Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You're responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the Forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it--details of personal disputes may be better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts, though are not legally obligated to do so, regardless of content.

Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting. Moderators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts unless they have been alerted and have determined that a post, thread or user has violated the Forums' policies. Moderators do not regularly independently monitor the Forums for such violations.

Profanity, outright vulgarity, blatant personal insults or otherwise inappropriate statements will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

Users may provide their positive or negative experiences with or opinions of companies, products, individuals, etc.; however, accounts involving allegations of criminal behavior against named individuals or companies MUST be first-hand accounts and may NOT be made anonymously.

If a situation has been reported upon by a reputable news source or addressed by law enforcement or the legal system it is open for discussion, but if an individual wants to make their own claims of criminal behavior against a named party in the course of that discussion, they too must identify themselves by first and last name and the account must be first-person.

Criminal allegations that do not satisfy these requirements, when brought to our attention, may be removed pending satisfaction of these criteria, and we reserve the right to err on the side of caution when making these determinations.

Credible threats of suicide will be reported to the police along with identifying user information at our disposal, in addition to referring the user to suicide helpline resources such as 1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-273-TALK.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it's understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users' profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses -- Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it's related to a horse for sale, regardless of who's selling it, it doesn't belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions -- Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services -- Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products -- While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements -- Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be "bumped" excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues -- Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators' discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the �alert� button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your �Ignore� list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you'd rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user's membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 5/9/18)
See more
See less

Talk to me about gaited horses! Specifically, tell me how to ride my new Missouri Fox Trotter!

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Talk to me about gaited horses! Specifically, tell me how to ride my new Missouri Fox Trotter!

    I “inherited” a super cute, sweet Missouri Fox Trotter from my dad, whose terrible arthritis has prevented him from riding the last couple of years. The horse is 12, and has extensive miles on trails and obstacle course-type work, but he has been sitting for a few years. I put him on the longe and he seems to have a walk, a slow gait of some sort, a trot, a fast gait of some sort, and a canter. How do I tell him which one I want? What else should I know, having little experience with gaited horses? I have ridden a number of different kinds (Paso Finos, Tennessee Walkers, Standardbred pacers, etc.) but have no experience with Fox trotters, and no real experience training one.

    ultimately this horse may be for sale, but I want to make sure he is thoroughly restarted. in all other respects than his time off, he is perfectly suited to a beginner. I won’t sell him as beginner-safe, though, until I am sure he has had a thorough refresher. I just need to know HOW when it comes to the gaits themselves! The rest I am more than capable of.

    he came with a plain fixed ring snaffle and a wonder bit. Which do I use?

    also he has a special gaited horse trail saddle...can he be ridden in a normal dressage saddle or is there something about his movement that requires the special one?

    isn't he the cutest thing? Those ears!

    I can't help but I CAN say he is really cute. I wish he was in my barn!


      I ride Icelandics. Currently 49, I had some experience with walkers in high school, then pasos (not sure which kind) after college. My recommendations would be to take the horse out of the arena, on smooth hard pack (dirt road or non muddy field) for a few months of walking around. When you are ready to go gait hunting, then do just that. Ask for more energy, and feel what the horse offers. Don’t “try” for anything, since you don’t really know what or how to do that. Reward the horse for what they offer, and try to be as aware as you can of how your seat and body influence and interact with the horse’s movements. Keen observation on your part will be key. But first, give the animal an opportunity to build up some fitness, so that it has a chance to ‘hold’ itself together. If you can ride on a dirt driveway or hard area, then the acoustic feedback can help you also. If you have a GoPro, Post some videos (with good sound) on your gaited FB page of choice for feedback.
      "Friend" me !


        Do LOTS of walking. When gaiting, if he starts to pace, turn him in a circle to get him back into gait.

        Read Lee Ziegler's Easy-Gaited Horses.

        I use a Myler comfort snaffle and a dressage saddle on my Walker. The farrier does a regular trim just like any horse, and my horse stays barefoot. They absolutely do not NEED a shanked bit, or a special *gaited* saddle, or funky farrier work, or weighted shoes. If you like riding in a gaited saddle or whatever, go for it, but it's not necessary.

        Proofreading is your friend.


          Gaited saddles are supposed to have a shaped tree that accommodates the big uphill shoulder movement. It kind of branches or flairs out toward the shoulders. Lots of people ride gaited horses in dressage saddles though.

          Some horses only gait properly in a shank bit, or at least are trained to do so. Many wear a gag or "walking horse bit" from the time they are started, the belief loosely says you have to "set" them to gait by picking their head up.

          Some of the more natural gaited horse trainers say if it can't gait in a snaffle you're doing something wrong. I have seen "gaits in a snaffle" as a selling bonus.


            No suggestions, but he is GORGEOUS! If I was in the market I was snap him right up as he does what I would want. Good luck and enjoy.
            "Cats aren't clean; they're covered with cat spit."
            - John S Nichols (1745-1846,writer/printer)

            Don't come for me - I didn't send for you.


              I have a foxtrotter.

              This is the order of her gaits: slow walk, running walk, foxtrot, trot, pace, and canter.

