Saddles and Gaited Horses
Gaited horses are a unique breed that have a smooth, natural four-beat gait that sets them apart from other horse breeds. This gait is often referred to as a "running walk," and it allows the horse to cover more ground quickly and comfortably. However, not all saddles are created equal when it comes to riding a gaited horse. In this blog post, we'll explain what a gaited horse is and what kind of saddle you should look for when riding one.
What is a Gaited Horse?
A gaited horse is a horse breed that is known for its smooth, natural four-beat gait. This gait is unique to gaited horses and is different from the typical two-beat trot of other horse breeds. Gaited horses have been selectively bred for this gait, and it is a natural characteristic that is passed down from generation to generation.
There are several breeds of gaited horses, including the Tennessee Walking Horse, the Missouri Fox Trotter, and the Paso Fino. Each breed has its own distinct characteristics and gait, but they all share the smooth, natural four-beat gait that sets them apart from other horse breeds.
What Kind of Saddle Should You Look for When Riding a Gaited Horse?
When it comes to riding a gaited horse, it's important to choose the right saddle. A saddle that is designed for a trotting horse may not be comfortable or suitable for a gaited horse. Here are a few things to look for when choosing a saddle for a gaited horse:
- Gaited Horse Saddle Tree
The saddle tree is the foundation of the saddle and determines its fit and comfort. When it comes to gaited horse saddles, it's important to choose a saddle with a tree that is specifically designed for gaited horses. These trees are typically flatter and wider than traditional saddle trees, which allows for more freedom of movement in the horse's shoulders and back.
- Lightweight and Balanced
A lightweight and balanced saddle is important for gaited horses, as it allows for more freedom of movement and less strain on the horse's back. Look for a saddle that is made from lightweight materials and is designed to distribute weight evenly across the horse's back.
- Short Skirt
Gaited horses have a shorter back than other horse breeds, which means that a saddle with a longer skirt may cause discomfort or rubs. Look for a saddle with a shorter skirt that is designed to fit the contours of a gaited horse's back.
- Padded and Wide Gullet
A padded and wide gullet helps to distribute weight evenly across the horse's back and provide comfort and support. Look for a saddle with a padded seat and wide gullet that is designed to fit the contours of a gaited horse's back.
Gaited horses are a unique breed that require a specialized saddle for optimal comfort and performance. When choosing a saddle for a gaited horse, it's important to look for a saddle with a tree that is specifically designed for gaited horses, is lightweight and balanced, has a short skirt, and is padded and wide in the gullet. By choosing the right saddle, you can help ensure that your gaited horse is comfortable, healthy, and performing at its best.