GAITS AND GAITING

What Is A Four-Beat Gait  X  How The Gaited Horse Moves  X  Back To Basics  X  The Peruvian Horse  X What Is Gaiting?

More Soft Gaits  X  Developing The 4-Beat Gait  X  Our Friend The Canter  Shall We Dance?

Grooming For Show  X  Tack: Athletic Equipment  X  Tack: Clothes That Make The Horse  X  Is There One Right Saddle?

Caring For Your Saddle  X  Shoeing The Gaited Horse  X  Australian Stock Saddles

Out To Buy a Soft-Gaited Horse

Deciding you want to own a soft-gaited horse is sure to change your life. While the concerns you have are not altogether different from any other horse purchase, there are definite priorities. After the practical considerations are met your decision will be subjective.

Unlike some of the other competitive and sport horses, the soft-gaited horse is primarily a companion horse. It doesn't have to be a bad horse to be the wrong horse. It is important that you make an honest and thorough exam of you personal assets and expectations. To clarify this before you begin, will simplify your search.

Take your time in choosing a horse for your very own. It's an important decision. Act in haste, regret at leisure. You may want a horse that is a "baby-sitter" or a horse with which you can stretch your skills a bit, but avoid a horse beyond you capabilities or power of control. Never assume that a novice horse and a novice rider can "grow" together.

Here is a check list for you to consider. 1) Why do you want a horse. 2) What is an honest estimate of your horsemanship. 3) What is your personality. 4) What are your physical characteristics.  5) What kind of riding will you participate in.  6) Do you want to show.  7) Do you want to breed.  8) Are you competitive.  9) How much can you spend.

Here are some specifics you may want to review. The color of a horse is one characteristic that has very little to do with the quality and nature of the animal. No one has ever ridden a color, and yet many people will pass up the perfect horse because it isn't the color they were looking for. Try to ignore the color until you have examined all the other attributes. As you conclude your search, you might use color to tip athe scale among your finalists. Unless you have established a reasonable preference for the sex of you horse, keep this characteristic out of the initial decision making.

So what is important? Temperament leads the list. The soft-gaited horses are bred for good temperament, but  there are still lots of different personalities. Handle the horse. Watch its body language. Watch its eye. Is is responding to you in a positive fashion? Is the horse selling itself?

Take a good look at the conformation. Trail horses have to be the best of any breed. A trail horse must have sound conformation, solid bone, a good mind and brio.

A young horse will usually cost less than one that is fully trained, but if you are unable to make the time or don't have the skill to do the training yourself, remember that good training costs quite a bit. Don't discount the older horse. A mature animal can be very serviceable and provide lots of pleasure.

Remember the soft-gaited breeds are slow to mature. They will continue to grow and develop until they are six or more. Happily this pays off in the long run too, because soft-gaited horses are generally long-lived; often serviceable into their 30's. It's helpful to deal with a breeder, so you can see the parents or mature horses like the youngster you might be considering.

What experience has the horse had? How are its manners? Is it safe on the trail? Is it safe in traffic? Is it at ease with new surroundings? If the answers to these questions are in keeping with your expectations, have the owner ride the horse for you. Watch as the horse is tacked up. See the way it interacts with the owner. Does it stand still to be mounted? Does it listen to the rider? Is is having a good time?

If the asnwers satisfy, it's time to ride the horse yourself. Now it's all up to you. To this  point you listen to others. But the final decision has to be yours. How does it feel? How do you feel? Feeling nervous could be a flag. Are you a match?

It's important to have a vet check. Unfortunately     most veterinarians are not real familiar with the soft-gaited horse. Be careful to point out to him or her exactly what they are looking at. Let the vet know it is natural and normal for the horse to nod its head in rhythm to its gait. A nodding head on a walk-trot horse can indicate lameness.

Keep in mind that the soft-gaited horses are usually easy to stay on, but it is important to learn the proper techniques of riding a gaited horse to fully enjoy the talents each horse has. Unfortunately some folks settle for less than their horse is capable of performing because it's better than gaits they have experienced with a trotting horse. Spend time with someone who knows the secrets of keeping a soft-gaited horse in its opatimum gait. It's well worth the extra effort!

An Introduction To

The Gaited Horse


FOURTH EDITION


A collection of thoughtful articles written by Barbara Weatherwax that give insight into the gaited horse for owners and fanciers.








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In Support Of The Registries  X  Missouri Fox Trotter  X  Spotted Saddle Horse  X  Tennessee Walking Horse 

Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse  X  Rocky Mountain Horse  X  Paso Fino  X  Racking Horse  X  Icelandic  X  Walkaloosa

Bashkir Curly  X  Mountain Pleasure Horse  X  Horses of Osborn Gap  X  McCurdy Plantation Horse 

Mangalarga Marchador  X  American Gaited Pony  X  Tiger Registry  X  Florida Cracker  X  Gaited Morgans

Spanish Mustangs of Sulphur Creek  Colonial Spanish Mustang  X  Part Walking Horse Registry

Tiger Horse Assoc.  X  Sorraia - The Foundation Horse  X  Spotted Mountain Horse  X  Peruvian Paso

Kentucky Natural Gaited  X  American Gaited Mountain Horse

The Soft-Gaited Horse  X  Out To Buy A Soft-Gaited Horse  X  Buy A Baby  X  Bringing Up Baby  A Case Of Economics

Great Expectations  X  The Fear Factor  X  Out Of State Purchase  X  Why Clinics?  X  Temperament VS Personality

Choosing A Stallion  X  If It's Broke - Fix It  X  Are We Asking The Right Questions?  X  Conditioning Our Gaited Buddy

It Doesn't Have To Be A Bad Horse To Be The Wrong Horse  X  Passages  Spay My Mare?

This book is 8 1/2" x 11" with spiral binding. There are 117 pages and many black & white photos

GROOMING AND TACKING

BUYING AND OWNING THE GAITED HORSE

A LOOK AT SOME SOFT-GAITED BREEDS

We Are All Trainers  X  What Our Horses Can Do For Us  X  Celebrating Autumn  X  Year End Joy  Ride With A Purpose    Keeping In Shape Pays Off  X  Easy To Ride Or Easy On The Rider  X  Winterize Your Riding  X  Are You Ready To Ride?

It Takes A Year  X  Joys Of The Trail  X  Variety Is The Spice  X  To Show Or Not To Show  X  Horses Are Prey

The Right Horse  X  Yellow

RIDING THE GAITED HORSE

Markwin Press Presents:Type

TABLE OF CONTENTS