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trailhorserider 02-21-2010 05:30 PM

Do you consider most gaited horses "hot?"
This is probably a stupid question, but I have been thinking about it lately. Everyone considers Arabians and Thoroughbreds to be "hot" breeds. But what about gaited horses?

I never considered them "hot" when I didn't know anything about them, but the more I know and interact with them, I now consider them "hot." And that's really not a bad thing, because I rather like hot horses. But I know of 3 Foxtrotters, 1 Walker, and then I bought a Foxtrotter myself last fall, and all of them have pretty hot, excitable temperments. Is that typical?

My new mare for instance, is a 15 yr old Foxtrotter. She is kind as can be, and I love her to death, but the more I get to know her, the more I am starting to think of her as a big Arabian (my first two horses were Arabians). She is kind, gentle, but has a lot of "go" and is easily excited by lots of things, dogs, birds flying out of bushes, cold windy days, etc. She's excitable going home. When she really gets excited she will stop and blow and snort at what alarms her. I figure that will be a good show when I finally start riding with my friends this summer! (Now I am riding alone).

The Foxtrotters and Walker I know are just very unlike my Mustang and Paint. More like Arabians. What do you think? Do I just know weird Foxtrotters and Walkers, or are they typically that way?

Guilherme 02-21-2010 06:49 PM

Good Lord No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

While some show lines in any breed might have been selected for "presence" your Mark I Mod 0 gaited horse was likely bred to be a "road horse" (or bred from stock that were "road horses"). A good road horse is forward (who wants a laggard critter when you've got to cover some miles?) but always easy to control (who wants to fight a horse for miles?). Even temperment is the hallmark of the "road horse." It's also the hallmark of the vast majority of North American gaited horses.


charlicata 02-21-2010 06:55 PM

I've been around several Walkers, and none of them would I consider "hot" in any way. One of the traits of the walkers is to be overall calm level headed horses.

Honeysuga 02-21-2010 07:02 PM

Hmm, maybe you could tell the hotness to Angel..she is always playing catch up to the other horses even at a walk. As a 3 year old I would expect her to be very energetic, but she is a placid serene little cow... She is a TWH BTW!

SmoothTrails 02-21-2010 07:10 PM

Hot? No, most gaited horses are known for being pretyt level headed. They are fast, but normally I would consider mine more calme than the other breeds around them. I have MFTs, SSHs, and TWHs. I've never thought of them as hot horses. Even when they go they are pretty controllable.

sandy2u1 02-21-2010 07:43 PM

My TWH is very easy going. He has a great temperament and is a great trail horse. He does do that snorting and blowing when he gets worried about something, but I'm glad he does because that tells me what he needs to walk up to and smell :D He is so used to having to walk up and smell things when he snorts and blows at them he has gotten to where he will start heading in that direction on his own :lol: I do know a girl that did have a TWH that is very "hot" but judging only from interacting with her I have a feeling it is because of the way she has been rode and treated. They would jump on her and ride on her full blast everywhere they took here. It got to the point that every time a riders booty hit the saddle, she took off at a run. Of course she became to much for them to handle and they got rid of her :shock:. I think a lot of them are calm, gentle, intelligent and aim to please.

CloudsMystique 02-21-2010 08:20 PM

Definitely not. Somebody told me a couple weeks ago that they thought gaited horses were hot and I was shocked. Most gaited breeds are known for being extremely level-headed and laid-back. Pasos are known to be hot, but other gaited breeds are considered to be some of the most laid-back breeds around!

I have a Paso and he's pretty hot. I have known countless ASBs, several MFTs, a few TWHs, a couple RMHs, and a couple Iceys. They have all been the same way - calm and relaxed, but not at all lazy.

hccumminssmoke 02-21-2010 08:27 PM

Not to much in the Mountain Horse breed...I mean I had one mare, green as a bean, 5 days she was under saddle, gaiting and certified...but we do have some hot horses, and a major factor in that comes of of the 'Tim' line from Tobe, a lot of those horses are pretty hot, I like it personally, but we dont breed anything out of that line, b/c thats not what a lot of people want...


trailhorserider 02-21-2010 09:45 PM

Gee, I guess that's an almost resounding "no," lol!

It could just be that the horses I've been around maybe aren't the best trained. I mean, my Foxtrotter mare (whom I LOVE, and she has a wonderful disposition) didn't even know how to sidepass or move off my leg when I got her. We've been working on that, and she's doing great! Also, she was used a bit as a rental horse (hard to believe with as much "go" as she has) and I think she is used to riding in groups. She goes out alone, but I think it makes her much more nervous. When I have ridden with other people, she has been pretty calm.

But it's not just my Foxtrotter. My neighbor who has two Foxtrotters and a Walker, and a neighbor next to her who has a Foxtrotter, they are all pretty excitable on the trail. Maybe the just aren't ridden enough. It is quite possible, I ride the most of anyone in my neighborhood. I find it kind of funny, because the Foxtrotter lady doesn't like Arabians, and I have owned two Arabians, and her Foxtrotters are as excitable (or more so) as any Arabian I have owned. As a matter of fact, I had one excitable Arabian, and one calm Arabian, while all the Foxtrotters I have met seemed pretty excitable.

Maybe they ship all the quirky ones out west!

Oh well, we are just the backyard trail riders out here in the woods, so maybe its not a breed characteristic afterall! :oops:

Guilherme.......what is a "Mark I Mod 0 gaited horse?" I've never heard of that term before.

Thanks guys!

Jolly Badger 02-22-2010 03:02 AM


No, I don't think it's their "natural" temperament.

I do know a few horses that have had not-so-great riders who pretty much just taught them to go-go-go on trail all the time. The end result is a horse that isn't "hot" but very nervous and with no real concept of moving at a relaxed, comfortable flat walk.

My boyfriend's sorrel TWH gelding was heading in that direction, thanks to a previous owner who was always pushing to go faster, and always in the front of the group. If the horse so much as stumbled, the old owner jerked the horse in the mouth and bumped his sides. By the time my boyfriend bought him, the gelding would have these meltdown-moments where he'd completely freeze, and he would work himself into a lather before he was even on the trail.

My boyfriend only rode the gelding as a "back up" when he went on riding/camping trips, to give his primary horse a break. He just didn't enjoy riding that horse because, as he put it, "it always turned into a battle." By some people's definitions, I guess he could have been considered "hot," but it was more of a learned-behavior issue than a temperament one.

Last summer, I ended up taking the horse for a couple of months (because I wanted a project) and put a lot of miles on him, mostly solo. As it turns out, there really isn't a mean or rank bone in his body. . .has a really good mind when he uses it. . .and he's a heck of a great trail horse once he learns how to relax.:D The gelding has since become "my" horse for our camping trips.

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