• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.

Announcement

Collapse

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 are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

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 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Another history question: Pacing horses vs. trotting horses

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Another history question: Pacing horses vs. trotting horses

    Why do we have race horses that are pacers versus race horses that are trotters? When/why did they develop the difference? I go to the track most nights to watch racing and realized in all my horsey years, I have never learned about this.

    Help?
    First, say to yourself what you would be. Then do what you have to do. ~Epictectus

  • #2
    The thought is that the pacing line derived from the Narrangansett Pacers. They pace from birth.
    "We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      But was there a reason to maintain pacing versus trotting? Or was it just because it was different we should keep it?
      First, say to yourself what you would be. Then do what you have to do. ~Epictectus

      Comment


      • #4
        well....pacing is faster so they bred for the speed.
        www.headsupspecialriders.com

        Comment


        • #5
          I was told by a guy many , many years ago that the pacers are better balanced on the turns which I would assume makes them faster.

          I believe pacing like other gaited horses is a hereditary trait and you can breed for it or not. I know of Tbs, Arabs and others that paced naturally. Not desireable for dressage and non gaited classes.

          Great question, I'd love to hear a more knowlegable person than me chime in.
          RIP Kelly 1977-2007 "Wither thou goest, so shall I"

          "To tilt when you should withdraw is Knightly too."

          Comment


          • #6
            Pacers are faster, and as far as why do we have sulky races, well, kids nowadays race their cars on back roads, way back in the day a "brush" was fairly common. The trot or pace are possibly smoother for the occupants of a buggy than a gallop.

            There's a good read in a couple of chapters of Jessamyn West's The Friendly Persuasion about the Morgan-blooded pacer Lady and the Quaker protagonists' adventures on the road.
            Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
            Incredible Invisible

            Comment


            • #7
              Pacers are hobbled so they cant break into another gait (canter or trot). Pacers are faster. Many many standardbreds that are raced at the pace would just as lief trot.

              It is thought by some that pacers and amblers were the original saddle horses and trotters only came to the fore as roads were improved and wheeled travel became the norm.

              Comment


              • #8
                At one time, the elite horse was the trotter, and pacing was reserved for the ill-gaited trotters who couldn't trot properly. Some enterprising gentleman in Indiana invented hopples (not hobbbles - hobbles are to tie front legs together) to encourage the pace in these ill-gaited horses; in some areas even today, hopples are called Indiana pants. Of course, there WERE natural pacers, but they were pretty much looked down upon until the beginning of the 20th century and the great songs of the 19th century were written about trotters: Camptown Races about Flora Temple, Jingle Bells about ice racing in general for example.

                The general fame of the pacer really began with Dan Patch, going on to Somebeachsomewhere via Billy Direct, Tar Heel, Albatross, Niatross, On The Road Again, oh and Bret Hanover. The fame of trotters has lagged, with very few 'superstars' with huge fan bases - the first was Greyhound and the filly Rosalind (they did race as team to pole) to Titan Hanover, Rodney, Super Bowl, and nothing until Deweycheatumnhowe. Instances of double gaited horses exist - even I had one I raced on the pace but did qualify on the trot but those are rare.

                Way back - well not THAT far back but....trotters, even those of impecable breeding could be a bear to gait. There were toe weights to add to front feet, sheepskin bell boots that were often waterlogged added to give even more weight to the front end, but many just threw the hopples on and switched them to the pace - much easier to balance the feet, and other than sideweights on the hind feet, no messing around with adding toe weights, boots, etc.

                Pacers are faster - roughly 4 seconds faster and this has been shown with double gaited horses: one that could trot in 2 minutes could generally pace under 2 minutes (1:56) unless it was a complete klutz, and trotters have been known to break and come back pacing, win the race and be disqualified for being off gait. There are plenty of free-legged pacers to disprove the theory proposed by another poster that the gait is forced, and I have sat behind enough hoppled pacers on the run to know they CAN gallop in hopples, and do it very well. Most of today's pacers hit the ground pacing and only wear the lightest of hopples as a balancing aid in turns. A few even resent hopples and hop and skip about and do their best imitation of a centipede while they try to avoid contact with hopples. I had one like that one day, he needed to be worked and I was sick to death of washing hopples so tried him free-legged, and he was a changed horse; he went on to qualify free-legged 6 seconds faster than he ever went hoppled. Any time you see + behind a pacer's name, it indicates free-legged.

                Conversely, I see a rather disturbing trend to using trotting hobbles. I feel it shows a lack on the trainer's part to know how to balance the horse and a tendency to rush the training. Developing a trotter takes much longer than a pacer, sometimes months longer and the young trainers either haven't a clue how to balance and develop or are rushing; the old timers only use trotting hopples for horses that don't do the turns well, or tend to break off the gate. In a program, = behind the name indicates hopples.

                Pacers vs trotters in saddle horses is a regional thing or at least seems to be. When I rode, I preferred a pacer as did many in this area, but farther north, it was unheard of. Historically, however, people that spent hours in the saddle did prefer smooth gaited horses over something that trotted.

