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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

October 30, 2011

Any appaloosa riders out there?

Journey is my first Appaloosa (yes a cross, but I'll get to that).  I am so intrigued by how she moves, and wondering if anyone knows the mechanics of it.  Is it an Appaloosa thing?  Or just a Journey thing?  All most all of my riding experience has been on long legged Arabians having a huge forward impulsion, and star reaching upward loft to their trot.  A fun and exciting ride to be sure, but also an exhausting ride as the miles wear on.  Phebes "big" trot was well over 13 mph, with the break to canter at about 15 mph.

Journey's trot just feels so funny to me (in an I'm gonna get the giggles way, not the lame way).  Pitty-patty pitty patty pitty patty as fast as your brain can think it.  Her hoof fall and leg extension are minimal, just clearing the ground, not over-reaching in any way, and seems to be a very efficient way of moving all things considered.  it is also very "easy" to ride.  As the rise on the trot is so small, but you are doing it faster than you would on the air time of an arabian.

I said all that to ask, is that  little wind-up trotting gait an Appaloosa trait?

~ E.G.


  1. IDK, my first mustang's trot is like you describe.

  2. Conformation trait. A bit of a straight shoulder, shorter legs.

  3. TX

    Shorter legs for sure! *LOL* It is sure a lot of fun. I'm thinking that the miles will wear easier on me riding on a loose rein, and that easy little trot. We'll break no speed barriers for sure, but that's okay. Her wound out trot is about 8 mph before she breaks into canter. She prefers the canter given a choice, but it seems that little old trot will be a very efficient way to move.

    Journey being a cross is kind of strange. Sometimes I see the arabian in her, but for the most part...she's something very non-arabian from her short legs, little chunky build, straight down to her style of locomotion.

  4. My little (purebred) arab girl has really flat movement so far (doesn't pick her knees up very high), but still seems to cover a bit of ground despite being under 14hh (so far…). I'll see how much ground she covers compared to another horse when I start doing a bit more riding (not broken in completely yet), but so far her trot is really, really comfortable (haven’t done any fast trotting).

    The (purebred) arab I’ve been doing a bit of endurance with (I borrowed him) has a comfortable and really ground-covering trot, he also doesn’t pick his leg up very high. He is really efficient in both trot and canter (endurance ride tested).

    My stock horse (unknown breeding but is solid Australian Stock Horse or QH in type) throws his shoulder out a long way but without picking the leg up very high. He covers a LOT of ground in trot (and is his most efficient gait, though he’s not endurance-efficient). But he is very uncomfortable to ride in a slow trot. His big trot is smooth (not jarring) but quite big.

    The appy cross (unknown breeding but had appy markings) I used to have, had a really comfortable trot, especially when he was trotting slowly. His movement was neither flat nor extravagant, it was ground-covering without being huge… basically a nice trot. I can email you a link if you’d like to see a little video of him trotting? I was told that a lot of the appaloosa breeding was strongly influenced by QH lines now? I don’t know a lot about QH’s but I’ve seen some with flat, short-striding movement, though perhaps they were trained that way?

    Interesting about the short legs though… all of the above horses are quite stocky – short legs compared to their height, the arab gelding less so. Not sure if any of my comments help ;)

  5. Jacke, I have an Appaloosa, and yes, on his extended trot (which is very powerful and ground covering) I am going up and down as fast as my legs can take me. It feels like I'm a piston! (And I don't actually mind the piston-fast-feeling because I literally feel like we are flying!!)

    But at his working trot, I am not like a piston, I post at a more relaxed pace.

    His sitting trot is so up and down it is extremely hard for me to sit. I can only very, very rarely sit his trot. Hope this helps.