Pennsylvania 6 month old TWH/TB cross

Question: My tb mare foaled on may 20,2000. I have a beautiful bay  filly. Sire is a ten walker/spotted saddle horse dam is Thoroughbred. I still am not able to  tell if my filly is gaiting. Is there anything particular to look. This  is my first experience with any type of gaited breed. I realize that she  might not have inherited the gait but would like more info.

From Panelist Anette
If she is gaiting, she won't be trotting when in an intermediate speed, is
the best way I can put it. You will hear more than two footfalls when they
are in an intermediate speed. If what you see and hear at the intermediate
speed is the trot, then there is no gait present. If you hear more than two
footfalls, but it looks like she's trotting, then she is doing a foxtrot.
However, by 6 months old, most gaited babies (with the exception of very
strongly gaited youngsters) will be trotting or at least foxtrotting in an
intermediate speed, anyway. The best time to see gait is at birth. In cross
breeds, though, it is not uncommon to see gait at birth, and then they loose
it in a few weeks or months, and never gait again. The other place to see it
is when they are coming down out of a canter or gallop, then you will see
gaited youngsters take a bunch of steps in gait before dropping to a walk.
As they come out of the canter, there is a rotation from the front to back
of the horse as they go into gait.

Gaitedness in offspring is distributed more or less on a bell curve. The
chances that this filly will gait enough to be called gaited are 25% or
less. More likely she may have a strong walk, and even some weak foxtrot,
but the odds would be against her having any more than that, if that. The
Thoroughbred is first a galloper, then a trotter. They are the strongest
trotting horses in the world. They are therefore the least desirable to
cross with gaited if what you want is gait in the foal.

The best trainer for this type of horse would be a Saddlebred trainer. They
are familiar with the riding, bitting, trimming and shoeing techniques to
get trotty horses to slow gait and rack. The same techniques applied to this
filly when under saddle, the use of the double reined double bit, shoeing on
the rear not the front, perhaps with a slightly weighted shoe, saddle set as
far back as it can go without catching on the point of the hip, rider weight
to the rear, hands up, head of horse up and nose tucked, back hollowed,
shoulders stiffened, are the techniques for asking a trotty horse to give
the slow gait and the rack based "saddling" gaits, the stepped rack and half
rack. Even if she does gait, though, it is likely to be as the Saddlebreds
today do, for short distances, and not over the distance time and terrain
that can be maintained by a quality fully gaited horse.



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