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ASB Peepers difference between 3 and 5 gaited

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  • ASB Peepers difference between 3 and 5 gaited

    My sister and I are working at MA Equine Affaire on Sunday and we were told that one of the most common questions is the difference between a three and five gaited ASB. Clearly my sister and I know the difference, but, please please add some things that would help explain it to a newbie Also any other talking points for the ASB breed would be most appreciated See you there!

  • #2
    I'm no expert, but I do know that Saddlebreds tend to be people horses --- if they aren't the super hyped up show 5-gaited. You have to figure that they naturally have good temperments to put up with some of that nonsense, and the ones I've known who were just plain horses were intelligent, good natured horses. Technically, any horse can be taught to rack and slow gait, but the 5-gaited ASBs are much more natural at it, the tendency has been bred into them. They are versatile, are shown in a variety of classes from driving to hunters, western, and they are even adding speed in some shows (barrels and poles).


    • #3
      The extra gaits of ' slow gait ' and 'rack' are taught to the horse. Very few Saddlebreds naturally amble nowadays, but some family lines tend to have more aptitude for learning the extra gaits. Contrary to the misconception in the post immediately before mine, the 'hyped up' horses also are very friendly and people-oriented horses. The 'hyped up' behavior is exactly that, a learned behavior and most of the ones you see in the show riing know when they are 'on stage' and ham it up.
      RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.


      • #4
        the difference is the ability to look up thru a bridle and hit a spectacular set of lateral gaits that break a foot over level and cause a horse to float across the ground...

        for me it is what separates nice from NIIIIIIIIIIIIICEEEEEEEE!

        Tamara in TN
        Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
        I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.


        • #5
          The old guy was a super hyped up show five gaited. Adult Amateur Show Pleasure division, which is a little bit less than the "top" horses. He can do the standard three gaits, WTC, and in addition will slow gait on his own, if he is in a hurry but on slippery ground. I have photos of him in his heyday racking. Nowadays he is a big pet, very people oriented. Racking is a four beat gait, rapid, animated, well I don't honestly know how to describe it, I'll dig up the ASHA link and description.

          Breed-wise, an interesting factoid is that Denmark,circa 1839, one of the foundation sires, was a TB, and although Denmark was not a producer of note at all in the racing world his line still can be traced to 1945 on pedigreequery.

          Three gaited horses often have the mane roached, and the top of the tail, but that may be done for top show horses only and not the "average" horse. They do tend to have their forelocks shaved off, which really accentuates the close set ears and long fine faces. I remember being struck by the "look" all the horses had, that and they were all chestnuts, LOL. One of the traits that breeders advertise is a "good mind", that in addition to the old TB traits of "heart", and what they call "game" - which means a horse that tries to please, is smart, willing, and sometimes to it's own detriment. I guess that is the same as the TB's that just keep on running - ASB's will keep on showing off. I've always felt that the horses in the barn were happy, friendly and curious. Also sometimes silly, and quite the diva, but not outright mean.
          Now the pony we have is half ASB, but he has a case of the little man syndrome that I am afraid he will never lose entirely. I blame that on late gelding and the QH half, LOL.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIN-6oyJZ4M this is a video of the rack in slo mo. I was unable to find a good written description though.
          Last edited by ReSomething; Nov. 13, 2010, 04:05 AM. Reason: world's longest sentence.
          Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
          Incredible Invisible


          • #6
            The ability to do lateral gaits is bred into the breed but not all horses show an aptitude for picking up the lateral gaits.

            The gaits are man-made, they are taught to the horse, usually by pulling front shoes, leaving the horse shod behind and pushing the horse into a fast walk while "rocking" the horse's nose left and right. If the horse has an aptitude, it will start to mix his gait and take some lateral steps. Working on inclines helps also.

            As the horse develops the ability to separate his gaits, the shoeing is changed to reflect what the horse will eventually show with.

            Saddlebreds trace back to the Darley Arabian through the TB Blaze. They also trace back to Imported Messenger who was instrumental in the development of the Standardbred. There is also a lot of Morgan influence in the breed. In the early days of the Saddlebred stud book, many stallions were double or even triple registered as Saddlebreds, Standardbreds and Morgans.

            The Peavine family has a large number of horses in multiple stud books.

            Sometimes a "natural" gaited ASB is born and these horses will rack around the pasture as babies. These horses usually do not have a good trot and seldom make great show horses as all ASBs shown at USEF sanctioned shows MUST show at a trot.

