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  1. #1
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    Jun. 21, 2008
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    Default Gaited horse folks-is this a myth?

    I only have exposure to Peruvians as gaited horses. But I hear from some folks that gaited horses have a tendency to trip on trail due to their gait?

    Is there any truth to this? Do they indeed trip a bit more? Normally I would find that hard to believe , but then I realize they do move their feet differently.

    I see so many gaited ones on trail. So dumb as it may seem, thought I might clarify it here witht folks who have gaited ones and/or trail ride.



  2. #2
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    Mar. 13, 2007
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    California
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    I haven't noticed that my gaited horse trip any more than my non-gaited ones - which is to say the both trip about equally when they're not paying attention.



  3. #3
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    Jan. 31, 2009
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    It's a little more country than that
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    I rode Rocky Mountain horses at a vacation stable. Rocky trails, rocky big water crossings. Those little horses never put a foot wrong. We weren't riding for speed though we did some gaiting and some cantering through the "roller coaster" section. No stumbles out of any of the Rockys.



  4. #4
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    Aug. 9, 2007
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    I rode a 5 gaited horse all over my county for many years, we don't have rocks but we had roots and trails and everything else. No problems. 4 steel shoes and we were off, and that boy was also very fast for racing in our riding club. He even jumped ditches and fallen trees.



  5. #5
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    Aug. 25, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkhawk View Post
    I only have exposure to Peruvians as gaited horses. But I hear from some folks that gaited horses have a tendency to trip on trail due to their gait?

    Is there any truth to this? Do they indeed trip a bit more? Normally I would find that hard to believe , but then I realize they do move their feet differently.

    I see so many gaited ones on trail. So dumb as it may seem, thought I might clarify it here witht folks who have gaited ones and/or trail ride.
    There is nothing inherent in the soft gaited horse that would cause tripping on trails. If there is any truth to assertion it's likely due to husbandry issues, particularly trimming and shoeing. If the trim is to anatomical correctness and the shoe properly applied then there's likely no issue. If the angles have been arbitrarily altered or "show ring shoes" used then, yes, there is an increased risk of "gait anomalies" including tripping.

    Gait can exist on a spectrum from a broken trot to a broken pace. Gaits toward the center of the spectrum (either lateral or diagonal) will likely be "surer" than gaits to the far ends, particularly the lateral end. But, again, as long as the horse is ridden in correct form even a very lateral gait should present no significant tripping issues.

    G.



  6. #6
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    May. 11, 2009
    Location
    Oregon
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    21

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    I've been riding TWH's on our mountain/desert/pine forest trails for years, tk, and never had any issues with tripping other than what you would expect from any breed of trail horse. Mine are trimmed according to the individual angles and shape of their feet, well-conditioned for trail riding ( important for balance and confidence ) and are alert enough to keep track of their own feet.

    If some people have the idea that the gaited horse ( that would be a couple dozen breeds ) aren't reliable and agile trail mounts, they are misinformed or have been listening to a lot of silly stereotypes.



  7. #7
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    Apr. 8, 2005
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    WA state
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    I don't ride a gaited horse but I ride with them frequently and I noticed my horse tripping a lot more than the gaited ones when we go thru trail with roots and rocks. We have to jog to keep up with the TWs and while they seem to just float over the roots, my mare seems to trip occasionally.



  8. #8
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    Dec. 14, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guilherme View Post
    There is nothing inherent in the soft gaited horse that would cause tripping on trails. If there is any truth to assertion it's likely due to husbandry issues, particularly trimming and shoeing. If the trim is to anatomical correctness and the shoe properly applied then there's likely no issue. If the angles have been arbitrarily altered or "show ring shoes" used then, yes, there is an increased risk of "gait anomalies" including tripping.

    Gait can exist on a spectrum from a broken trot to a broken pace. Gaits toward the center of the spectrum (either lateral or diagonal) will likely be "surer" than gaits to the far ends, particularly the lateral end. But, again, as long as the horse is ridden in correct form even a very lateral gait should present no significant tripping issues.

