TWH, what am I getting into?? - Page 2
 
 

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TWH, what am I getting into??

This is a discussion on TWH, what am I getting into?? within the Gaited Horses forums, part of the Horse Breeds category
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    08-01-2012, 03:57 PM
  #11
Green Broke
Ah thank you, we got in an agrument last night about hand placement. It is the one thing that irks me a lot. He is sooooo convinced that's how you do it.

The bf really, really wants one of them. So this will most likely just convince him even more. But nothing is absolute yet. At the very least we will be heading down by him to work them once in awhile. But if he sends them up to us they would be with us about 2 months. Paying board would be cheaper than a trainer and then we get extra horses for the rest of the summer. Right now the bf is borrowing peoples horses so he can come ride with us.

Thanks for describing their gait, I would be terribly confused with what they were actually doing. I'm really hoping he sends them to us. It would be a lot of fun and I've never ridden a gaited horse before. If we get them I will definitely be updating and most likely have a ton of questions.
     
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    08-02-2012, 01:40 AM
  #12
Green Broke
I think the hand high thing comes from big lick but not sure. What I can tell you with every TWH I've ridden is when my hands come up, their head comes up, back hollows out and then I get a pace. Since raising my hands is natural for me I have to work at keeping them down. I say hands but that's because I switch hands along but use only one at a time for riding.

Like others have said, train a walker just like every other horse. What you should do though is go take a few lessons from a walker trainer. This is so you can learn to feel what a gait is. The problem is they can rack, pace, trot and gait (gait is a cross between a pace and trot). All of those can be smooth or rough depending on the horse and you need to know what they are doing under you. There's also tricks you need to know on how to get them to gait if they are not.

Saddle fit is very important for walkers. The main thing to look for is room for their shoulders to move freely. Pinch those shoulders and they can't gait. As a rule of thumb, 3/4 or 7/8 rigging is what you want. Full rigging more often than not will end up pinching their shoulders.
     
    08-02-2012, 10:23 AM
  #13
Yearling
Your best bet on this is when you get them stand them up (don't park them out; that covers lots of conformational flaws). Then evaluate them like you would any other horse.

One way is to imitate an old custom allegedly from Arabia. Buyers would sit in a tent that was divided by a curtain, with horse and buyer on opposite sides. The curtain would slowly rise, allowing the buyer to inspect the feet, then the legs, then the bottom line, etc. If an any point the buyer did not like what they saw they said "stop," the curtain was dropped, and the horse replaced with another. If the curtain went all the way up the buy just bought the horse.

So, start with the feet. Are they trimmed to anatomical correctness? Are they shod and if so, how? Are the legs well formed (front and rear)? Etc., etc., etc.

Note that you are judging the horse AS A HORSE not as a Walking Horse. Some minor conformational differences can exist in Walkers (such as a slightly longer rear leg) but that longer leg ought not to have "sickle hocks."

After you've done the conformational analysis make a call. Dismiss the horse, fix what you can fix, or just accept the flaws. But keep them in mind as you work the horse. Now move the horse and see what you get. The probability is that you've got some flavor of pacer. The true running walk is vanishingly rare. Trotters are almost as rare. Remember that movement can be heavily influenced by tack type, fit, and adjustment. It can also be influenced by rider's seat and equitation style. Keep the tack and rider as neutral as possible so that the horse's native way of going can be evaluated.

In all of this watch the temperament. If there is a "silver lining" to the dark cloud of institutional Walker industry cruelty it's that most Walkers have pretty quiet temperaments. But not always. Bucking tendencies are rare; rearing is much more common.

If you get a heavy shod horse with a long toe and low heel in a Walking Horse Bit that's being ridden by a rider with their feet on the dashboard and their butt against the cantle then you have have a major problem. Take great care to make a careful evaluation 'cause addressing problems can get real expensive, real fast. Or, put another way, there's no such thing as a "cheap horse."

You sound like you've got a decent eye. Use it critically and don't get "side tracked" by Industry nonsense about how Walkers are unique with all kinds of "unique conformational characteristics." That's bunk. They are horses first, and Walking Horses second. Evaluate them that way.

Good luck in your project.

G.
     
    08-02-2012, 10:57 AM
  #14
Green Broke
Thank you both.

Neither of these horses have even been shown. They were bought for trail riding/dog trials but due to the owners injury he could not ride them anymore and now they have sat for awhile.

