I’m one of those kids who grew up on gaited horses. My grandmother has owned and raised Peruvian horses for more than 30 years. She will proudly smile and rave about them whenever she gets the chance to talk horse.
Now, as an adult, I give a lot of credit to both my grandmother and the four-beat gaited horses who taught me an infinite number of lessons on life, love and riding. While I mostly ride ‘other’ horses now, I’ll always be able to spot my fellow gaited equestrians. How?
Because you know you ride gaited horses when…
1. Your horse language includes a few extra vocabulary words.
Foxtrot, Tölt, Rack, Sobrendando, Flying Pace, Paso Corto—if you are a gaited horse rider, you have enough extra vocab to make other equestrians spin in confusion. Eavesdropping at gaited shows requires newbies to pack a vocabulary chart because your basic eq lingo will only get you so far ’round here.
2. You are well versed in beatboxing.
Sure, you have heard dressage trainers talk about “loss of rhythm” but it’s a safe bet they’ve never rocked out to the beats on a sounding board like us gaited horse riders. Ask different gaited breed people to tell you what their horse sounds like and they will beatbox the sound for you—no horse necessary.
3. You always laugh at those who get saddle sore on long pleasure rides.
I once had a cowboy ride a Peruvian with me. After a couple minutes he looked at me and said, “I got to get me one of these.” If you are like me, you know that a trip out with your gaited horse is not a trail ride, it’s a trail glide. Still, you packed extra Ibuprofen for your horse buddies who brought their trotters, you know, just in case.
4. Your horse spooked the other horses in the Arena just by being himself.
If you have taken your gaited horse into the arena with unsuspecting horses you haven’t met, you have probably experienced a few wide eyes, tossed heads and big, sideways leaps. No, it’s not your horse spooking, it’s the others, as they struggle to wrap their brains around how the hay your horse can do that strange thing with its legs.
Don’t worry, the’ll figure it out. You do you, gaited horse, you do you.
5. You Know you are onto something special.
The magic of gaited horses goes beyond the smooth ride. It’s a world full of lore, history, tack, conformation and many other unique aspects you will not find with other breeds.
So go out, tack up and gait on. You are onto something special.