Racking Horses & Foxtrotters

Racking Horses & Foxtrotters

Post by cen04.. » Sat, 29 Jun 1996 04:00:00


Yesterday my friend and I went to look at a horse for sale, a 13 h "registered
racking horse" from Alabama.  Very cute horse, needed some TLC, but truly
racked.  Very small too.  Actually looked like a morgan pony.
Does anyone know how a horse qualifies as a registered racking horse?  This
horse had papers that indicated this registration and date of birth but with no
indication of breed or lineage.

Also, I saw my third (this summer) Missouri foxtrotter in action.  The owner
demonstrated because I hadn't seen one forxtrot since an AHSA show about 11
years ago.
 Like the other two I have seen lately, this horse did a lovely camel pace.  
The owners of these 3 horses all thought (I didn't comment)  that their horses
were foxtrotting.  My theory is that the Foxtrotters (and other types with
specialized gaits) with truly good foxtrots, walks racks etc., are kept for the
show circuit and the less properly gaited ones get put on the market for
unknowledgeable people to buy.  Comments?
Mary in MI

 
 
 

Racking Horses & Foxtrotters

Post by hollis barn » Sat, 29 Jun 1996 04:00:00

Quote:

>Also, I saw my third (this summer) Missouri foxtrotter in action.  The owner
>demonstrated because I hadn't seen one forxtrot since an AHSA show about 11
>years ago.
> Like the other two I have seen lately, this horse did a lovely camel pace.  
>The owners of these 3 horses all thought (I didn't comment)  that their horses
>were foxtrotting.  My theory is that the Foxtrotters (and other types with
>specialized gaits) with truly good foxtrots, walks racks etc., are kept for the
>show circuit and the less properly gaited ones get put on the market for
>unknowledgeable people to buy.  Comments?
>Mary in MI

I have been around Fox Trotters for 10 years and have raised 2 of my
own.  In my experience with them, less have 'the gait' than what you
would expect.  Of our two mares, one paces (she has a lot of TW in her
lineage) and the other does a true fox trot.  The mare that does the
true gait is a granddaughter of probably the most famous Fox Trotter of
all time; world grand champion Zane Grey.

Hollis Barnes

 
 
 

Racking Horses & Foxtrotters

Post by Horsewom » Mon, 01 Jul 1996 04:00:00

Hi all:   I just want to add my $.02 worth.  All gaited breeds have
variables.  That is that they can and sometimes do different gaits
than what the breed standard is.  I would not go so far as to say that
the ones who's gait differs from the standard are sold to the
unsuspecting public and the rest are show horses.  There are many show
horses who do not do the correct gait but still show and win.  These
horses are also sold to the unsuspecting public but at much higher
prices.  The Racking Horse Registry is still open.  That means that
any horse who was born 1989 or before and exhibits the racking gait
can be commissioned into the Racking Horse Registry.
        Too bad all walkers do not walk and all rackers do not rack and all
foxtrotters do not foxtrot.
        If you are interested in looking at gaited horses take someone along
who knows gaited horses.  Assuming that they do the required gait you
will find that they are generally very nice people oriented horses.
We love ours.

Quote:


>>Also, I saw my third (this summer) Missouri foxtrotter in action.  The owner
>>demonstrated because I hadn't seen one forxtrot since an AHSA show about 11
>>years ago.
>> Like the other two I have seen lately, this horse did a lovely camel pace.  
>>The owners of these 3 horses all thought (I didn't comment)  that their horses
>>were foxtrotting.  My theory is that the Foxtrotters (and other types with
>>specialized gaits) with truly good foxtrots, walks racks etc., are kept for the
>>show circuit and the less properly gaited ones get put on the market for
>>unknowledgeable people to buy.  Comments?
>>Mary in MI
>I have been around Fox Trotters for 10 years and have raised 2 of my
>own.  In my experience with them, less have 'the gait' than what you
>would expect.  Of our two mares, one paces (she has a lot of TW in her
>lineage) and the other does a true fox trot.  The mare that does the
>true gait is a granddaughter of probably the most famous Fox Trotter of
>all time; world grand champion Zane Grey.
>Hollis Barnes


 
 
 

Racking Horses & Foxtrotters

Post by MH » Tue, 02 Jul 1996 04:00:00

I have leased a foxtrotter that did everything except foxtrot, including a
run walk and rack, so I didn't miss the foxtrot.  He had some very nice
Walker *** in his pedigree.
One of the best foxtrotting horses I've watched (and I'd sure like to ride
him) is a registered Curly gelding.  He had beautiful perfect gait, and
can put most foxtrotters I've been around to shame.  Several of the
registered Foxtrotters I know of have had stifle surgery, and an NATRC vet
commented to me that they have a tendency to hock problems.

