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what do you guys think of gaited horses?

Discussion in 'Horses - all breeds / types' started by seaecho, Mar 26, 2005.

  1. seaecho

    seaecho New Member

    Be honest - my horse is now 19 and retired from riding because of hock arthritis. (His hindquarters give out, but he's sound when not bearing weight) so he's now a pasture potato. Anyway, I miss riding so much that I can hardly stand it. Haven't brought up getting another horse to hubby yet (don't have the nerve - afraid he'll say no, and would be heartbroken!) Anyway, I am going to be 50 this summer, and after riding a bouncy, rough trotting Arab for 14 years, I thought a gaited horse might be better for me. The kind I can just jump on and go for a ride without longing, etc. to get the "buck" out. My gelding is like that, and he'll be a tough act to follow. Anyone here have a gaited horse? I had a bad experience with a Peruvian Paso once, so I'd rather stay away from them. I need something that is as close to bomb proof as possible, a people lover and very gentle, but is still fun to ride (has get up and go with little encouragement). I've looked at TWHs, Missouri Foxtrotters and Rocky Mountains online. Haven't seen any in person yet. The one thing I want to stay way away from is anything crazy or that gets wound up and is difficult to control. I want a calm, stable horse with great ground manners. Any breed suggestions? I know most of this depends on the level of training, but I want to get as much info as possible before I start looking because I don't know much at all about gaited breeds. The last thing I want is a horse with an attitude problem! Thanks!
  2. Shineillusion

    Shineillusion New Member

    I had a Walker that I absolutely loved. He was a wonderful, calm, easy to handle horse from the day he was foaled. I got him after I injured my back, and just couldn't handle the regular gaits. If you look into Walkers, stay away from park horses and go with the plantation walker lines. The horses that can still go from point A to point B in a hurry, and not rattle your teeth in the process.

    You don't want a horse that has ever worn knocker boots, ankle rattlers, etc. Their action will be too high for pleasure riding, even without all the contraptions. They can also tend to have evil dispositions if they've been shown in park classes. And no wonder. Their feet and ankles hurt.

    Walkers tend to have a lot of 'snap, crackle and pop' in their movements. Lots of head bobbing, tail swishing, and mouth snapping when their on the move. Don't let all that action fool you. It's just the way they move, not an indication of their temperment. And as for their ride; They're like sitting in a rocking chair, and they can go all day and actually get you somewhere.
  3. seaecho

    seaecho New Member

    Thanks for the response, Shine! I did ride several Walkers years ago when I was in the market for my current horse. Wow! I had no idea just how smooth a gaited horse can be! I was just blown away. But the ones I tried were all very hot and firey, and I felt as if they were going to explode on me at any second. I felt they were too much horse for me. But I've heard that some are much more laid back. Plantation? OK, that's what I'll look for. Thanks so much, and I hope I find that special one!
  4. Shineillusion

    Shineillusion New Member

    The horses you rode were probably from show lines; park horses. They are indeed a lot of horse. It's sort of like the temperment difference you'd see in racing quarter horses as opposed to working cow ponies.

    The plantation Walkers are those that are bred to be pleasant riding horses, rather than showy park horses. Their movement is less exaggerated, their temperments are more stable. They come closer to the original Tennessee Walking Horse; an animal the plantaion owner or overseer could ride all day to inspect the work being done on a huge tract of land. They can also be harder to find, but worth the effort to locate.
  5. horse_child

    horse_child New Member

    Wow this is really weird, i just finished reading an article about gaited horses... neways, i've ridden Walkers and they are really great, the one i ride most is VERY hot though, but i think that is just his temperment. Paso Finos are really great, they are known for their smooth gaits and their strong bonds with their riders, so if you are looking for a good people horse that's gaited i think they are the way to go. and they can be short, so it is easier to lift saddles, get on and off, and if you fall, it isn't a very long fall either. (not calling anyone here old, just saying that for ease on your muscles and bones you probally don't want n 18H horse :wink: )
  6. Shineillusion

    Shineillusion New Member

    Paso Fino's aren't a good choice if you're tall, though. The ones I rode before I got my Walker all made me feel like my feet were in danger of dragging the ground. And I couldn't get my leg on them right, either, and didn't feel secure. They were just too small.
  7. horse_child

    horse_child New Member

    Yep, I rode a QH/TB and she was SHORT! and i just couldn't quite cue her right unless i was english, it felt like if she ever ran away with me all i had to do was stand up and she'd keep going.
  8. Sara

    Sara New Member

    I've seen a few taller paso's though...I wouldn't rule out the breed by any means... I've ridden walkers before and I remember them as pretty hot and I know the Paso's are actually pretty even kealed... I know little to nothing about Paruvian's though... I think I'd look into the Paso Fino's and then Walkers though...

    Thought about Saddlebreds or anything like that? Not QUITE gaited but similar...
  9. seaecho

    seaecho New Member

    Well, I'm a bit confused here. A neighbor of mine had National Show Horses and Spotted Saddle Horses. Every one of her horses was super hot. I've always been told that Paso Finos are too. Now I really don't know WHAT to do! The National Show Horses are Saddlebred and Arabian, if I'm not mistaken. I really do like the looks of Saddlebreds, but if most are anything like National Show Horses that I've known, forget it!
  10. horse_child

    horse_child New Member

    I don't think that all of the breed are hot. I've ridden spotted saddle horses before and they're nice. I think that you need to find one that is older and ride it yourself. Some will be hot, others will be mild. It's all about finding the balance. you'll find it, your horse is out there somewhere.
  11. Shineillusion

    Shineillusion New Member

    I think you have to keep in mind that there's a difference between the gaited horses of any breed that are bred for show and the ones that are bred by hobby breeders who just want a nice, comfortable ride.

    Show horses, especially in the gaited breeds, are going to be hotter and more stylized than those who come from people who have absolutely no interest in showing. Because action and style are so important in the show ring, they're even encouraged to be hot and difficult. I've seen some park horses that are down right evil in the stable, but boy do they put on a show in the ring. You just have to manage to get on their back without losing major portions of your anatomy. They're so hot you could boil an egg on their butt. It wouldn't break, but it'd be hard boiled, LOL.

    Keep looking, you'll find a horse that suits your needs. My own Walker was one of the kindest, most sensible horses I've ever known. But he came from a farmer down the road who just wanted to breed horses anyone could ride. He never had any interest in showing, and focused on soundness of mind as well as body. His horses were a joy to work with.

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