in where they like it. My sister has a MFT adn she likes it a little closer to her shoulder. My former mount didn't want it anywhere close to his shoulder It had to be another finger back from where I described, but he had lots of shoulder action.
I've never had a special saddle for my gaited horse. Just make sure it fits and does not pinch. As for the bit, I've bought gaited bits, I've used regular. If you arent showing, I'm not sure it matters. My current walker is using a snaffle.
I have noticed they bob their heads sonny! that is funny, you dont' know how many people have said... "that horse is lame"... uh... Nope, it's gaited!
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