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Does anyone else do speed events with their gaited horses?

I have a Paso Fino mare, good bloodlines and great movement but loves to go fast. So I entered her into a fun show at our barn and she seemed to love the pole bending and barrel racing! We are starting to introduce those classes into our breed shows and while I want to show her as a show horse, I'm thinking of focusing more on speed events now.
 

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You can use gaited horses for speed events just also to take time to keep on working on the gait also. The speed events ask for different muscles than gaiting and you don't want to lose the gait, that's the whole reason to have a gaited horse is to ride the glide.

Good luck and hope you both enjoy the new events!
 

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Definitely! :D

I do everything with my TWH, even things that make everyone else glare with disapproval. We jump, trail ride, barrel race, dabble in dressage, western pleasure, hunter hack, extreme cowboy races- just about anything we can do.

He's not going to excel at everything, but you'll never know until you try :)
 
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You can use gaited horses for speed events just also to take time to keep on working on the gait also. The speed events ask for different muscles than gaiting and you don't want to lose the gait, that's the whole reason to have a gaited horse is to ride the glide.

Good luck and hope you both enjoy the new events!
I consider it a myth that if you use "non-gait muscles" in a horst that you will somehow negatively impact the ability to gait. I was told when I bought my first Walker in 1987 that cantering is bad for Walkers as it will ruin gait. The "liberals" (those who didn't think cantering was bad) to me that you had to "fix the horse in gait" before you even thought using canter or you would "confuse" the horse. I've learned over time that both of these sets of advice were incorrect. They were repreating a myth.

If the horse is well bred and well trained then adding "speed" to its training will not adversely affect gait. Of course if you are inept in adding that speed you can cause negative consequences for the horse and some of them may be gait related. So, so it right and you should not have problem. :)

G.
 

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"I consider it a myth that if you use "non-gait muscles" in a horst that you will somehow negatively impact the ability to gait. I was told when I bought my first Walker in 1987 that cantering is bad for Walkers as it will ruin gait. The "liberals" (those who didn't think cantering was bad) to me that you had to "fix the horse in gait" before you even thought using canter or you would "confuse" the horse. I've learned over time that both of these sets of advice were incorrect. They were repreating a myth."

For the average gaited horse rider, it is NOT a myth, but rather reality. The average gaited rider is lucky to keep their horse gaiting, without any other distractions. To add gaming, cantering, etc to the mix can be done, IF you have the ability to accomplish them and still keep the horse's signature gait. Don't believe it, just watch the number of gaited horses that do nothing but walk on trail rides. It's not that they want to walk, but rather they don't want to be beat up with the trot or pace, and don't know how to fix it.
 

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I've got a buddy who's kid wins 4/5 barrel races (peewee class) on a little rocky mare. My gaited stuff is to "straight up" to make the turns.

Jim
 

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"I consider it a myth that if you use "non-gait muscles" in a horst that you will somehow negatively impact the ability to gait. I was told when I bought my first Walker in 1987 that cantering is bad for Walkers as it will ruin gait. The "liberals" (those who didn't think cantering was bad) to me that you had to "fix the horse in gait" before you even thought using canter or you would "confuse" the horse. I've learned over time that both of these sets of advice were incorrect. They were repreating a myth."

For the average gaited horse rider, it is NOT a myth, but rather reality. The average gaited rider is lucky to keep their horse gaiting, without any other distractions. To add gaming, cantering, etc to the mix can be done, IF you have the ability to accomplish them and still keep the horse's signature gait. Don't believe it, just watch the number of gaited horses that do nothing but walk on trail rides. It's not that they want to walk, but rather they don't want to be beat up with the trot or pace, and don't know how to fix it.
I suspect there's some truth in what you say. Still, if it's reality it's a human reality not horse reality. Human ineptitude is not an excuse to continue stories of myth and legend.

The gaited horse world is quite often mired in a "bunker mentality" because of comments like those in the video. That is truly unfortunate. What's worse is that professional trainers, breed associations, and people who should know better refuse to leave the "bunker." I suspect that all breeds, disciplines, and actitities have a few of these people. The gaited horse world is a swarm of them.

Gaited horses cannot do all the things that trotters do (and vice versa). Follow the "horses for courses" rule and you'll do much better than if you try to impose a philosphy.

G.
 

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My rocky mountain gelding likes to go fast and likes to do speed events. He's not as fast as the qh and paints on the straight aways but he turns quickly. If you ask him for more speed he'll canter and return to a nice gait when you slow him down. Only time he paces is when he wants to go and I'm holding him back. Get that out of his system and he's fine. More recently I got a TWH who was a parade and trail horse previously who has not cantered much. She can canter but doesn't seem to like to but we're working on that. I've never gotten anything that resembles a trot out of either one.
 