    G.
    Guilherme, I wish you would come to VA and give me a two week one-on-one clinic. You just always have the right information -- that and I envision you to look and talk like Sean Connery. Please don't tell me your a little old lady from Des Moines.
    "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucious
    <>< I.I.



  9. #9
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    Jun. 11, 2006
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    I don't think that gaited horses trip anymore than a non gaited horse. I have had non gaited that trips, and ones that don't . I have a gaited that rarely trips and another that does quite often. I think her problem is she is lazy and not paying attention. Not because she is gaited, tho we do call her Marmaduke!!
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  10. #10
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    Jun. 28, 2003
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    Not so's you'd notice in my experience. However a large group of Dog Trialing Walkers encountering a giant jump on the trail (aka thick as your wrist branch crossing the trail at about 6" high. None of them did jumping and every single one stopped, stared and then either flung or scrambled over the immense obstacle. Each time we repeated the same trail all.day.long. What sweeties. They did and put up with so much else... just never encountered a jump (riders either which was probably about half the battle)

    We've ridden with Walkers and Paso Finos and found them very sure footed. In fact the one Paso could cruise the road shoulder filled with tire ruts, dumped garbage et al and never even notice, while we were riding on the street edge and finding gravel to trip on.



  11. #11
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    Sep. 15, 2008
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    Utah
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    Like the posters above, My foxtrotters all seem to do very well on the trail. No worse than the Arabs that I've ridden.

    I have seen foxtrotters trip. even seen a few go down when they trip. But usually it's at a fast gait.

    I've had friends get hurt when riding various breeds of horses and they trip. A friend this winter horse slipped in a mud puddle and went down. He broke his pelvis when he hit the saddle horn on the way down and laid on the trail for 13 hours waiting for help to find him. Another friend who is a trainer was working on fixing a TWH that tripped a lot for a client. He had been working with it for several weeks when it tripped and went down with him breaking his leg.

    I think it can happen with any breed of horse. It's more a matter of the horse paying attention where they place their feet. A calm horse that has trail experience pays attention. A excitable horse may have his head up looking around, worried about boogy man instead of watching where he puts his feet.

    Heaven knows I've ridden in places where it would be easy for a horse to trip.
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  12. #12
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    Jul. 11, 2004
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    My gaited mule (his mom was a TWH) doesn't trip on the trail. I've found more daisy clipper types to be trippy on the trail.



  13. #13
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    Aug. 25, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzrider View Post
    Guilherme, I wish you would come to VA and give me a two week one-on-one clinic. You just always have the right information -- that and I envision you to look and talk like Sean Connery. Please don't tell me your a little old lady from Des Moines.
    Sorry, I've really nothing in common with 007 except gender, a Naval rank, and a liking for blowing things up. Oh, and good looking women without too many clothes on!

    (But you'll be happy to know I've even less in common with little old ladies from Des Moines. )

    This question got me thinking and I started looking through some old hard copies of questions off some early TWH sites on AOL, runningwalk, The Gaited Horse, etc. Surprisingly, one of the more common questions was tripping. So maybe it is a problem at least in the TWH (and breeds derived from it).

    I'm still of the opinion that if a problem exists it's most likely from husbandry. Long toes and low heels are common in the TWH and many other gaited breeds and this is a set up for the horse getting "tanglefooted."

    A second cause can be riding a horse that's not in shape and asking for too much performance. A horse that is excessively fatigued can loose its gait timing.

    A third cause could be asking for too much speed and riding out of form. Until you get to speed racking or tolting most soft gaits are distance gaits, not speed gaits. Ride the horse through a correct form and you can foul up their timing.

    A fourth cause can be riding in poorly fitted or improperly adjusted saddles (or other tack). A horse that's in pain will have difficulty concentrating on business.

    A fifth cause can be just a poor riding technique. If the horse has to do all the work balancing a rider that sitting up there like an old sack of wheat and banging on their mouth with 9" shank curb bit it will interfere with gait timing.

    I found all of these discussions in those old hard copies. I'm sure that others can think of other possible causes.

    So, yes, it seems to be a problem. But no, the problem is not the gait but rather the way the horse is prepared or the gait is ridden.

