Are Dutch Harness Horses Gaited?
Are Dutch Harness Horses Gaited The Dutch Harness Horse, also known as the Gelderlander, is a breed of light harness horse originating in the Netherlands. They are known for their docile and willing nature as well as their athleticism and presence. These horses are used in harness racing, dressage, and show jumping, as well as general riding and pleasure. Many people wonder if Dutch Harness Horses are gaited, meaning they can perform various four-beat Intermediate Gaits such as the Fox Trot, or five-beat Stepping Pace.
Gaits of Dutch Harness Horses
The answer to the question is yes; Dutch Harness Horses can gait. However, gaiting is not a common trait amongst the breed, and it is not used in the show ring or in competitions. Most Dutch Harness Horses will only perform walk and trot, with a few having the ability to perform a variety of the Intermediate Gaits:
- Fox Trot: a four-beat machine-like gait, in which the horse moves evenly and is responsive to the rider’s instructions.
- Stepping Pace: a five-beat gait in which the legs strike the ground in a regular sequence, resulting in a fast, easy ride.
- Rack: a four-beat rolling gait, in which the horse moves in a very collected and controlled manner.
- Slow Pace: a six-beat gait, in which the horse’s legs move in a coordinated rhythm and the horse moves quickly, with a high degree of balance and control.
The gaiting ability of a Dutch Harness Horse is genetic and is largely determined by the horses’ breeding. Those horses that have been specifically bred for the purpose of gaiting are likely to possess the ability to perform the gaits.
In conclusion, Dutch Harness Horses can gait, but it is not a trait that is seen in the show ring or used in competitions. Gaiting is a genetic trait, and those horses bred specifically for the purpose may be more likely to possess the ability to gait.