I prefer gaited myself.
This makes sense, thank you.Some the answer to your question has to do with the origins of modern horse breeds. The main use of horses until the advent of the automobile was pulling things, not riding. For a light horse pulling a carriage or cart, the preferred gait is a trot -- even, simple rhythm, can easily be matched by others in a team. The large majority of heavy draft work is done at a walking pace. Again, no advantage to gaitedness. Genetically, most horses used for riding today are a mix of draft genes (pony, cob, and heavy draft are all closely related), and desert breeds from northern Africa and Anatolia (Arabian, Akhal-Tekhe, Turkmen) where the canter is the preferred gait for covering a lot of ground. These latter horses do not have the gaitedness gene, as far as I know.
I love to trot and canter also. My gelding, who is 5 gaited, has the best canter I have ever ridden and it is his favorite gait. I still prefer tölting to trotting by a long shot, though.I like riding gaited horses from time to time. But for regular riding I enjoy trotting and cantering.
Five gaited Saddlebreds walk, trot, canter, and also slow gait and rack. I like the four beat slow gait for riding across country. It is like floating.I like riding gaited horses from time to time. But for regular riding I enjoy trotting and cantering.
It is true some gaited horses are five gaited. It's been rare that horses I've ridden easily and cleanly changed through multiple gaits. It seems many strongly prefer to either gait or trot, gait or canter.Five gaited Saddlebreds walk, trot, canter, and also slow gait and rack. I like the four beat slow gait for riding across country. It is like floating.
Three gaited Saddlebreds just walk trot and canter, but very smoothly
Gaited horses can vary a lot in smoothness. This Icelandic sounds like a rough ride compared to the standard for the breed as Icelandics are one of the smoothest horse breeds in the world. Also, the rider's balance and cues have a lot to do with the smoothness.I've never ridden a gaited horse. Hmm, actually I take that back, I rode an Icelandic in Iceland. We walked, trotted, and tolted. The guide had some really specific things I was supposed to do to keep him in a tolt, and I don't think I did it very well. I remember it as being like a trot but slightly smoother. Having said that, my Pony's trot is almost as smooth, so I ... don't know. I guess I'd like to try it again. Maybe with a different breed of gaited horse.