Quote:
>>> The owner
>>>demonstrated because I hadn't seen one forxtrot since an AHSA show about 11
>>>years ago.
>>> Like the other two I have seen lately, this horse did a lovely camel pace.  
>>>The owners of these 3 horses all thought (I didn't comment)  that their horses
>>>were foxtrotting.  My theory is that the Foxtrotters (and other types with
>>>specialized gaits) with truly good foxtrots, walks racks etc., are kept for the
>>>show circuit and the less properly gaited ones get put on the market for
>>>unknowledgeable people to buy.  Comments?
>>>Mary in MI

>>I have been around Fox Trotters for 10 years and have raised 2 of my
>>own.  In my experience with them, less have 'the gait' than what you
>>would expect.  Of our two mares, one paces (she has a lot of TW in her
>>lineage) and the other does a true fox trot.  The mare that does the
>>true gait is a granddaughter of probably the most famous Fox Trotter of
>>all time; world grand champion Zane Grey.

>>Hollis Barnes

 
 
 

Racking Horses & Foxtrotters

Post by Linda B. Meri » Tue, 02 Jul 1996 04:00:00

: ...
:  Like the other two I have seen lately, this horse did a lovely
 camel pace.  
: The owners of these 3 horses all thought (I didn't comment)  that their
 horses
: were foxtrotting.  My theory is that the Foxtrotters (and other types
 with
: specialized gaits) with truly good foxtrots, walks racks etc., are
 kept for the
: show circuit and the less properly gaited ones get put on the market
 for
: unknowledgeable people to buy.  Comments?

I don't know anything about Missouri Foxtrotters.  However, it is
very, very easy to ruin an American Saddlebred 5-gaited horse.
Trainers are loathe to sell them to at-home amateurs because
of the almost certainty that the amateur will ruin the horse
as a 5-gaited horse.

The rack is almost always *taught* to the horse.  ASBs do
not do it naturally.  At most, what they have is an aptitude
to learn broken lateral gaits; they are not born doing them.
Any sign of a natural tendancy to pace in an ASB is considered
a severe flaw because it will hamper the horse's ability
to learn the rack.

Unlike the running walk, the rack is a very strenuous gait that cannot
be maintained for long periods of time.  As the horse tires,
it will often begin to shuffle into a pace instead of maintaining
the rack.  This is considered disastrous, because a horse
that has learned it can pace instead of rack is almost impossible
to break of the habit.

So, a pro sells a racking ASB to a backyard owner.  The
backyard owner, much enamored of his horse's rack, doesn't
put his horse to much else, even trying to use it as a
cruising gait on the trail.  The horse tires, breaks into
a pace instead, and pretty soon that's all he'll do.

This is a true rack I'm talking about.  Not any one of the
half dozen or so broken lateral gaits that most people (including
me) have never even seen, much less know to accurately
identify when they do see it.

Linda B. Merims

Massachusetts, USA

 
 
 

Racking Horses & Foxtrotters

Post by GJMarcha » Sun, 07 Jul 1996 04:00:00

If the rack is so hard to sustain (and I have heard that it is *** the
horse's hocks, in particular), and cannot be used in normal trail-type
riding, then why is it even taught?  Is this something that is only for
the show ring to make the horse look flashy?  How silly!  A Tennessee
Walker or Foxtrotter, on the other hand, does its gait naturally (and I'm
NOT talking big-lick here!) and easily, all day if you want.  The more I
hear about the ASB show ring, the more convinced I become that
"natural-ness" is not a concern there.  So it looks cool for a few minutes
in the ring - big deal!

Becky in MN

 
 
 

Racking Horses & Foxtrotters

Post by Horsewom » Sun, 07 Jul 1996 04:00:00

The rack that a saddlebred does is a taught gait and therefor hard for
them to maintain for long periods of time.  As to why they teach ASB
to rack is someone elses question to answer because I do not know.
There are Racking horses who rack naturally.  These horses can and do
rack all day long.  The rack for them is as natural as a runningwalk
is for a Tennessee Walking Horse.  In fact the Racking Horse is a
cropout (so to speak) of the walking horse.  They just happen to rack
instead of walk.  They have a seperate breed registry and everything.
Many many Walking Horses are also registered Racking because that is
the gait varation that they exhibit.

