Gaited horses as jumpers?


Monty the Monster Hoss
Nov 15, 2005
Kentucky, USA
I'm looking at a horse right now. He is an Appaloosa/Walkaloosa cross, five years old. The ad says he is gaited, although it didn't say how gaited. I'm amazed that the gaited gene is still there seeing as how he is mostly Appaloosa. Just wondering about everyones opinions on gaited horses as jumpers?


New Member
Oct 5, 2003
kent England
I know of a couple of pacers who jump.One of them was the mare who dropped me.Unfortunately I had been schooling her to jump in the field when the YO who was giving a lesson asked me to give her a lead over some cross country fences.I did and she promptly went into race mode having raced previously and cleared a ditch by a good 5 ft or so and then dropped her shoulder after to go into pace mode dropping me in the process.I suffered a huge loss of confidence because I was hurt quite badly and never jumped the mare again after that.The YO then decided afterwards that she would never make a jumper even given the clearance she gave the jump and she was just used for hacking afterwards. The other horse I know is now about 28 and no longer jumps but he was happily going around the crosscountry jumps and used to jump up to about 2'6 comfortably.


New Member
Dec 4, 2005

we have a 15.2hh pacing horse....and i must say she is amazing!

it takes a decent rider to ride them you have to see a proper stride...fight....and keep it un pacing

i reccomend a crash course of dressage lessons ;-)

but if you want anymore advice add me to msn- [email protected]

i wouldnt really see a problem as a gaited horse as a jumper....but they do require extra riding!

I've wondered this myself. I traded my velvet cap and tall boots for gaited horses this past fall, training horses in preperation for trail riding. I haven't worked with any pacers yet- only fox trotters and racking horses. My general impression of gaited horses is that they are very very willing horses, and once you've built a relationship with them, they will do anything you ask of them.

I would think that pacers would be a little unbalanced for the sharp turns and such of jumping, considering that they move on the laterals. But as I said, I've never ridden a pacer, so I wouldn't know.

Rackers and fox trotters can pick up quite a bit of speed- but gaited horses were designed and bred for endurance, not power.

Keep in mind that gaited horses (non-pacers, that is) have a rapid four-beat gait, which keeps you very centered. You don't ride a gaited horse in the forward seat, which might be harder to adapt to if you're used to remaining in the forward position throughout a course. The four-beat gait might make it difficult to count off strides- before I stopped jumping, I got into the habit of whispering a little countdown to my takeoff point- if you've ever heard a horse rack down a gravel road or sound board (a panel in the floor of an arena that enables the rider to hear the horse's individual hoofbeats, to check for squareness. A very popular luxury in the gaited horse world), you'd know that the footsteps are very very close together- the horses step about two to four times faster than a trotting horse, sometimes faster- it will be hard to count. I don't know that gaited horses will have enough forward impulsion to clear a fence of much size.

However... I think it mainly depends on the horse. Ask the owner what they think the horse might be capable of.


Hunter/jumper rider!
My coachs old Grand Prix horse was an TB cross Walking horse, he did great! Saddly we had to put him down this past November due to old age(was 36) But back in his day they, My coach and BJ, showed in all the Grand Prix, and Cup classes. I think any horse can jump, just that some are/like it better then others.
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