Icelandic Horse Connection

Buying Gaited Horses, Buyer Beware

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From: http://www.foursquareequinetraining.net

Buyer Beware!

Gaited trail horses are a Godsend for those who wish to explore the countryside on a flying carpet ride, with minimal jar and bounce. However, finding the perfect gaited trail horse is a nightmare for the uninitiated.

There is so much misinformation out there and so many sellers willing to sell beach front property in Wyoming, that if you are new to gaited horses the odds can be stacked highly against you buying the perfect gaited horse for the trail the very first time you buy.

Many horses on the market are horses that were bred for the showring, not for naturally smooth gaits.

The true pleasure gaited trail horse does not need special shoes, angles or complicated tack to perform a smooth saddle gait.

Unfortunately many gaited horses are no longer bred to perform the smooth gaits that made them comfortable to ride.

In Tennessee Walking Horses the tendency for modern award winning bloodlines is to be pacey and in Missouri Fox Trotting Horses, the showring is awarding those animals that have animation and reach and landing so closely on the diagonal, they are almost hard trotting!

When you are looking for a natural moving smooth trail horse, it's probably not a good thing when the seller starts bragging about all the World Grand Champions in its pedigree or the show accomplishments of the particular horse!

What you need is the ability and education to know what you're looking for or a knowledgable advocate who is looking out for your best interests who has no vested interest in the sale of the particular horse you are looking at.


A naturally gaited Icelandic Horse does not need an icelandic saddle, shoes, weights, boots, noseband, whip, icelandic bit (or any kind of bit), to be held in a frame, to have the rider sitting on the loins and / or the cantle of the horse.

If the horse is naturally gaited, he'll gait bareback, barefoot, in a halter, on a loose rein, with the rider sitting in a centered, balanced position.
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