              Her preference is to pretend to be non gaited and walk slowly, give you a big bouncy trot, and a nice canter. She did not show any hint that she was gaited for the first 3 months I had her!

              If you have a background in dressage, getting a gait should be easy. My mare gaits if you sit deep and half halt. She very rarely paces. She will running walk but doesn't really hold it. Her pace might be a broken pace, it a quite comfortable, she just doesn't give it often - usually after cantering, sometimes on trail rides it pops up.

              I love my foxtrotter! It's nice to have a super dependable horse that is comfortable to ride. She prefers gaiting over flat smooth ground - any roots to step over and she wants to trot.


                OP I'm not sure where you are. but PM SCM1959 .
                Or read her thread in Off Course.

                She's looking for a horse like this or similar if I read her post correctly.
                He looks like such a sweetie!
                Certified Guacophobe


                  I agree with the sit deepish and half halt. This horse may well be accustomed to the Wonder Bit - a very common gaited horse bit, in my extensive experience, although not one I own myself (but I've ridden horses where this was their bit of choice).

                  Feel the horse out, don't let him pace (IMO). Good riding is good riding. When I ask for gaits, I try to be very clear -- I ask for a canter in the usual, non-gaited horse way, for instance; ask for a trot shifting my weight forward a bit (more of a feel, but may want to exaggerate into leaning with a green or rusty horse) with hands relatively lower; sit up to gait (imagine sitting on one's pockets, but not really leaning back so much as having a feeling inside -- not uncommon to see gaited riders exaggeratedly leaning back, sigh) with hands relatively higher.

                  Let your hips relax with the gait -- some describe the foxtrot as a shuffle, and your hips will move in a different way than with a trotting horse, so let that happen.

                  I've ridden many gaited horses, of several different breeds, including MFT; the one I had (daughter of two multiple National Champions) was a natural, just had to sit quiet and let her do her thing.

                  Good luck, he sounds and looks like a nice horse.


                    Original Poster

                    Thanks everyone! Going to sit on him tomorrow and see what I have to work with. He has been a saint to handle, but I did some work on my arena footing this weekend and it had to sit 48 hours so I haven’t actually ridden yet. Given the 2 years off I felt a confined space is a good starting point.

                    his gaited saddle is a custom Steele so I think I will try that first since it was made for him.

                    i will just use his snaffle and go from there. He definitely doesn’t seem to need the wonder bit, as the snaffle is on the bridle and the wonder bit is extra.

                    I don’t want to sell him quite yet until I ride him a bit and am sure what he will do. I wouldn’t feel right about that as I anticipate he will be a beginner horse. But thanks for the recs.

                    his gaits seem very natural. He foxtrots over for his meals. 😂


                      Sure no problem. SCM1959 sounds like an experienced rider.

                      Not trying to violate the terms of use , or sell your horse for you.

                      Especially since you think you might want to keep him.

                      SCM1959 has been looking for a while.
                      Certified Guacophobe


                        Sorry, no advice as I have no clue on any gaited breeds but what a cutie!!! And it made me laugh when you said he foxtrots over for his meals!!


                          OP, can you ask your dad what he used for cues?


                            Original Poster

                            Originally posted by foggythistle View Post
                            OP, can you ask your dad what he used for cues?
                            That SOUNDS like a good idea but honestly my dad has no clue. He bought the horse made, and rode him maybe half a dozen times. Just too hard on his back. Dad is an excellent caretaker of all animals, but has never been a rider. They mostly walked.

                            Your group advice on this thread has been very helpful. I rode him today and it turns out he is actually a very easy horse to get to gait. I just picked up the reins and half halted, and was able to let him gait on a mostly relaxed rein. He neck reins and was super quiet in the arena. I rode him in the snaffle he came with, and his gaited horse Steele saddle.

                            After he was such a saint in the arena, I took him around the farm a little. he was a bit look-y alone exploring, so he definitely needs a trail refresher with a solid companion. he didn't do anything naughty, but he was tense. With some confidence-building miles I am sure that will change. I might have pushed him a bit fast as he was SO GOOD in the ring. To not be ridden more than that for 2.5 years, rock star!

                            He wants to go with a lower head and longer rein than the other gaited horses I have ridden in the past, but I think that's a good thing as he is relaxed, so we are going with it.


                              This is a fun read. I'm glad you are enjoying him. I have three very different gaited does best on a light touch and he's upheaded. Another demands a lot of fiddling because he will fall out of gait readily. He's more middle in his frame. The last loves you to help.him rebalance with a bump and release because he will gradually get out of balance and get out over his shoulders. The harder he gaits the lower his head gets.


                                Very pretty ! My SO had a lovely Heinz 57 buckskin gelding that was sometimes gated at the trot? Weird feeling. He outlasted all the little quarter horses and was always the last to tire out! He sold him for a pretty penny about a year ago!

                                Wish we did a DNA test on him!

                                Also OP laughing as your latest post! You could put any beginner on this horse in the arena and he was a saint. As soon as he got out in the open he was kinda a turkey.