Arkansas 2 year old Pinto Gaited Horse ridden in grazing bit and reg. western trail in round pen by advanced rider

Question: Okay this may sound silly, but it has been brought to my attention my young 2 yr. old is GAITED. I have never owned a gaited horse, and now that I have had him a while I don't want to sell him. He is 2 yrs old 14 hand loud tobiano paint. My question is now that he will be really starting training should I find a trainer that specializes in gaited horse?  If I am going to have a gaited horse I want him to reach his full potential. also what kind of showing and competitions are there for these types of horses? 

Thanks for your help 

From Panelist Liz

Hi Arkiecowgirl,

Sounds like a nice surprise!!  First of all I would not start this horse for another year. He is still a bit young to be doing much under saddle. But when you do I would get someone that knows about identifying gait and the can help you to develop it naturally. By this
I mean no weighted shoes and big bits. Find out what his best gait is naturally and develop it from there. As far as basic training , start him as any other horse in a snaffle bit (no shank, no curb) Teach him to dog walk , flat walk, all the flexing and lateral work as any other horse.

Oh what more could a cowgirl ask for gait and color!!

From Panelist Stella

Congratulations! Now that you know your horse is not of strictly Quarter Horse breeding, which is what a Paint specifically is, you can call him a Pinto!(all other breeds with bi-coloration) You may also want to have him registered with one of the Spotted Saddle 
Horse registries, which are still "open" to id registration(where pedigree is  unknown) provided they are either inspected by an official inspector, or a  video demonstrating gait is mailed in with the application. These  organizations can also provide you with lists of sanctioned shows around the  country.

It is a good idea, being your first gaited horse, to find a trainer familiar  or specializing (preferably) in gaited horses to help you train your horse,  so BOTH you and the horse can learn. Your state Horse Council or Dept. of Agriculture should have information, at least on state or regional gaited horse clubs, from whom you can network to find trainers, and others who own gaited horses. Meeting others is very supportive for information and 
comraderie,as well as finding events you can attend to watch and learn more, even before you are ready to show to be prepared in making decisions about which avenues you intend to pursue with your horse. You will find a whole new world out there, fun and close at hand! The Spotted Saddle Horse organizations can also help provide lists of trainers, there are professional trainers organizations you can contact for information as well. 

You will likely find websites listed for some of these groups right at this  site.
Good luck to you and your horse, and enjoy!


From Panelist Laura

Sounds like this may be a spotted saddle horse rather than a Paint - you 
might want to check with the previous owner to find out breeding info on your 
colt.  You may be able to register your horse with one of the Spotted Saddle 
horse registries.  

If you want to develop this horse's gait & show, you should definately find a 
good gaited trainer.  As far as where to show, since your horse is not 
registered, you will need to show in classes/shows that do not require 
registration papers.  Some walking horse shows offer a class called Country 
Pleasure that does not require registration and is basically the horse's best 
smooth gait.  There are also shows/classes just for spotted horses.  Other 
shows (such as NWHA affiliated shows) do not require papers - ask the show 
secretary before you pay entry money.  Contact a gaited club in your area to 
find out about local shows.  Enjoy your nice horse.


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