Now this is a WALKING HORSE - Page 4
   

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Now this is a WALKING HORSE

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  • Tennessee walker stud rolex and copper

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    03-21-2013, 11:35 PM
  #31
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by princessfluffybritches    
What a hoot! Some farrier told me my horse was not a true Tennessee walker, but an ambler! That's what you get when people have this preconceived idea that TWH should do a big lick. Even my husband , who went with me to a small show asked me why nothing was going on in the ring but horses just walking around.
In a rail class horses just "walk around." It's what they do!!!

If you want to see a bit more excitement then go to the Rolex (next month in Lexington, KY). Not many gaited horses there, however.

The Walker was bred as a "road horse" to get people from A to B in relative comfort. It's not a speed horse. A couple of videos here have shown really nice moving, square Walkers. But they are not "speed rackers." If you push a Walker too hard they will lose form.

You're not going to get the level of "excitement" with old time Walkers that you will with a Big Lick horse.

G.
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    03-22-2013, 03:00 AM
  #32
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by princessfluffybritches    
What a hoot! Some farrier told me my horse was not a true Tennessee walker, but an ambler! That's what you get when people have this preconceived idea that TWH should do a big lick. Even my husband , who went with me to a small show asked me why nothing was going on in the ring but horses just walking around.

I don't know where you're from but if its anywhere in TN I believe it, lol.
     
    03-24-2013, 09:06 PM
  #33
Yearling
I love my walkers, I wouldn't ride anything else. I could give 2 horse apples about showing or any of that. I've let my kids ride in a little local show just for the fun of it, but that's the extent of my interest in any shows involving twh because of what's done to get them there. It's ridiculous, they look like gimpy frogs anyways all squatted down like that. Here's an example: I got my blue roan from a guy who basically rescued him, he had a small scar on his back right pastern, so he was unable to be shown and just discarded like trash. He was just 2 at the time and already up on pads. The first thing I did was take him OFF the pads, let him rest so his tendons could adjust, and then let him outside to run for the first time. This horse had never had the freedom to run in a pasture. It took him several days before he could even find his feet under himself, he tripped and stumbled all over the place.

Now, he is a big happy boy. He is easy and intelligent to work on the ground and a dream in the saddle.
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    03-24-2013, 11:15 PM
  #34
Foal
Quote:
I got my blue roan from a guy who basically rescued him, he had a small scar on his back right pastern, so he was unable to be shown and just discarded like trash. He was just 2 at the time and already up on pads. The first thing I did was take him OFF the pads, let him rest so his tendons could adjust, and then let him outside to run for the first time. This horse had never had the freedom to run in a pasture. It took him several days before he could even find his feet under himself, he tripped and stumbled all over the place.

Now, he is a big happy boy. He is easy and intelligent to work on the ground and a dream in the saddle.
Awwww, this made me smile! I love a happy ending! As I said earlier, I don't know the first thing about training, but my stable owner has been training walkers for over 40 years and he says they should not be started until they are 3 or 4. Two is too early. I'm glad you got your blue roan sweetie out of that situation and ditched the pads. No need for that.
     
    03-25-2013, 01:03 AM
  #35
Green Broke
I don't know why anyone desires speed or extreme gaits if your horse has an awesome flat walk. My Missouri Fox Trotter flat walks similar to the horse at the beginning of this video when she is walking out with other gaited horses.

Starla Gray Wilson (Echo) Heritage walking horse - YouTube

I can watch the video and "feel" the walk as I watch it. Because I've ridden it. It is a BLAST to ride. To me, this is what makes gaited horses special. The flat walk is my favorite gait that my mare does.

So anyway, two giant thumbs up for the flat walk!

My mare also has a moderate head nod (natural) and it just a part of them getting impulsion at the walk.

The black horse on the very first page I'm sure is a nice horse, but it looks like the rider is pushing him for speed and nagging him constantly. And he looks like he is constantly correcting with his hands as well. Maybe to encourage the timing of the nod? Anyhow, I'm sure the horse is nice, but that isn't what I personally would aim for. I like the other videos better.

