Gaits Overview

Roberta Bradbury, the Mother of Lee Ziegler, has graciously allowed the paraphrase or make reference to her daughter’s works. If these short summaries covering the gaits on the following pages tweak your interest, then you may want to read the full details in the articles listed under Lee Ziegler on this website. She has many articles and they are very inclusive and should answer your further questions.

An important part of riding Gaited Morgans correctly is the ability to know the various gaits. You must be able to see how the horse moves, feel the difference in the movement from the saddle in the various gaits and listen for the hoof beats. The footfall sequence, timing, support and the shifting of the horses body usually define the gaits. The easiest part of identifying gait is looking at the legs. Are the legs moving forward together or are they going in opposite directions. If the legs on the same side are moving forward together then the horse is doing one of the lateral gaits: Pace; stepping pace; saddle rack; true rack; or a running walk which will be discussed in this section. Legs moving in the opposite directions from the side you are on indicates one of the diagonal gaits: trot and foxtrot are two examples.

Do not get discouraged if you can not see these movements in your Gaited Morgan, hear or feel the difference in the gaits immediately. Be patient and keep looking and riding the horse and ask for assistance in identifying the various gaits. Also understand there can be variations in the gait from the perfect described gait. If you look at animation and the videos of the various Gaited Morgans and the other gaited breed examples, you will be able to visualize the various movements of the horse and rider. Hopefully the enclosed Gaited Morgans information will make you understand what your horse is doing or how to get the desired results. Enjoy your Gaited Morgan, and please contact the Gaited Morgans Association if you have questions.

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