A buddy for my gaited mare? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 09-16-2013, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Wild Wonderful West Virginia
Posts: 38
• Horses: 1
A buddy for my gaited mare?

Hey, all

So, we have my wonderful Rocky Mountain mare (named Grace), 6 y o. We live on a REMOTE mountain farm in WV with NO houses/horses in sight. Fall/winter is coming, and I've been thinking that we should get another horse, for several reasons. She came last March, so this is her first winter here.

1) It is not good for the horse to be alone, or so the Natural Horsemanship people seem to say. If they're pack animals and prey animals, clearly winter must be a scary time for lone horses on long, cold, dark nights? Myth or fact?

2) My husband (not really a horseman, but game for anything) would ride a second horse, as would my adult kids and (if gentle enough) my grandkids, on trail rides near our home, or in our ring (for lessons).

SO... the biggest question in my mind is "What breed to get?"

I love my Rockie, but the learning curve for gaited horses when I've got a walk/trot horse background has been steep. I'm getting the hang of it now, so I could do a second Rockie, but the thing is that they run small, and I'd need one that's at least 15.2 to carry Hubby, which narrows the field. It would be much easier for me to teach guests of all ages on a walk/trot horse... or so I think... maybe not. Hmmm.

However, is it wise to match (on trail rides) a gaited horse and a walk/trot horse? Gaited folks: will my Grace unlearn her gaits if paired with a walk/trot horse? Will they be unevenly matched in strides?

IF not a gaited horse, what breeds do people like for medium sized, gentle horses? Would a pony for the grandkids, and primarily as a companion to Grace be a good idea?

I know this isn't fair... I mean, who can tell me what to get, right? Choosing breeds is so personal. But there are issues here... like, will Grace be buddy spoiled if I get another horse, and unwilling to go out alone, or truly blessed to have a companion? And, if companion, should the new one be gaited or not? ETC!!! Eh, I thought it would be fun to talk about. So, give me your ideas!?



Last edited by Storybook Farm; 09-16-2013 at 07:00 PM.
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post #2 of 3 Old 09-16-2013, 09:00 PM
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: PA
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I can’t tell you which would be the right breed for buying another horse. Only researching and getting to know the different breeds will help with that, but I will say a Missouri Fox Trotter came to mind. A little bigger than the Rockies (I have a Rocky too) and overall good natured horses.
No matter what other breed you get, Gracie will not un-learn her gaits. They are born to gait and while some are stronger and/or better at it than others, she is a Rocky and it should come natural to her. My Rocky had lived with a large herd of mostly QH’s and it didn’t change him a bit. Promise
And of note, my horse trots sometimes too, but still gaits just fine.

Have you considered getting a donkey, mule, mini, or a pony now, then really taking your time in shopping for another horse? With three equines, the horses will always have a buddy with them at the barn while you take the other one out for a ride.

As for the stride… well again, that depends. My Rocky is a mellow mover and his singlefooting suits non-gaited horses just fine. Some of the more “forward” (or big motor) types of gaited movers can sometimes be a challenge with non-gaited horses on the trail, but it all depends on the horse.
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post #3 of 3 Old 09-17-2013, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Wild Wonderful West Virginia
Posts: 38
• Horses: 1
THANKS for those ideas and that information. VERY helpful! I like the idea about the pony; I had the same one.
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