    IMO you ride a gaited horse like you ride any other horse (bananced seat, in the center of the horse). There are no secret "tricks and traps" for honest trail riding. (Note that the show ring is a completely different universe and very different rules apply if you want to take home blues; but that is a competely separate discussion.)

    Good luck with your horse!

    G.



  14. #14
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    Dec. 14, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guilherme View Post
    Sorry, I've really nothing in common with 007 except gender, a Naval rank, and a liking for blowing things up. Oh, and good looking women without too many clothes on!

    (But you'll be happy to know I've even less in common with little old ladies from Des Moines. )
    Super. You just let me know when you're ready to come on over to VA, and I'll work on convincing my hubby that I'm taking a clinic from a nice old lady from Des Moines!

    And to keep OT, my TWH can be trippy about a week before he's due for his farrier appointment in the winter, when we try to keep it at 7-8 weeks, but that's about it. I will say he was a lot more trippy back when I first got him and he was stifle sore. Since we've gotten all that worked out, I've had very little issues.
    "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucious
    <>< I.I.



  15. #15
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    Jun. 21, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guilherme View Post
    Gait can exist on a spectrum from a broken trot to a broken pace. Gaits toward the center of the spectrum (either lateral or diagonal) will likely be "surer" than gaits to the far ends, particularly the lateral end. But, again, as long as the horse is ridden in correct form even a very lateral gait should present no significant tripping issues.

    G.
    Thanks everyone!!!

    On this point Guilherme . I am not sure I follow exactly. So a horse that is very lateral, would that mean a horse that is very strong in its lateral gait -say a running walk might have tripping issues??



  16. #16
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    Dec. 9, 2005
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    North East, MD
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    My guess is that people who encourage long toes on their horses so that they gait better will be more likely to have horses who trip. So if what you've heard is at all true, long toes could be a culprit.

    I've trimmed several gaited horses who gait better when their toes are kept back. Others say their horses gait better with longer toes.

    p.s. Agree with G. about fatigue. I've noticed that TWH's tend to be stoic, so they might not show signs of fatigue until the tripping starts. Also, gaiting seems to be more fatiguing that trotting. One very experienced endurance vet was saying that he sees few gaited horses who can do much more than 40 miles in one day. They have to be really fit to gait for hours at a time. And as they fatigue, they tend to trot or pace more.



  17. #17
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    Aug. 25, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkhawk View Post
    Thanks everyone!!!

    On this point Guilherme . I am not sure I follow exactly. So a horse that is very lateral, would that mean a horse that is very strong in its lateral gait -say a running walk might have tripping issues??
    I would say it's more prone to be adversely affected by poor husbandry, tack issues, poor riding habits, etc. This means the rider in a very lateral horse must be dilligent in ensuring that the horse is properly prepared and ridden.

    G.



  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzrider View Post
    Guilherme, I wish you would come to VA and give me a two week one-on-one clinic. You just always have the right information -- that and I envision you to look and talk like Sean Connery. Please don't tell me your a little old lady from Des Moines.


    <oh god deep breath>




    oh my...he's a military man for sure...but no accent and no swords...he was kind enough to watch my daughter ride for him yesterday and she was tickled about that...so I guess he can swoon some ladies


    course.......she's 11


    best
    Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
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  19. #19
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    Tamara, don't rain on my little fantasy! I'm picturing "Highlander" era Sean (where is a wistful sigh emotican when you need one?).
    "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucious
    <>< I.I.



  20. #20
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    Some of the other gaited horse riders I know tend to want to "move out" the entire time they are on trail, without really considering the footing. They end up with horses that don't know how to "just" walk, and it has led to some dangerous situations when they have to go down steep hills with lots of large, sloping rocks. The riders themselves do little or nothing to help the horse's balance in these situation and it leads to lots of tripping and stumbling and people falling off.

    My own TWH picks his way quickly, confidently and cleanly through areas with rocks and roots, but I do not ask him to do it at high speed. I want to give him time to think about where he is putting his feet.
    Please copy and paste this to your signature if you know someone, or have been affected by someone who needs a smack upside the head. Lets raise awareness.



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