A gaited horse saddle is made to provide the horse’s shoulders more freedom to perform the high-stepping movement that many gaited breeds are known for.
What Is A Gaited Horse?
It is essentially a horse that does not trot due to breeding and training. Their gaits, while vary by breed, are all four-beat gaits, resulting in a more comfortable ride for the rider. Tennesse Walkers, Foxtrotters, Paso Finos, Rocky Mountain Horses, and Icelandic horses are just a handful of the most popular gaited breeds.
Traditional western saddles with quarter horse bars will suit certain gaited horses just well, but gaited saddles will fit most breeds and those who are displaying and truly going for that high-stepping style.
A gaited horse saddle has the following characteristics:
- Gaited bars on a saddle tree. These bars are slightly narrower than quarter horse bars, and they have greater flare in the front to reduce shoulder interference. The bars are likewise shorter to avoid interfering with the rear legs’ movement.
- The skirts are shorter to accommodate the rear legs’ movement.
- The gullet is higher to accommodate the high-stepping gaited breeds’ normally higher withers. To allow for more shoulder movement, the gullet is likewise wider in the front than in the back.
- The saddle positions the rider further back on the horse, allowing the animal’s shoulders to be freed up to perform the high-stepping gaits.
Gaited horses are becoming more popular as the baby boomer generation ages and more people begin riding in their later years. Those with bad backs will appreciate the pleasant ride. Most people, on the other hand, will discover that their gaited horse does not require a particular saddle.