2 new Walkers shipped from Tennessee, advice please - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 35 Old 06-08-2014, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Ontario
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2 new Walkers shipped from Tennessee, advice please

I live in southern Ontario, and just purchased 2 Tennessee Walkers that had recently been shipped up from Tennessee. They were sold to me from a dealer as 'excellent trail horses', and that they are. They will ride all day, any terrain, relatively calmly, no spook as of yet. They are friendly, easy to catch, and you can touch them all over.
The problem is that they will not stand to mount. Nor will they stand still under saddle. As long as they are moving, they are perfectly sweet and happy. Ask them to stop, they are tossing their heads, stumbling around, nearly unmanageable.
I am new to the breed, very used to my quarter horse who stands to mount, and waits until you ask before walking off, so it is a bit disconcerting. I am no longer a spry 20 year old who can mount a horse who is moving around. Plus I am short as well.
Is this common in horses 'straight from Tennessee'? I have talked to trainers in the area, and they have all said they have never seen a TW up from Tennessee that didn't have major holes in its training.
It is my understanding that the dealer gets these horses as 'failed' show horses (saved from the lick, that is fine by me), and that they are trained as trail horses specifically. But wouldn't any horse who is trained to carry a rider in any capacity be trained to stand? Is that not step one when first backing a horse? Thoughts and advice? Thank you!
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post #2 of 35 Old 06-08-2014, 02:14 PM
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OP, I had the same experience with my TWH mare. I bought her in southern Kentucky and had travelled there so I rode her before I bought her. At home with no one holding her for mounting, she did not understand that she was to stand still until asked to walk on. She just wanted to move at speed all the time. I spent lots of time doing ground work with her and just having her stand by the mounting block as I leaned on her back. I taught her how to flex in both directions. (I admit I resorted to using food rewards sometimes). When I do ride her, I spend lots of time at the walk, before we do any gaiting. She has learned a lot and, now that she understands, she is very good to mount and will walk quietly if that is what is asked of her. It all took time (18 months or so) but she is well worth it with her sweet disposition and willing attitude.
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post #3 of 35 Old 06-08-2014, 03:08 PM
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I know some people are anti-treat, but I "cookie train" with all my horses.

I mount the best I can, then tap them on the neck and give them a horse cookie or piece of carrot. If you do this every time you mount they catch on REALLY quick. Even my 4 yr old has been standing like a rock whenever I mount, whatever I stand him next to (he's tall so I always stand him next to something).

I don't have TWH's but I do have a very forward Foxtrotter and I've had Arabians in the past who couldn't stand still to save their life. This worked with all of them for mounting. They really wait patiently for their cookie! The tap on the neck is the cue for them to turn and reach for it. Be careful, some of them don't have the best hand feeding manners at first and they can grab your finger. But they all seem to learn patience pretty quick.
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post #4 of 35 Old 06-08-2014, 03:16 PM
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Unfortunately what you describe is VERY common in the gaited world here. I live on the border of KY and TN and see it every time I go somewhere to ride. I don't know if people just think it's 'normal' for them to not stand properly or what, but I bet it's how they were trained (or not).
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post #5 of 35 Old 06-08-2014, 04:23 PM
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I have a TWH and she is an awesome trail horse but when I got her she did not stand as still as I liked for being saddled.It took time and work but she is there now. When we come in the gate from riding now I dismount shut and lock gate and she will follow me to the barn and stands to be unsaddled without being tied. This is a wonderful breed and you will find quickly that they will aim to please you.
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post #6 of 35 Old 06-08-2014, 05:18 PM
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Many horses in the U.S. have trouble "standing still" as once a rider gets up it's "go-go-go."

This is just a hole in training. You will have to "plug" it. There are a myriad of different approaches. Find the one that works best for you.

Good luck with the horses.

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post #7 of 35 Old 06-08-2014, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Sharpie View Post
Unfortunately what you describe is VERY common in the gaited world here. I live on the border of KY and TN and see it every time I go somewhere to ride. I don't know if people just think it's 'normal' for them to not stand properly or what, but I bet it's how they were trained (or not).
This is especially true in the show horses. They have a groom hold the horse then, let go and the horse pretty much barrels off.

It's kind of strange, because overall they are such a tractable breed. There's really no need for this.
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post #8 of 35 Old 06-08-2014, 10:39 PM
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Mine was trained that with a hand signal his feet are glued to the ground until another hand signal tells him he can move. Not sure I'd train another horse to do it this way but it works very well with this one.
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post #9 of 35 Old 06-08-2014, 10:52 PM
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A common exprience for me as well. Only gotten 3 Walkers from around there, all 3 very forward trained, minimal gground manners, couldnt stand still, sometimes even when tied :(

Fortunately they all were the easiest horses I've ever trained. TWH's have the best minds :) training to stand will be every easy
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post #10 of 35 Old 06-09-2014, 12:08 PM
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I've had no trouble with my Walking mare.....she'll stand still as a statue for me......the lady DW and I ride with has one that has the same problem you have.....won't stand still to mount....

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
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