Gaited Horse Bible by Brenda Imus
Buying, Training and Riding the Naturally Gaited Horse
The gaited horse--bred and trained to perform smooth-to-ride, ground-covering alternative gaits (not the trot/jog or canter/lope) that can often be sustained long distances and sometimes at astounding speeds — has steadily gained mainstream popularity as a pleasure or trail mount, in addition to its traditional status as a top-notch show-ring competitor.
While generations of careful breeding have instilled a natural ability to "gait" in certain breeds, the "smooth saddle gaits" are not necessarily automatic. This means that riders, whether exploring the backcountry or vying for a championship ribbon, need to train their gaited horse to be able to perform, and then school him to perform well, consistently, and without doing damage to his body.
From the simplest, clearest explanation of the "Gait Spectrum" you'll find, to a discussion of gaited horse breeds (their history, characteristics, and uses) and gaits (running walk, rack, fox trot, tolt, trocha, for example), to an in-depth study of conformation, movement, and soundness — it's all in this terrific resources.
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