|Colorado 2 1/2 year old 1/2 arab, 1/4 saddlebred,
90 days Pro Training ridden in snaffle and english/hunt seat saddle in
round pen, large outdoor area, large indoor arena by rider advanced in
hunt seat, english pleasure & equitation.
Question: I have a very smart and willing and gorgeous black/white 1/2 arab pinto gelding (with 1/4 saddlebred). At 90 days, he is trotting, walking & cantering beautifully, leg-yielding and coming into the bridle nicely. I bought this horse to be an all around english pleasure horse. We will eventually take him out on trails, and enter him in local shows for hunt seat, walk-trot-canter classes, english pleasure, english equitation. I have been riding English & western for 25 years, but I do not have any experience with gaited horses. However, we are noticing that he is naturally gaiting...doing a running walk, and has an extremely smooth trot.
Another trainer at the barn is offering to train him to bring out his
gaits further. (at a cost, of
So, my question is, should I discourage him to be gaited? Or do I perhaps encourage him to do one or two gaits (fox walk/fox trot) and keep it at that? If I encourage one of these gaits, will I still be able to enter the english pleasure classes with non-gaited horses by doing the 'normal' walk-trot-canter? In other words, can we train him to switch off the gaits when necessary for english pleasure shows? I noticed on my internet research of gaited horses that Arabs are not listed as a traditionally gaited horse, so it must be the 1/4 saddlebred in him that is coming out.
Any feedback will be much appreciated.
From Panelist Erica
Yes you can teach him to do a specific gait only when asked - as you
From Panelist Lukka
Icelandics are horses that are ridden in a whole array of up to 5 gaits (walk, trot, rack, flying pace and canter/gallop), and most of them learn to switch rather consistently between the gaits, according to what the rider is asking for. I know of people that have trained other gaited breeds to both rack and trot under saddle, and am sure that this can be done with many of the big gaited horses.
But then you have to be sure that you can handle being consistent in
asking for the different gaits, and be able to give some definite clues
so that the horse does not mix everything up. Especially if the judges
would frown up on your horse throwing in a few steps of gait now and then.
Ask your gaited trainer whether he thinks he could train the horse so that
But, anyway, if your gaited trainer simply wants to take the horse and turn him into a gaited horse (maybe even reprimanding him for trotting), you might be in for a huge problem when you want to ask him to trot ; )
From Panelist Liz
From Panelist Lee
Actually, Arabs are indeed one of the breeds that perform "other" gaits -- so this could be coming from both sides. For your own comfort when out riding on the trail, I would not see a problem with letting him do a gait from time to time, when asked, as long as he also trotted, when asked. It is entirely possible to train a horse to do various gaits on cue, (witness 5 gaited saddlebreds) but you need to have definite and sensible cues for each
gait. At this age, this horse is a baby and will go through a lot of body and gait changes as he matures.
So, the brief answer is, yes, you can train him to both trot and do some easy gait as well, on cue.
Good luck, he sounds like fun!
From Panelist Laura
Since you are primarily interested in showing only in English Pleasure, you should probably concentrate on just working on your walk, trot & canter. When pleasure riding you could give him verbal rewards for giving you a smoother gait - might as well have a nicer ride <G>. I don't see why you would need to spend extra money for training for gaits you aren't really planning on using.
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