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"

For the average gaited horse rider, it is NOT a myth, but rather reality. The average gaited rider is lucky to keep their horse gaiting, without any other distractions. To add gaming, cantering, etc to the mix can be done, IF you have the ability to accomplish them and still keep the horse's signature gait. Don't believe it, just watch the number of gaited horses that do nothing but walk on trail rides. It's not that they want to walk, but rather they don't want to be beat up with the trot or pace, and don't know how to fix it.
I think it really depends on where you are- and who you ride with lol

There are gaited horse owners who don't know a thing about their horses and this happens a lot to them. There are also riders who know what they're doing and can do anything on their gaited's that others do with their QH's, arabians, non-gaited breeds, etc.

There are a lot of TWHs in the cowboy mounted shooting events and field trials around here- they run, turn, gait, and stop in the same breath. It's all in how you ride :)
 

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It is possible.

I speak from personal experience (I owned a Paso a few years ago -- He was a rescue mission) that they are nice horses, but they are not built for running hard and turning quick. They can do it, but if you ever want to be really competitive you'll need a quarter horse to run. But if you're just there to enjoy your lovely gaited horse and have fun, you won't have any issues.
 

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I am not saying gaited horses will be ruined if they do other gaits and other events, what I am saying is you also have to keep the gait in your repertoire or the muscles for those gaits get rusty. It is simple bio mechanics, muscles have memory and they need to be used in order to keep functioning.

I have an OTSTB trotter that also racks, foxtrots, canters, trots, rides and drives. We work on a variety of disciplines from gaited dressage to jumping to driving, I just also ask for gaiting and work on each individually.

The old adage "Use it or lose it" is correct, you got to use it to keep it.

I honestly think that riding gaited horses PROPERLY is much harder than riding a trotting horse. You really have to be in tune with them to have them gait properly, have rhythm, and impulse.
 

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I am not saying gaited horses will be ruined if they do other gaits and other events, what I am saying is you also have to keep the gait in your repertoire or the muscles for those gaits get rusty. It is simple bio mechanics, muscles have memory and they need to be used in order to keep functioning.

I have an OTSTB trotter that also racks, foxtrots, canters, trots, rides and drives. We work on a variety of disciplines from gaited dressage to jumping to driving, I just also ask for gaiting and work on each individually.

The old adage "Use it or lose it" is correct, you got to use it to keep it.

I honestly think that riding gaited horses PROPERLY is much harder than riding a trotting horse. You really have to be in tune with them to have them gait properly, have rhythm, and impulse.
If you're riding a breed where gait is genetic the "use it or lose it" argument doesn't work as regards gait itself; that's likely in the the DNA. Quality...endurance... style, yes all of these can be compromised if proper exercise is not maintained.

Comparing trotting and gaiting horses is not "apples vs. oranges" but rather more akin to "Coke vs 7UP" or "Smirnoff vs. Jack Daniels." There are similarities but also many and substantial differences. Riding one is not necessarily better than riding another (athough the suitability of one type of horse or the other for some task is another issue). Trying to determine which is more "difficult" to ride is ultimately an impossible task.

Intelligent mixing of gaits (walk, gait, canter) is good for both horse and rider. This is true even if the horse is primarily used for one type of event. It may or may not be good for filling up a trophy case or a bank account.

G.
 

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"I honestly think that riding gaited horses PROPERLY is much harder than riding a trotting horse. You really have to be in tune with them to have them gait properly, have rhythm, and impulse."

This is true if they are naturally gaited and you train them to do other gaits.

If you train a QH to do the foxtrot, and then another rider gets the QH and ques the QH to foxtrot, they may have trouble getting the QH to trot.
 

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I suspect there's some truth in what you say. Still, if it's reality it's a human reality not horse reality. Human ineptitude is not an excuse to continue stories of myth and legend.

The gaited horse world is quite often mired in a "bunker mentality" because of comments like those in the video. That is truly unfortunate. What's worse is that professional trainers, breed associations, and people who should know better refuse to leave the "bunker." I suspect that all breeds, disciplines, and actitities have a few of these people. The gaited horse world is a swarm of them.

Gaited horses cannot do all the things that trotters do (and vice versa). Follow the "horses for courses" rule and you'll do much better than if you try to impose a philosphy.

G.
It depends what breed, training, and the bloodlines. That is like saying bay horses can't jump. I have Icelandics and race them in both the gallop and tölt for fun all the time. They can do just about everything from barrel racing to show jumping to endurance, all while keeping their gait. They are a very naturally gaited breed, though.
 

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This thread is seven years old and “G” left this forum long ago.

Mods, I imagine you’re having a field day keeping up with these ancient threads o_Oo_O
 
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