Tennessee Walker undulating slow walk? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 04-14-2014, 06:30 AM Thread Starter
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Question Tennessee Walker undulating slow walk?

Hello everyone. I have the opportunity to purchase a beautiful, sound, quick learning TW. This particular walker has what I call a somewhat pronounced undulating slow walk. What I mean is your abdomen kind of collapses at the same your lower back stretches, not excessively, but noticeable. I have ridden other TW and not experienced that. I normally ride a QH and this TW ride just seems odd to me. I don't know if I could get used to it, especially on trail rides when we do a lot of slow walking. Has anyone experienced this? This would be my first and forever horse. I am 59 and have been looking for a horse since last fall. Can anyone comment on this slow walk issue? thanks.
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post #2 of 11 Old 04-14-2014, 07:48 AM
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Could be a lot of stuff from benign to seriously wrong. Any chance of a video of the horse moving with and without a rider (saddle, tack, etc.)?

G.
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post #3 of 11 Old 04-14-2014, 09:19 AM
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Many TWH, if hollow in the back will do the stepping pace. If this horse is moving more rounded it will do a correct walk. They will feel very different. Google Liz Graves on youtube and watch her videos as she works with various walkers.
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post #4 of 11 Old 04-14-2014, 11:07 AM
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That's commonly called the "camel" walk, or the "swingy" walk. Very common with a lot of TWH. Absolutely nothing you can do about it. It's their normal way of going.

If you don't like it now, you'll like it even less after you've ridden it for a few hours. Only solution, is a different horse
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post #5 of 11 Old 04-14-2014, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your comments. This helps me a great deal. I do not think this horse has a medical problem. He has been trail ridden all over from what I understand and looks and acts very sound. He does not flinch when saddling and cinching and is surprisintly cooperative, but I am certainly no expert. I would certainly not purchase any horse without a vet check and a trial period. I have had the opportunity to work with him a long time on the ground and teach him a few things, but I rode him only briefly. I was so put off by the walk. I feel kind of guilty, which really makes no sense, just the way I'm wired. The horse would make a really good companion. Anyway, your comments have helped me and I appreciate your taking the time to participate. I will check again later to see if I have any more helpful comments.
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post #6 of 11 Old 04-15-2014, 01:41 AM
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I believe what you're talking about is the "dog-walk". Its their leisurely slow walk, before the flat walk. My TWH has a more "exaggerated" walk then did my older QH/Morgan, which led to, as you describe, more undulation.

I'm not sure why some TWH's feel this way, maybe their conformation, their way of going? I personally don't mind it, but to each their own. I find if I keep him mildly collected it gets a little smoother. Check out thes videos ( not mine ) and see if that's what you think he might be doing. The only examples I can find of the apparent camel-walk ( never heard of it ) are a faster pace walk.


Last edited by Lunavi; 04-15-2014 at 01:46 AM.
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post #7 of 11 Old 04-15-2014, 12:50 PM
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sometimes my Spotted Saddle Horse mare does this same thing. One time she will walk fairly slow and my hips really move and other times she walks fairly slow and it is not big noticeable hip movement. I don't understand why she has two different type slow walks but she does.

Rhonda

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post #8 of 11 Old 04-15-2014, 07:17 PM
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That is the TWH "camel" walk or swingy walk. The horse you are looking at probably has a big overstride. My mare does not have good shoulder conformation and so hers turns into "thumpy-walk" which throws me back and forward in the saddle about 4 inches, particularly downhill. It is really uncomfortable and I would not go on a trail ride with others because of it. I can control it by collecting her into a slow walk, or speed her up into a flatwalk (which is a wonderful gait). But if I leave the reins loose I get a walk I dont like that is physically hard on me.

My mare has other faults too, but she is so gentle and forgiving and safe and reliable that I can forgive her many more faults. If you are 59 and looking for a horse the TWH breed is an excellent place to start looking for the right one as not getting hurt and feeling safe, and being safe are so important. There are probably a higher proportion of tolerant placid minded people-minded horses in the TWH breed than many others. Mine tolerates and works with absolute beginners, was gun/whip safe without ever having been trained first and is just so tolerant and forgiving under saddle.

I would ride that horse you are interested in for a few hours, on a trail ride, particularly with others if that is what you want to do with it because if you dont like that walk you are NOT going to be able to fix it - it is how the horse is made. On the other hand, like the other poster said, they have MANY walks and gaits that they can do, but if that is the predominant walk gait for that horse you dont want to be fighting what is the default way of going. That horse will probably flat walk, runwalk and rack well and also may have a beautiful soft "to-die-for" canter because of the over-stride, but the down side can be a swingy ordinary walk.

If a horse is good to handle and nice on the ground does NOT mean it will be under saddle, dont mix that when horse shopping. Try the horse out on trail rides if you can. If it is difficult for you to sell a horse that does not suit you then be careful and spend the time and money it takes to get it right in the first place. DO NOT COMPROMISE on temperament under saddle and safety. There are very reliable horses out there, particularly in the TWH breed. I believe truly beginner safe horses are bred, not trained (I dont mean that they dont need training). My mare has been beginner safe since green broke.

Good luck horse hunting.
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post #9 of 11 Old 04-15-2014, 07:37 PM
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post #10 of 11 Old 04-16-2014, 07:30 AM
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Oz, that first video is EXACTLY how my mare walks and makes me go forward/backward as she is doing it.

Rhonda

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