As for Midnight Sun, I saw a video of him somewhere (and now can't find it but I thought it might be on the Walkers West website) and he isn't nearly as "big lick" as the horses that came later. He actually looks like a horse you could ride outside a show ring. So I don't know exactly what happened, but I suspect things just got more and more extreme as time went on and big lick is what developed. But the early walkers looked pretty normal. Yes, they had set tails and were all fancied up for showing, but they didn't have that bizarre squatting gait they do now.
     
    03-25-2013, 10:21 AM
  #36
Weanling
For many years we did business with a man who was Winston Wiser's groom and Merry Go Boy's exercise rider. He cooled out Go Boy after his multiple contests with Midnight Sun. He did not perform a "big lick" or anything like it. His animation however was dramatic. Ditto for Midnight Sun. If you watch these horses move and then watch a modern Big Lick horse the difference should hit you between the eyes like a 2 x 4.

The last son of Merry Go Boy stood at stud for many years in Oak Ridge. We bred a nice mare to him in the early '90s and got a lovely filly (the color of a newly minted copper penny). She had outstanding conformation and movement and temperament. But since she was not a "big lick" horse her economic value was minimal. She ultimately ended up in AZ with a decent owner.

In the Big Lick horse you swap "animation" for "action." The goal is to lift the front end as high as possible. What the rest of the animal is doing just doesn't count. It's a perversion of the high-step of the ASB or Park Horse. Indeed most of the Big Lick practices were lifted wholesale from the ASB world back in the early '50s.

As to speed, the flat and running walk are distance (or perhaps time) gaits vice speed gaits. A good flat walk should give you 4-6 mph and a running walk 8-10 mph. The form is exactly the same; what differs is a modestly increased reach (lengthening stride) and an modest increase in cadence (strides per minute). These are not "speed rackers." If the rider pushes the horse past these limits there is a dramatically high probability of losing the form of the gait. Once that happens you open the door to injury to the horse in the same way any athlete who sacrifices their form for drama opens them self to a significantly heightened risk of injury.

Go Boy was not a big horse. Midnight Sun was. Midnight Sun was also 1/4 or 1/8 German Coach Horse. Remember that the TWH registry was only formed in the mid-30s and in those days there were a lot of horses in the Registry that were there by virtue of performance testing.

If Midnight Sun had size Go Boy had stamina. After his second Celebration win (with it's legendary 30+ min. Work out) our friend was leading him out of the arena when a kid with a bunch of balloons suddenly came around a corner. Go Boy spooked very badly and my friend had some time calming him down. Midnight Sun, at the same time, was being kept alive by his crew as he was totally exhausted and threatening to die of the "thumps."

Personally I always preferred the Merry Boy/Merry Go Boy lines as they were a bit smaller, a bit tougher, a bit easier to train, and a bit smoother than the Midnight Sun lines. This was not what the market liked, however.

I never liked the highly exaggerated head nod. It looks cool in the show ring, I guess, but on the trail or doing any real work it's a pain in the butt.

Sadly, the Walker has been grossly damaged by the Big Lick preference throughout the industry. It's an open question as to whether that damage can be repaired. I suspect it can, but it will take several decades of good breeding to restore the horse of the 1930-40 era. That means big money and big commitment. I don't see this combination today.

This does not mean that there are not good Walkers out there; there are. We had many. But they are very difficult to find.

What did the Walker in was a triumph of a style over sound equine biomechanics. It's not the only breed/discipline where this happens, but it is the "poster child."

G.
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    03-27-2013, 06:51 PM
  #37
Foal
My MFT is 8 yrs. And was already gaited when I purchased him. I ride him in a hackamore and he gaits great. When I put in a bit to try out it was harder to get him to gait, I think he was busy playing with bit. I love the feel of gaited since I am getting older.
     

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