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Old 02-26-2010, 09:56 AM   #1
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Gaited Horses in/around Lexington

Is there anybody in or around Lexington (I'm in Nicholasville, and I don't mind an hour drive or so) that has gaited horses? I'm interested in buying one, but I don't know much specifically about the breeds. I've read the breed standards and descriptions, and looked at videos of how they move, but nothing compares to an experienced owner. I'm mostly interested in learning the differences in care with these guys, rather than the typical quarters, apps, and paints that I've been around before, as well as how they feel under saddle.

From what I've read, they need a different style saddle to accomidate their shoulders, allowing them to gait without discomfort. Shoing is a topic for three days' worth of discussion, it seems. It's pretty tough to find information on shoing for the pleasure-trail rider. I've read about weight, angles, and pads until my eyeballs were in rebellion (and most everything was geared towards TN Walkers), but most of that seems directed towards "big lick" showing. I know specifics will depend on each horse and farrier, but a few broad strokes would be appreciated.

I'm probably making a donkey out of myself when I ask this, but if there's a kind soul that won't mind putting up with me for a day, I'd love some hands-on experience. I can't pay much, but I'm more than willing to offer myself for slave labor in exchange.
I am destroying the status quo because the status is not quo. The world is a mess and I just need to rule it.
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:14 AM   #2
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I'm probably a little to far away for what you want to travel. But i would be willing to answer an questions you have about any type of gaited horses.
"Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway."

"To be in the horse business you have to hate sleep and love horses."- random trainer at the racetrack- hah
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:56 AM   #3
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Location: Arcadia, Florida and Las Cruces. New Mexico
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Samma, welcome to the board and to the wonderful world of gaited horses!

I was put up onto my first gaited horse when I was two months old, in 1947.

I've still got a TWH, who is turning 29 this year.

I wish that I was close enough to spend a day or so with you, but unless you want to come to Florida, where it is 57 degrees and sunny today, that won't happen.

But a word or two: I've never owned a gaited horse saddle. A good fitting Western saddle works well. I use the same saddle on my Appaloosa, my QH, and my Walker.

And they all three go barefoot, trimmed at a natural angle by the same farrier. So don't worry about special shoes, pads, weights, etc. That stuff is for the "big lick" horses, as you said, and unless you are interested in "big time" showing, it isn't relevant. Even when we lived in West Virginia and kept our walker shod, he was trimmed at a natural angle, and wore regular keg shoes.

You are right smack dab in the middle of some of the best gaited horses in the world!

Google Rocky Mountain Horse, or Kentucky Mountain Horse or even Kentucky Naturally Gaited Horse, and you'll discover that breed headquarters for all are within an hour or so drive from where you live.

I am sure there are breeders of those fine naturally gaited horses close to you who would be tickled to have you come spend a day with them and their horses. Of course, they are going to try to sell you one. But you don't have to buy. Unless you fall in love!
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:13 PM   #4
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CowGirl, I'm trying to stay in the Lexington area, since it'd be a day trip.

Bear, that's what I've been reading, that many gaited breeds have their headquarters around here. I'm actually in heathen love with Kentucky Mountain horses, if only for their appearance. I know looks are no reason to buy a horse, but they are indeed pretty!

Do breeders really not mind someone coming out and bothering them like that? I would hate to waste someone's time like that, especially when their horses (on the cheap side of things) are seven thousand, well out of my price range.

As far as coming to Florida, we were looking at a vacation to Tampa and Orlando in June! If my redheaded self survives out in the sun for more than ten minutes, that is...
I am destroying the status quo because the status is not quo. The world is a mess and I just need to rule it.
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Old 02-27-2010, 07:39 AM   #5
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Samma, a lot of the breeders/dealers will have an open house. Check out the websites for their places, as well as the registry, to see if any are coming up this Spring.

You may not buy a seven grand horse, but you are definitely going to buy a horse some day. If you go to the Chevrolet dealer, does it cost you anything to look at the Corvette on the show room floor when what you can afford is the Cobalt on the front lot?

I have a friend in Wyoming who breeds TWH's. When I go to the retreat center there, she always hosts our group (anywhere from 4 to 40 people) and we go over to her place, walk out in the pasture among the mares and foals, watch a demo of one of her stallions under saddle, or a training session with one of the young ones. She says it "socializes" her babies. She's never sold a horse to me or anyone I've ever brought to her place, but she enjoys showing off her horses. And one of these days, when I win the Lotto, or Publisher's Clearing House, or Reader's Digest, it may pay off for her!

I'll send you by PM the info on some gaited horse places around Orlando and Tampa. There's even one place where you can rent and trail ride Missouri Fox Trotters.

Bring plenty of sunscreen! Florida is tough on red-headed people and black horses! They both change colors!
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Old 03-05-2010, 10:57 AM   #6
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Samma - try PMing the user named visionquest - she's not terribly far from you (less than an hour, I believe), and would be a GREAT person to 'sponge' information from, or could direct you to a good knowledgable source if she hasn't ridden it herself. She's truly a horse guru, and is next in line on my phone list if my vet is unavailable.

Editing to add, returning with a link to one of her topics, so you can find her easier...
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Old 03-05-2010, 09:36 PM   #7
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Samma: I'd be happy to help you. I live in Harrodsburg, about 50 minutes south of Lexington. I ride and train Paso's , TWH, Mt.Horses, etc. Please PM me and we'll see how i can help you.
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Old 03-09-2010, 09:02 AM   #8
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My uncle lives in Somerset ( which I believe is within your driving distance) and he breeds, trains and shoes gaited pleasure horses. I'm sure he'd be happy to tell you whatever you needed to know and ( if you're looking for one) he is in the process of selling several good but unregistered horses as he is trying to take his breeding program to a new level.

Otherwise, everything theoldbear said is pretty spot on. A saddle that fits is a saddle that fits. I've ridden in everything from roping saddles to plantation saddles with every variation you can think of ( McClellans, A/P english, cutbacks, Aussies, wades, Abettas, etc) the important thing is not the name or style of the saddle, it's the fit of the saddle and the placement. I have taken a lot of horses to retrain that people say are choppy when they gait, only to find out that the problem was the people putting the saddle on the horse in the wrong place. A tip I give beginners is to not use a breast strap for the first 30 minutes of riding, then when they put the strap on to leave it loose enough to slide your hand under. Generally speaking the saddle will move back into it's proper position ( and the ride will be a lot smoother) in that first 30 minutes if a breast strap is not on there holding it too far forward.

While I haven't been around as long as theoldbear I've been in the gaited horse world my whole life, breeding, training and shoeing ( I'll be 30 in July) so I consider myself to have a little experience and knowledge. If you have any specific questions feel free to PM me.


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