                As to how harness racing started, prior to the US Civil War, gambling on racing and then racing itself was banned - racing meaning ridden races. People started matching their buggy horses at a trot or pace against others and wagering on the outcome. By the time betting was allowed on ridden races, harness racing had a foot hold and equipement made specifically for racing was available - lighter harness, high wheeled sulky, special cutters for winter racing and the fan base was already there in the form of the disgruntled public that wanted to bet, and this betting was legal.
                Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

                Member: Incredible Invisbles

                Comment


                • #9
                  Interesting! I knew about hopples for pacers, but did not know about hopples for trotters...can you explain what they are/how they work?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    As far as riding them, I have ridden two pacing horses. In both the gait was quite uncomfortable- lots of side to side movement as the weight shifts. It was my understanding that ridden pacers usually do a broken pace in which the lateral pairs dont hit together, making it a more ambling gait. And ambling horses are comfy!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Here's an old story of the first 2-minute mile harness trotting, with a mare who was mixed-gaited (trotting and pacing): http://www.archive.org/stream/twomin...0sand_djvu.txt

                      From what I understand, the original harness races were a bit informal, and trotters and pacers could compete in the same race. As they became more formal, they were separated.

                      x, hopples for trotters work the same way as for pacers, only keeping diagonal pairs together rather than lateral pairs.

                      MsM, I rode an OTStb, who raced as a pacer. He was trained to trot under saddle, but would sometimes pace instead of canter for a few strides, or his canter would get a little lateral. He had a bit of a side-to-side sway when he paced, rather than being smooth like a regular gaited horse, but it wasn't as rough to sit as a trot.
                      Stay me with coffee, comfort me with chocolate, for I am sick of love.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Trotting hopples - http://www.protectohorse.com/trop.htm. They work on a pulley system although I am old enough to remember crossed hopples being used with varying degrees of success and sometimes with disastrous results when first tried.

                        As to riding pacers, you want a leg pacer rather than a body pacer - the body roll is much less but, with a little work you can break that pace to a lovely easy gait to ride
                        Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

                        Member: Incredible Invisbles

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Wow! Thank you for all the information! Just what I was looking for. Thanks for the info on the racing forms. I will look like quite the professional at the track the next time I go!
                          First, say to yourself what you would be. Then do what you have to do. ~Epictectus

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hay

                            Sk_pacer: GREAT post!

                            I'm in Goshen, NY, home of the Harness Racing Museum and Historic Track. Historic Track is the nation's oldest harness racing track. It was created because everyone was racing their horses down Main Street in Goshen and it was dangerous. SO in the early 1830s or so, the track was created so people could hold informal races. Later a larger kite shaped track was created called Good Time Park. The Hambletonian (for trotters) was held there for many years. Goshen was a hoppin' town back in its Standardbred day. Now, being right outside NYC, it is more suburbia with tons of horse farms because land is still cheaper than Westchester County, NY.

                            And SK_pacer is right, I used to work in STB breeding and they would pop out pacing. It is a very natural and beautiful gait.
                            Sorry! But that barn smell is my aromatherapy!
                            One of our horsey bumper stickers! www.horsehollowpress.com
                            Add Very Funny Horse Bumper Stickers on facebook

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              For those who appreciate and may want to acquire (another ) OTStB, how do you determine if a horse is a leg pacer or a body pacer? Are there some easily observable clues that might be seen from the ground?

                              I know you can feel the body roll in a body pacer, but horses off the track can't always be ridden before taken home.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                If you watch the horse pace on a longe line with a surcingle or saddle, I'd think that a lot of body roll would be visually noticeable, but I'm not an expert.
                                Stay me with coffee, comfort me with chocolate, for I am sick of love.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  All you would have to do is watch it pace freely in a field. Just get out there and have someone chase it a bit. You will see the body roll. I remember as a child watching a friend of the family who had a nice, fast little filly named Irish Damsel win a race at a little track in Delaware, and it was so weird to watch them come "rolling" down the track, swaying back and forth. The track was not Harrington, does anyone remember which one this is, I am pretty sure it has been closed for a long time?

                                  Thank you Sk for that history lesson. For anyone interested in the history there is a very good book to read called the Kentucky Harness Horse. Apparently, that was the birthplace of the first big harness horse farms. I had the good fortune to grow up on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, it seemed like everyone had at least one harness horse in the backyard. There was a very decent farm in Ruthsburg, Maryland which stood a stallion called Bright Knight. He was a lovely dark bay or black and a trotter. I love watching the trotting races, and you are right Sk, about trotters and the hopples. That is so sad that they rush them like that and cannot figure out their gait. If Dan Patch had been handled like that he would never have raced successfully as he had a very dicey hind leg that needed a special shoe. The thing I loved about the pacers and trotters were that they lasted so long racing, it was not at all odd to see horses racing up into their teens.
                                  Last edited by Calamber; Apr. 20, 2010, 01:37 AM.
                                  "We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    One of my horses is a weirdly gaited horse who sometimes offers a pace that's very easy to sit--doesnt really sway so much as to jar one loose, but the "roll" is noticeable. It gets smoother as it gets faster. This horse trots quite a bit in the pasture but almost never under saddle (wish she would, because its a smooth trot, as well.) She is supposed to be a racking horse but she has about 9 gaits I can identify and several that defy description. I want to videotape her at some point and try to identify footfalls and timing and figure out just what the hell is going on.

                                    My apologies for calling hopples hobbles. This is a very interesting thread. I do love the STB's--they were part of the landscape in OH with many backyard racers, and folks constantly training at the local fairgrounds. Nothing lovelier than the speed program at the county fair. Where I live now I'd have to travel around a hundred miles just to get to a harness track, alas.

                                    Comment

                                    Working...
                                    X