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The Gaited

The Curly is a result, it can be medium or long, straight, athletic and effective, smooth. In walk- the post will arise on or before the earlier of the footprint, creating a long stride, the look known as "stepping pace" or "Curly Shuffle" and a quick and flexible bottom as fast as a small trot . The trot should be naturally extended and flexible, and Curly for some more or less pointed and air: the Gaited. Some breeds of speed have been crossed with Curly, and about 10% of Curly naturally adopt today is the foxtrot, the running walk or Curly shuffle.

Decomposition of gaited gaits


The three natural paces in horses are, in order of increasing speed, the pace, the trot and the gallop.

Some horses naturally have one or two extra gaits.

The purists of the Missouri Foxtrotter and CURLY MFT will say that it has
2 classic paces that are the step and the gallop and 3 gaited paces that are the flat foot walk, the foxtrott as well as the canter.
Thanks to their great comfort, the gaited horses are called
"Cowboy Cadillac" and "Cowboy's Roll Royce".





POSER LATHERAL (amble base)


PACE (walking pace/gait)

The feet rise and fall at the same time. The beat is “1-2-1-2”. The horse will show his neck and head on the opposite side to the forelimb that rises. The hind legs swing from left to right. The body of the horse appears to “rise and fall”. The rider will swing from side to side.

STEPPING PACE (faster walk) 

The feet won’t rise laterally in the same way. The beat will be “1-2---3-4”. The rider will swing slightly more from side to side than during a walking pace. This gait is outstanding and very comfortable for the rider/horsewomen.

RACK or TOLT (meaning approach)

This is a quick gait. The feet facing opposite each other, first two feet, then the other two feet, with a moment of suspension between each. The beat is “1-1/1-2”. There will be 3 feet in the air and 1 on the ground OR 2 feet in the air and 2 on the ground. It’s a gait specific with Icelandic ponies, where they permanently keep 1 foot in contact with the ground, this is extremely comfortable for the rider .some riders describe the feeling to be like “climbing a ladder”. The speed of the movement means that it is invisible to the naked eye. 

SADDLE RACK (working gait) 

The legs on one side seem to rise a the same time. We could call the beat a 4 beat action “1-2-3-4”. There are always 2 or 3 feet on the ground at any one time. 
If performed correctly it creates very little movement in the saddle, it’s a very smooth process.
The tail could move from left to right with the movement of the corresponding side of the hip up and down. It is a common approach with the Morgan Gaited. 


(means walk)


The feet ride and fall at different intervals, the beat is “1-2-3-4” it literally is a “shuffle” it resembles the walk but the horse must drag its hooves, the hind hooves must land beyond the hoofprints of the front hooves. 
The rider moves only slightly back and forth, with the sensation of moving up and down in the saddle. Your horse becomes a real chair! 
The head shows the rhythm that’s more pronounced in the foxtrott. 

(walking quicker)

A very fast pace with a slight rebound. The feet remain on a perfect beat “1-2-3-4”. The rider will still sway back and forth, but due to the speed, they wouldn’t have the sensation of rising and falling in the saddle because of the movement of the horses back. Much better than a chair, believe me, it’s now a throne!






The diagonal feet take off at the same time. The beat is “1-2---3-4”, an irregular rhythm. The horse nods his head to the rhythm of the movement of the shoulders and hindquarters, whilst the rump moves up and down. It resembles a stronger amplitude from the behind which causes an intensification
of the stride. The rider feels like they’re moving up and down
within the saddle. .


A gait that resembles a 3 beat movement. The pace mist by rhythmic, with a moderate speed along with a slight rocking movement. The horse must be relaxed and move naturally.
We’re searching for the next “round” of the horse.





Similar to the above. We’re looking for an outline of the movement of a rocking chair or a rocking horse. The head must be at its highest when the back outside leg touches the ground, and lowest when the front inside leg touches the ground. A pace that is more or less slow, it requires a lot of precision! 

Genetic research is in sight! !

To understand why some horses are gaited...
The genetic studies on the gaited horses are being undertaken by the University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, Sweden. Niina Kangas, a student, wants to support his theory of a gene that “effects the locomotion” of certain breeds of horse. The name of the research is: DMRT3-mutation, to understand what effects the locomotion of certain breeds of horse. For example: the Icelandic ponies, who can perform 4 or 5 gaits (walk, trot, canter rack/tolt, pace and amble) in 2 Icelandics they present different genotypes. 

Niina recently decided to include researches about our wonderful gaited Curlies, pedigrees including Walkers Prince T, Sir Patrick MJT, Star’s Lucky Touch or from the Foxtrotters origins. All of the gaited Curlies at JAK stud are making a part of this research. It’s encouraged by the ICHO, several samples of French hairs were sent to Sweden. Stay tuned !

Named: SynchroGait. It’s a DNA diagnosis test. It is based on a project of research where a variety of a known gene has a major impact of the co-ordination of the horse. This exciting discovery is the first of its kind and has recently been published in the respected scientific journal “Nature”.
The SynchroGait test allows you to identify one of the most important genetic factors that affects the performance of a horses trotting and allows for the other alternative gaits, called GAIT, present in many breeds, such as the Missouri Fox Trotter, the Morgan, the Icelandic, the Paso Fino and the Tennessee Walking horse. Also present in certain Paint and Quarter horses (and others) and in our dear Curlies!

This DNA diagnosis test has an major impact on the canvas and co-ordination of horses. The swedish research has shown the the mutation “facilitates the lateral gaits,amble and other declining gaits and inhibits the transition from trot to canter. 
The gaited is a variant and has been identified as a major factor for the performance of trotters and their ability to perform the “flying pace” performed by Icelandic ponies and in several Curly lines too. (among others) This test, available on Horsegenetest, allows owners to know and understand the innate capability of young horses towards the gaited performance. This facilitates their decisions on future breeding programmes. 
The livestock breeders are able to predict the probable genotypes of offspring and establish the ideal breeding programme in order to optimise the production of foals with the gaited “mutation” or it allows them to avoid breeding the mutation into breeds used for dressage and jumping, where the gene wouldn’t be a positive attribute!