            Saddlebreds are bred for extreme athleticism and range of motion through the shoulder and hocks and have long, springy pasterns. They make nice jumpers as they are able to fold up over jumps.

            They have a very balanced and slightly uphill build and they can do very well in dressage with excellent gait extensions.
            Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.
            Bernard M. Baruch


            • #7
              We have two different colts at the stable right now. One is from 5 gaiter stock and the other is not. The one naturally slow gaits in the pasture which depending on who you listen to is actually bad as they can be a bit pacy. The other prefers the trot out of all gaits, which is to be expected as Sultan Santana is his sire, and the other's sire is Good Spirits.


              • #8
                This link has a fairly good description:


                A Rack is the SAME footfall pattern as the walk any horse does, even and four-beat. However the rack inserts a moment of supension between each step -the horse springs from foot to foot.

                Because of the speed of the gait it is quite easy to take pictures of a horse with straight foreleg on the ground inclined to the rear and two hind legs off the ground one extended far behind the horse, having just lifted off, and the other far under the horse just about to ground. To many this parallel cannons aspect LOOKS lateral, but the legs are in completely different phases of the stride. Closing the eyes and listening gives a perfect 4-beat even 'cogwheel' sound.

                Pacey gaiting is a fault in any four-beat gait, where the footfalls become irregular and the horse starts 1-2, 1-2 instead of the even beat.

                The foundation TB sire Denmark circa 1839 was bred to a Cockspur gaited daughter, then that son, Gaines Denmark, was backcrossed to another Cockspur gaited daughter to produce Washington Denmark: through which the vast majority of the original registry horses (which had to be certified in one of the 'saddle' gaits to be admitted) traced in tail male through his 3 sons out of the gaited mare Queen, by Bald Stockings.

                Others trace through Gaines Denmark via his son Diamond Denmark, also out of Queen.

                The second major sire line that has currently numerically overshadowed the Denmarks is from Clark Chief circa 1861, strictly race trotting bred with the sire line through Messenger also to the Thoroughbred Blaze.
                His grandson Bourbon Chief circa 1883 out of a primarily Denmark bred mare with an additional line to a Hackney-Thoroughbred cross founded a tremendously vital sire line and locked in the trot.

                The lines are so heavily intermixed now that it would be impossible to separate them.

                The Stepping Pace is much more difficult to describe, kind of like trying to explain to people the difference between Piaffe and trampling up and down on the spot: try to find some footage of Imperator, that's how it should be done.

                Saddlebreds will seek out people to DO things with them. Many are very good about accomodating riders that need accomodating and challenging riders that need to be challenged. Many have a sense of humor.

                They really are something to be experienced.


                • #9
                  Do you think they could event?
                  Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kookicat View Post
                    Do you think they could event?
                    If their rider does...




                    Link to the UK American Saddlebred club:


                    • #11
                      The way the rack was described above, it seems to be the horse equivalent of race walking. A very exaggerated, fast and swinging version of the walk.

                      How exactly does the rack differ from the running walk, which I believe TWHs do naturally?

                      What do y'all mean by "lateral gait"? Okay, I just looked it up. Two legs on the same side moving forward at the same time. Opposed to diagonal gait where two legs on opposite sides move forward together.
                      "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                      Thread killer Extraordinaire


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by vineyridge View Post
                        The way the rack was described above, it seems to be the horse equivalent of race walking. A very exaggerated, fast and swinging version of the walk.

                        How exactly does the rack differ from the running walk, which I believe TWHs do naturally?

                        What do y'all mean by "lateral gait"? Okay, I just looked it up. Two legs on the same side moving forward at the same time. Opposed to diagonal gait where two legs on opposite sides move forward together.
                        'same side legs at the same time' is considered completely incorrect for the gaited breeds, the step must not pace or sidewheel, there must be distinctly different phasing of the fore and aft strides.
                        In race walking the foot must stay on the ground, not coming off until the second foot is planted. In a rack there are phases where just one foot is grounded at a time -hence the old term singlefoot. In fact a true rack will never have 3 feet on the ground and two only for a very brief moment.

                        Imagine a horse walking normally; now take the front feet and hop from one to the other instead of stepping. this frees up the Hq to take a much longer stride -if the horse is built to do so. The stacks on a twh allow that extra length of leg and permit the forefoot to stay on the ground and not hop a tad bit longer during the tremendous natural overstride encouraged by training.

                        The TWH has exceptional angulation of shoulder and generally a long gaskin and steep croup to enable the big pushing stride.

