I have never owned a gaited horse. I did own one mule out of a Tennessee Walking mare and she did have the walk.

However I have ridden every popular gaited breed in the U.S.A. For example:

  1. I worked on a ranch one summer while I was a vet student and they had a Tennessee gelding that I gathered cattle on several times. Excellent!
  2. After doing a seminar in Missouri I was asked if I’d like to see some Missouri mules. I told them that what I’d really like to see were some Fox Trotters. They took me to a farm and I got to ride that year’s Junior Champion stallion and the current champion mare. My host said, as I rode the stallion in an indoor arena, “Well, say something!” I replied, “Open the door and point me to the West.”
  3. After doing a seminar in Norway, my wife and I got to ride Icelandic horses. Fabulous!
  4. We were invited to a colleague’s cattle ranch North of Phoenix, Arizona, and helped gather bulls. The ranch used gaited Rocky Mountain Horses as their cow ponies… so versatile! And smooth!
  5. Back when the late Dr. Fred Soifer and I hosted a C.E. Seminar (“Seminars in the Sun”) for vets, every other year (for 20 years), once our program included an optional trail ride on Paso Fino horses imported from Venezuela. I was so impressed by their surefootedness in the steep rocky terrain. This was on the Caribbean island of Aruba.
  6. We rode Mangalarga Marchadors in Brazil when participating in a Horse Expo teaching clinic. Very smooth and versatile.
  7. Because the Peruvian Paso Horse was first introduced into my practice area, including Meadow Springs Ranch, the largest Peruvian Paso breeding farm in North America at the time, I have ridden many Peruvian horses. Their gait is almost impossibly smooth.

To summarize, I love the gaited breeds. Some are more versatile than others, but all of them are such a pleasure to ride. I’d be very happy to own one.

Maybe when I get old?