Quote:
>If the rack is so hard to sustain (and I have heard that it is *** the
>horse's hocks, in particular), and cannot be used in normal trail-type
>riding, then why is it even taught?  Is this something that is only for
>the show ring to make the horse look flashy?  How silly!  A Tennessee
>Walker or Foxtrotter, on the other hand, does its gait naturally (and I'm
>NOT talking big-lick here!) and easily, all day if you want.  The more I
>hear about the ASB show ring, the more convinced I become that
>"natural-ness" is not a concern there.  So it looks cool for a few minutes
>in the ring - big deal!
>Becky in MN

 
 
 

Racking Horses & Foxtrotters

Post by Kristen Anderso » Mon, 08 Jul 1996 04:00:00

Quote:

> If the rack is so hard to sustain (and I have heard that it is *** the
> horse's hocks, in particular), and cannot be used in normal trail-type
> riding, then why is it even taught?  Is this something that is only for
> the show ring to make the horse look flashy?  How silly!  A Tennessee
> Walker or Foxtrotter, on the other hand, does its gait naturally (and I'm
> NOT talking big-lick here!) and easily, all day if you want.  The more I
> hear about the ASB show ring, the more convinced I become that
> "natural-ness" is not a concern there.  So it looks cool for a few minutes
> in the ring - big deal!

> Becky in MN

The rack is a sped up and less animated version of the slow gait, also
performed by saddlebreds.  These are "man-made" gaits, as they need to be
taught and/or refined in gaited horses.  But the saddlebred's breeding
includes ***lines from the Narragansett (Canadian) Pacer, plus several
other breeds, and therefore many saddlebreds have "natural" tendencies to
slow gait.  You can teach a saddlebred to slow gait even if it does not
have these tendencies as a result of it's ***lines.  However many
saddlebreds do them "naturally", and as an example my first saddlebred
was never taught this gait but I had to work and work to overcome it and
create a strong trot.  He would also gait going down hills on trail
rides, although it became more pacey going down hill.  Many stallions are
advertised as having great 5-gaited babies, etc., etc.

This gait was desirable for long rides.  Back when saddlebreds were being
used for everyday riding, the horses performed this gait for comfort to
the rider.  These horses had some natural motion, but were not shod to
enhance it, therefore it was less tiring for the horse.  For the show
ring, these horses are shod and trained for excessive motion, so the
horse puts out a lot of energy and brilliance in one big burst.  This is
why it is harder on the horse and much more tiring.  You would never ride
one of those horses like that down a trail all day!  However you could
ride a saddlebred normally shod at a light slow gait, sans big motion, on
trails.  This is this horses' heritage.  (One other point: SBs used to be
a stonger, slightly stockier breed.  They are bred now for refined looks
because of show ring popularity.  But they used to, in general, be more
hardy.  If you look at pics of the foundation sires, they are all
stockier horses with more muscular hind ends.)

The natural-ness as you put it is actually becoming a growing concern
among saddlebred people, especially pleasure horse owners.  What strikes
newcomers as being artificial right off the bat are the long feet and set
tails.  Long feet, if too long and shod too heavily are not good for
horses' legs.  Set tails are strange to look at, at first, and there is
no reason except for fashion that tails are set for performance classes.
 This fashion began years and years ago when everyone drove their horses
and it made it easier to put on/off the crupper.  The horse still has
full use of it's tail as far as swishing flies.  But appearences do
count, and many of us wish that these artificial things were less a norm,
and would not spill over into the pleasure divisions as they do.

Because of these first impressions people get when seeing show ring
saddlebreds, many people assume this is what saddlebreds are like in
general.  However most of these horses, if not trained to "go" for the
show ring and kept shod naturally, are just regular old horses.  They get
more nervous like "hot ***ed" horses such as Thoroughbreds, etc, but
they are good, honest, curious horses which are as much fun to own as any
other breed.

I can understand the aversion most people have to these artificial type
saddlebreds, as I sometimes feel averted myself!  Which is why I'm into
the pleasure divisions.  However it does bother me when saddlebreds get a
bad rap as a breed.  Feel free to criticize the show horses with all
their training baggage, but please don't criticize the saddlebred.

