Breeds for Trail Riding? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum

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post #21 of 120 Old 03-07-2012, 08:21 PM
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We own a TWH and an Icelandic, and both are very nice trail horses, we also have an arab that is an amazing trail horse (certified search and rescue), but my Morgan/QH cross out-walks them all, by a LOT, and is comfortable to ride while doing it!
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post #22 of 120 Old 03-07-2012, 08:35 PM
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Hunt, I second exactly what you just said. I've transitioned over to MFT. They are a great mountain horse. I've still got a Arab/Saddlebred gelding that will out travel any of my Foxtrotters. But not as smoothly.

My gaited horses can dog walk just as slow as any quarter horse out there, If I ask them to walk. Any rider should be able to rate the speed of their horse. I once had some friends suggest I shouldn't be invited on ride because my foxtrotters was so much faster than their quarter horses and that they didn't want to bounce the entire ride trying to keep up. I was reluctantly invited and I made sure I brought up the rear all day long to show that my horse would mind and that I could move at what ever speed they elected to ride at.
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post #23 of 120 Old 03-07-2012, 09:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Painted Horse View Post
My gaited horses can dog walk just as slow as any quarter horse out there, If I ask them to walk. Any rider should be able to rate the speed of their horse. I once had some friends suggest I shouldn't be invited on ride because my foxtrotters was so much faster than their quarter horses and that they didn't want to bounce the entire ride trying to keep up. I was reluctantly invited and I made sure I brought up the rear all day long to show that my horse would mind and that I could move at what ever speed they elected to ride at.

Agreed!

A good horse - regardless of breed - will be able (and willing) to go the speed you ask of them.

Personally, I am an ayrab person all the way. My mare can and has taken beginners around at a walk so slow I felt like we were going backwards. Hell, she's given pony rides to small children in the parking lot of the mall's Applebee's once when the truck broke down and we were waiting for repairs.

If you close off your search based just on breed, you may be missing out on your ideal horse.
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post #24 of 120 Old 03-07-2012, 09:30 PM
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the walker WTC thing,
A walkers trail gait is faster than a walk, but slower than a trot, So with the Walker out front. The person on the QH ends up, walk/ trot, walk trot, walk trot, gets really old..
The the walker's run walk is faster than a trot, up around 8-10. So if you let the trotter up front you keep running up on his butt. Some gaited horses do well at any speed. SOme like mine can't. He has a couple comfortable speeds he likes to get into.
Not sure about you a horse may be able to do a working trot for mile after mile, but danged if I'd want to be sitting in the saddle.
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post #25 of 120 Old 03-07-2012, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe4d View Post
the walker WTC thing,
A walkers trail gait is faster than a walk, but slower than a trot, So with the Walker out front. The person on the QH ends up, walk/ trot, walk trot, walk trot, gets really old..
Actually most horses - especially QHs - can do a slow jog quite well and it is similar in speed to what you call a "trail gait" on most TWHs.

Quote:
Some gaited horses do well at any speed. SOme like mine can't. He has a couple comfortable speeds he likes to get into.
Sounds like a training issue to me. Rode with quite a few gaited horses - TWHs, paso finos, spotted saddle, etc and never had a problem with either the gaited or the trotters being able to rate their speed unless it was one of the greener horses out that was still being trained.

The problem with a mixed group of gaited/trotters is that people actually have to ride their horses and pay attention. The rider can't just let their minds wander and let the horses pick the speed because the horse will fall into what is most comfortable for them. Its the rider job to ask the horse what speed to move at and keep them there.
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post #26 of 120 Old 03-07-2012, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe4d View Post
the walker WTC thing,
The the walker's run walk is faster than a trot, up around 8-10.
That's not faster than a working trot. My Appendix QH can easily keep a 9 mph trot mile after mile. There are several speeds within a trot (and any other gait for that matter). Don't confuse a real trot with that boring WP jog that's barely faster than a walk.

And Calypso flat out refuses to be left behind. She will match any horse speed for speed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe4d View Post
Not sure about you a horse may be able to do a working trot for mile after mile, but danged if I'd want to be sitting in the saddle.
A) When a horse is connected and working though his back, the working and medium trot is pretty easy to sit. Having a dressage trainer helps.

B) When done correctly on a horse that is connected and working through his back, rising the trot takes virtually no effort.
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Last edited by mildot; 03-07-2012 at 09:57 PM.
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post #27 of 120 Old 03-07-2012, 10:27 PM
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I agree with previous posters that I would not be quick to judge the breed and miss out on a good horse.

I grew up with MFTs and now have only Paints. I ride with mostly all QH and APHA and there is a vast difference in speed and gaits, even within our similar stock type horses. My main gelding that I ride will outwalk them all if I do not rate the ride. Which is ok with me, because he has learned that he goes the speed I want him to, not whatever he feels like doing. And on the other hand, there are horses we ride with that are slower than molasses if not nudged along.

I agree emphatically that you are responsible for your horses speed. I never let my horses decide to do anything that I didn't suggest. Or, atleast I try not to. :)

No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle. ~Winston Churchill
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post #28 of 120 Old 03-07-2012, 10:27 PM
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pretty happy sitting perfectly level and riding past trotters bouncing up and down or posting, Been there done that, got the t shirt. Thanks but no thanks.
I go down the trail to go down the trail , I see no reason not to let my horse pic a speed he's comfortable with and just relax and enjoy the sceneery. I'm not out there to fight a horse.
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post #29 of 120 Old 03-07-2012, 10:30 PM
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Last year I went on a girl's trip to McKinney Roughs. My buddies were riding an Arab mare and a Tennessee Walker gelding. We went quiet aways with the other two cantering and Biscuit was doing a long trot at darn near 12 mph according to my Garmin. And he held that for a long time. LOL He did tire out before they did but he wasn't in the shape he is in now.

He can trot extremely fast...my buddies were rolling that he was keeping up with their canters!

He can also jog super slow - he has several trot speeds and he is pretty darn smooth. I love to trot The Biscuit - it is a blast!

Enjoying my Garmin and mapping trails
Visit my trail riding blog at
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post #30 of 120 Old 03-07-2012, 10:33 PM
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Some of the best trail trail horses I've ever ridden were QHs. Quiet horses, generally. I like their slow, smooth jog for covering ground and a slow lope is fun to ride. The very heavily built ones tend to get sore and overheat on long riders when not conditioned more so than lighter horses.

As far as gaited horses, I've ridden a decent lot of SSH. It isn't really a breed; more a registery of horses that fit into a broad type. You see horses with TWH (a lot of show bred horses are spotted TWH), standardbred, old gaited mutt, gaited pony, fox trotter (sometimes), ect.

There are two kinds, broadly speaking: the "foundation" horses and the "show bred" horses. Foundation horses are usually the shorter, stouter, and calmer horses. They were bred to be trail horses. I've found that they tend to be more often trotty than pacey, but generally have a smooth gait that is easy to keep them in. They take naturally to the trails like ducks to water.

Show bred horses are a bit hotter. They're leaner built, taller. They tend to be pacey, since many are bred to gait well in weighted shoes. It takes a little gaited horse knowledge to keep them smooth. They are nice trail horses as well, but take a little time and always have more "go" than "whoa."


When selecting trail horses, it's a lot up to the particular horse. Horses don't read their papers and some are nothing like their kin (that being a good or bad thing!)
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