If you know you have a registered Paso Fino, Rocky, Peruvian, TWH, etc,
then you don't need to ask this question. Of course, your horse needs a
gaited saddle. The question comes up when a horse owner does not know the
breed of their horse, or it is a mixture of one or more breeds.
WHEN I USE THE WORD "TWIST", I AM NOT REFERRING
TO THE WAIST OF THE SADDLE. I AM REFERRING TO THE TREE, AND HOW IT FOLLOWS
THE SHAPE OF THE HORSE'S BACK.
There is an exercise I do where I place my palms flat
on the horse's back, where the panels of the saddle would lie. I learned
this from watching a Gaited Horse Clinician named Larry
Whitesell. Click HERE for a link to a
video that he does on his DVD set. Larry does not know me and I am not
affiliated with Larry at all. I did buy his DVD set. You can buy his DVD
Clinic at this link: http://www.whitesellgaitedhorsemanship.com/
When you get to this page, click on his DVD link.
My left hand is AT the withers, where the front of the saddle tree
would be. (DON'T PUT YOUR LEFT HAND ON THE WITHERS) My right hand
is toward the loins, where the back of the saddle tree would be. (DON'T
PUT YOUR RIGHT HAND ON THE SPINE) Hands are about 12 inches apart.
If both hands are on the same plane, then the horse needs a "gaited tree."
If the left hand is at a steeper angle than the right hand, the horse
needs a "trotting horse" tree...like a quarter horse tree. These saddles
have a "twist" in the tree that follows the back of the "trotting" horse.
Click here to see pictures of our gaited trees.
Call me if you need help. Here is a video of me doing the exercise: On
the right is a picture of where to put your hands.