Kristen
Lunenburg, MA

 
 
 

Racking Horses & Foxtrotters

Post by John T. Klausne » Tue, 09 Jul 1996 04:00:00


writes:

Quote:

>If the rack is so hard to sustain (and I have heard that it is ***
the
>horse's hocks, in particular), and cannot be used in normal trail-type
>riding, then why is it even taught?  Is this something that is only
for
>the show ring to make the horse look flashy?  How silly!  A Tennessee
>Walker or Foxtrotter, on the other hand, does its gait naturally (and
I'm
>NOT talking big-lick here!) and easily, all day if you want.  The more
I
>hear about the ASB show ring, the more convinced I become that
>"natural-ness" is not a concern there.  So it looks cool for a few
minutes
>in the ring - big deal!

>Becky in MN

I've ridden _one_ five gaited horse in my life.  I got him to rack a
couple of times.  It was terrific! If you ever get the chance, try it -
you'll understand why it's in the shows or anywhere else in spite of
its limitations! It's a  WOW!! kind of thing.  I understand your
statement about the lack of "natural-ness", and your scorn for the
"cool thing" in the ring, but as a horseman, some things a horse can do
just grab you.  The rack is one of them.
SueK    
 
 
 

Racking Horses & Foxtrotters

Post by Caprice Soltice Lanno » Tue, 09 Jul 1996 04:00:00

Quote:

> If the rack is so hard to sustain (and I have heard that it is *** the
> horse's hocks, in particular), and cannot be used in normal trail-type
> riding, then why is it even taught?  Is this something that is only for
> the show ring to make the horse look flashy?  How silly!  A Tennessee
> Walker or Foxtrotter, on the other hand, does its gait naturally (and I'm
> NOT talking big-lick here!) and easily, all day if you want.  The more I
> hear about the ASB show ring, the more convinced I become that
> "natural-ness" is not a concern there.  So it looks cool for a few minutes
> in the ring - big deal!

One might as well ask 'Why Piaffe?'.

I think it would be a good idea if you didn't use the word 'natural' in the
same sentence as 'Walking Horse'.  I used to have Walking and Racking horses,
so I have some experience with them.  I still watch their classes at the
shows.  The shoeing on Plantation horses (not just the big*** horses, which
we don't have in California) is *anything but* natural. How silly! How can
these horses do a running walk/rack/pace (BTW most of them DO NOT do a
correct running walk) all day *easily* with all that weight on their feet?

What was that? Did you say that not ALL walking horses are shod/trained that
way? Well, then, consider that not ALL saddlebreds are shod/trained the same
way. These horses will gait outside of the ring - and they have a heck of a
trot too! - thus giving the best of both worlds.

-caprice
What was that saying about glass houses...

 
 
 

Racking Horses & Foxtrotters

Post by Linda B. Meri » Tue, 09 Jul 1996 04:00:00

: >If the rack is so hard to sustain (and I have heard that it is *** the
: >horse's hocks, in particular), and cannot be used in normal trail-type
: >riding, then why is it even taught?...
: >The more I
: >hear about the ASB show ring, the more convinced I become that
: >"natural-ness" is not a concern there.  So it looks cool for a few minutes
: >in the ring - big deal!

: >Becky in MN

I don't think anybody should see _Hamlet_, or any play
by Shakespeare.  It's not natural.  Nobody *really* talks
like that.

Linda B. Merims

Massachusetts, USA

 
 
 

Racking Horses & Foxtrotters

Post by Red1Son » Fri, 19 Jul 1996 04:00:00


writes:

Quote:
> ASBs do
>not do it naturally.  

I beg to differ.  My Saddlebred gelding did it from a very early age,
in the pasture, he was always flatshod if not barefoot,and I never
 taught it to him.  Granted, it was only
in times of e***ment (new horse in pasture, etc) but he DID it,
naturally.  I have owned ASB's and my mom had a flatshot TWH
and I know what the gait looks and feels like.  

Not to be a smart*** or anything, just wanted to say it _can_ happen.
And in a homebred gelding no less.  :)  Grandson of Flight Time, that
might have had something to do with it.  :)

Red Sonja
hating the fact that I had to sell him....

 
 
 

Racking Horses & Foxtrotters

Post by Red1Son » Sat, 20 Jul 1996 04:00:00


Quote:

> Feel free to criticize the show horses with all
>their training baggage, but please don't criticize the saddlebred.

Couldn't have said it better myself, thank you for a very thoughtful and
interesting post.  :)  

btw, my ASB gelding was out of an "old ***" mare, pushing 20 when
I bought her and bred her to a Flight Time son, and the resulting foal
had bigger hindquarters, wider chest and less of the "peacock" look.
and I loved him for it.  :)

Red Sonja
missing Solo more every time I mention him.  :(