                        You can go to Equinenow or Dreamhorse and see TWH foals doing a running walk beside their dams. There is thought to be a genetic trigger based on concussion that tells a horse to 'shift gears' upward to the trot that is set much higher in the naturally gaited breeds.

                        In a rack, a Saddlebred does not step from foot to foot behind, they are in the air before the other lands. Ditto the front pair. This plus the rebound effect from the tendons allows the long stride and great speed possible at the rack.

                        notice the hoof position here, you can see the shadows under the airborn hind hoofs and that the front is clearly bearing the load:

                        No one publishes the photos where there is one hind foot grounded, the other is tightly folded and the forelegs are airborn extended front and back, it looks unappealing

                        Type: 100 years ago –not much has changed, still instantly recognizable Saddlebreds

                        Chief line: Astral King 1906

                        Denmark line: Princess Eugenia 1909

                        -Chester Peavine is doing a Stepping Pace in his painting: LH is about to ground, followed by RH lifting, LF heading for the ground just as RF lifts off, then RH grounds…

                        Modern: Glenview’s Excelalante 2004

                        Interestingly, way back in the Pedigree: Mrs. Culvers 1895 bred to the Morgan General Gates produced the great Morgan progenitor Bennington, sire of Mansfield, Canfield, Topsham, Ulysses, Querido, etc.

                        In the Morgan registry Astral King’s grandson Upwey King Peavine was bred to a Bennington daughter to get Upwey King Benn 1939, sire of Upwey Benn Don 1943, widely found in modern Morgan ancestry.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by vineyridge View Post
                          The way the rack was described above, it seems to be the horse equivalent of race walking. A very exaggerated, fast and swinging version of the walk.

                          How exactly does the rack differ from the running walk, which I believe TWHs do naturally?
                          the Rack and Runningwalk can both be quite natural to all gaiteds...the quickest down and dirty way to tell them apart is to watch the elbow and stifle on the same side...in the rack they move together and the feet land a split second apart ,in the pace they move together and the feet land together, in the runningwalk the elbow and stifle move separately and the feet land in the same time the the beat is always 4 time as a regular old walk in any horse

                          Tamara in TN
                          Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
                          I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.


                          • Original Poster

                            Originally posted by kookicat View Post
                            Do you think they could event?

                            Saw pictures of a beatiful beatiful eventing Saddlebred today


                            • #15
                              the next phase, hind foot grounds, front is about to lift off

                              'legs on same side' but not pacey.


                              • #16
                                Front foot almost grounded, hind about to lift, note the extension fore and aft: the more forward hind foot will eventually land just a few inches behind that extended front foot.


                                Stride phasing is very clear.


                                • #17
                                  I grew up riding ASB's (still have my ASB mare) and my aunt used to have a TWH, so I've ridden both. It's hard to describe the feeling... They are similar, but definitely different. There is nothing like the feeling of racking around a ring on an ASB. Especially when they know they're supposed to be showing off!

                                  As far as differences between 3 gaited and 5 gaited ASB's, I think that is hard to describe to someone not familiar with ASB's. To me, growing up around them, there are definite conformation differences, but it's kind of one of those things you know when you see. While any ASB may be able to be taught to slow gait and rack, not all have the same aptitude.

                                  *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*


                                  • #18
                                    A little late, but a simple answer to difference between 3 & 5 gaited Saddlebreds:

                                    3 gaited = elegant and controlled
                                    5 gaited = fast and bold

                                    The hyped up, wild ones can be just as pleasant on the ground as the dull ones, just more fun to ride.
                                    Visit my Spoonflower shop


                                    • #19
                                      D_Baldstockings is posting many lovely photos - but one question I have always had is why is there a difference in equipment - in H/J land it's always the bell boot for over reach protection, while all the five gaiteds wear the form fitted white quarter boot for the same thing. Why? Or am I making an assumption about uses?

                                      (sorry to hijack!)
                                      Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                                      Incredible Invisible


                                      • #20
                                        Gaited horses wear hinged quarter boots or trotting boots in case they over reach with a back foot while racking or slow gaiting. Some horses don't like (and won't rack) the quarter boots because they can be kind of floppy sometimes. Gaited horses can be fussy about what's on their front feet when they rack

                                        Fine harness horses wear bell boots, usually $$$$ leather ones, in case they catch themselves.

                                        Walk trot (3 Gaited) don't wear any boots at all.

                                        Pleasure horses, with the exception of gaited pleasure horses, don't wear boots either.

                                        I'll leave it to Baldstockings to put up some pictures, I don't have the priveleges to.
                                        Visit my Spoonflower shop