If/when I get them I will put up conformation pics to be evaluated as I'm am still new to looking for whats wrong if it's only a slight difference.

I will be riding in a dressage saddle, or Aussie if I have it by then. I have a wintec so I can adjust the gullet to fit them, so long as the rock isn't off. The more I think about it the more I think the rearing was a tack issue mixed with not enough training as the horse would have only been about 4 at the time.

This will be a good learning experience for me, so I really hope they get sent my way.
     
    08-02-2012, 04:00 PM
  #15
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by poppy1356    
Thank you both.

Neither of these horses have even been shown. They were bought for trail riding/dog trials but due to the owners injury he could not ride them anymore and now they have sat for awhile.

If/when I get them I will put up conformation pics to be evaluated as I'm am still new to looking for whats wrong if it's only a slight difference.

I will be riding in a dressage saddle, or Aussie if I have it by then. I have a wintec so I can adjust the gullet to fit them, so long as the rock isn't off. The more I think about it the more I think the rearing was a tack issue mixed with not enough training as the horse would have only been about 4 at the time.

This will be a good learning experience for me, so I really hope they get sent my way.
Having been shown is one issue. A bigger one is "were they bred to be shown?"

Sounds like you've got a "handle" on the project. Good luck!

G.
     
    08-05-2012, 03:19 PM
  #16
Foal
I found this to be very helpful. I'm a newbie horse owner, and have a quarter horse and a TWH. The TWH is a great big, raw boned, tall horse with the sweetest disposition and personality you can imagine. He gaits in pasture and it's breathtaking and one time I "felt" the flat-walk and couldn't believe the difference. I've been waiting on a round pen (just finished) to ride as I want to ride bitless. I'm wondering if he'll gait without a bit, we'll just have to wait and see. :) There is no comparing their natures and the comfort from their gait, from what I've seen. Thanks for the info, it'll help me too.
     
    08-05-2012, 03:25 PM
  #17
Trained
BE WARNED!! If you've never ridden gaited, you may never want to go back to a trot!! I'm one of those weird horseman who PREFERS a horse that trots. The rest of my family is delighted that 2/3 of our horses are gaited. I agree that the Field Trial-trained TWH is probably pretty well broken. NO breed guarantees a broken horse. I would treat the green horse like any green horse, and always assume that both of them aren't ready for a child, or YOU to just hop on take on a trail. You are under NO obligation to break the younger one in. I would just work on enough obedience to keep him from running over you when you're feeding and the other stuff.
     
    08-05-2012, 04:35 PM
  #18
Yearling
A very large percentage of a gaited horses work best in contact. I don't really know why this is; but I've observed it strongly in the Walker and those breeds derived from it. I've even noted it in our Marchadors (that have a somewhat different movement). I'm just not sure of the reason.

Riding "bitless" in a round pen is OK as an exercise. Be wary of doing it anywhere that you don't have a fence to help you stop.

The bit is a marvelous and efficient communication device between horse and rider. I don't understand why anyone would voluntarily surrender it, but to each his own.

G.
     
    08-05-2012, 05:49 PM
  #19
Foal
Why be wary with no bit if there's no fence?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guilherme    
A very large percentage of a gaited horses work best in contact. I don't really know why this is; but I've observed it strongly in the Walker and those breeds derived from it. I've even noted it in our Marchadors (that have a somewhat different movement). I'm just not sure of the reason.

Riding "bitless" in a round pen is OK as an exercise. Be wary of doing it anywhere that you don't have a fence to help you stop.

The bit is a marvelous and efficient communication device between horse and rider. I don't understand why anyone would voluntarily surrender it, but to each his own.

G.
My TWH is about 10 years old, trail ridden and used to a snaffle. I would prefer to go bitless with him partly because of my inexperience. I know being soft with my hands and having "feel" comes with time. I hate the thought of hurting him while I'm trying to learn. Another reason is simply because he's so soft and responsive now on the ground. I don't think you'll ever find another more even tempered, sweet natured, laid-back horse anywhere.
     
    08-05-2012, 06:02 PM
  #20
Trained
You could benefit from some lessons. A plain snaffle won't ruin a horse's mouth unless you balance yourself on the horse's mouth, or yank him around with it. An instructor could teach you how to use your hands. It's worth the $.
     

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