Walkers 101? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 31 Old 06-10-2010, 12:42 AM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Pennsylvania
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I find that I always have a smug look on my face when I ride my walkers...just because my hiney isn't sore from all that jarring! Good luck with her...I would love to see pics if you have some!
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post #22 of 31 Old 06-10-2010, 01:33 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Location: Georgia
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Charging my camera now... I'll be sure to snap a few tomarrow.
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post #23 of 31 Old 06-10-2010, 03:36 PM
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Guilherme offered some excellent insight and advice.

I would also recommend investing in anything "Lee Ziegler".

I was gait-stupid when I bought my first TWH nearly 20 years ago and I am sure glad I was because I would have missed out on the horse of a lifetime<--- he is a hard lateral pacer in the pasture, BUT when being ridden his Stepping Pace is every bit as smooth as the running walk my other two TWH's perform.

Except for parades or those very rare times I have let my good friend ride him, I have never put a saddle on him and we have done some pretty tough trails in a few states.

He is now 22 yrs, 8 mos and does have hock arthritis. Insulin resistance exploded on him three years ago, so I have to be careful what I give him for his arthritis. Since we are both "up there pretty good", we stick to hacking around locally.

His is still a huge motored horse (though not for as long) and his dog walk (flat walk) has always been fast. He is only 14.3H, which is considered pony in the TWH world but he has outwalked and outlasted many horses much bigger than his bad little self.

Some people are afraid of him because his eyes get really wide when he sees humans being stupid and, being the alpha dominant horse, he has quite an attitude. He is not an in-your-pocket horse, but he has never in his life offered to bite, kick, rear, or buck-----ever.

He delights in intimidating "intimidatable" humans, but my barefoot trimmer wishes he could find "a 100 horses just like Duke and he'd be a wealthy man".

He is the TWH in my avatar; the pic was taken on an organized trail ride when he was 16 and could still go 6 hours finishing in the top 10 out of nearly 300 horses without any pushing from me whatsover (before I-R).

We communicate on a silent plain and understand each other perfectly.

My other two TWH's are capable of pacing themselves (figuratively) on an all day ride and won't wear themselves out either, albeit they don't move out as fast as Duke.

One of them is as in-your-pocket as any horse I've ever owned, the other is very aloof (not with the attitude of the first TWH, just sort of ho-hum about human interaction unless getting his forehead scratched is involved.

I have never tried to make any of them fit into a pre-conceived "hole". They are each their own person and I have let them all reach their own level of potential in the trail riding world we have always ridden in.

Back when I was hard trail riding, none of my TWH's ever wore keg shoes. They wore those "d***nable Quarter Horse" rim shoes with borium head nails (according to some TWH folks) and were trimmed to benefit the hoof shape and angle the Good Lord gave them. They even had QH short toes as opposed to the traditional long toes that many TWH folks thought they should have in order to "gait properly"<---that is a fallacy; none of my three have ever had problems holding their intermediate gait because their toes were "too short".

To coin a phrase of my ex's, "it didn't make sense to a Jackass" to me to try and weight & change a hoof just because it was attached to a Tennessee Walker.

If you connect with this mare and decide to bring her home, saddle fit can sometimes be a huge issue with TWH's because of the huge sweeping motion their shoulders make.

I never ride anyone with saddle but, if someone comes to ride, I do have saddles for each of the TWH's that were either custom made for them or I got lucky and stumbled on a good used custom-made saddle that fit.

Those sweeping shoulder movements also need more lunging room than trotting horses need.

I hope the mare works for you. TWH's are, on the whole, very forgiving of human error. If there are crazy ones out there, thank the humans that made them that way --- it has been to their own destruction that they so willingly take all the push and shove "for the sake of winning" that they have been subjected to over the years. Yet someone who truly cares can rehab them in a shorter amount of time than some of the other registered breeds, because they continue to want to see the good in us and to please.
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post #24 of 31 Old 06-11-2010, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Location: Georgia
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Thank you so much for the wisdom, Walkinthewalk! I love hearing story's about people's horses, and you seen to have quite a connection with your's.

From what I've seen and from what I've heard about her from her owners, Missy is quite a lot like Duke. She doesn't seem to care too much about what I or anyone else does. Certainly not an in your pocket horse! The only way I can get her to turn her head when she's stalled is to offer food. While chewing, she's plenty in your pocket. She takes an advantage over kids who can't ride as well... When we first started boarding her, we figured since she was calm on the ground and fairly old that it would be okay to put an eleven year old on her. That horse had a field day! Ran to the middle of the round pen, tossed her head, gaited off as fast as she could, and caused general havoc. She was perfect for the experienced riders and I though. Crabby, but still worked.

I'm certainly glad to hear they're a forgiving breed... I'm not a beginner, but I'm no expert. I'll make plenty of stupid mistakes.
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post #25 of 31 Old 06-11-2010, 11:55 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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And I snapped some pictures! They may be bad quality... My camera broke, so I took them with my cell phone...

Head Shot:

Drying After A Rinse Off:
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post #26 of 31 Old 06-12-2010, 11:03 AM
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Wow! She is totally adorable! How did she skip out on the big jug head?! What a pretty girl!
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post #27 of 31 Old 06-12-2010, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Thank you! I've never had a pretty horse before (or any pretty animals, actually), so something nice looking makes me very proud.
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post #28 of 31 Old 06-14-2010, 06:12 AM
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Location: Vanzant MO
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You have a nice looking walker...I have had mine for 3 yrs now and will never as much as I loved my QH's and Paints go back to them. I had never ridden one before, but had the chance to ride a Missouri Fox trotter and a Paso..The MFT I fell in love with..After I bought JR he came with a few issues. But overall his temperment is puppy dog, has a million dollar personality and has taught me a few things about gaited horses. He will plod along or he will float along at a canter....Sometimes he gets what I call Simple but nothing that can't be done..I put a green rider on him last year and he acted totally different and took good care of her...He has a back end issue with his on side rear on occassion but seems to come out of it in a few days.....Other than that he a Big Lap Dog..Good luck riding yours you'll figure the gaits out quickly and will love them...Here's a pic of my guy. Oh I did buy a MFT last year and so far he is just as nice as the walker if not smoother... I really want a good gaited mule!!!

This was a guy riding him trying out my saddle while I was camping in NC.

This is the MFT I got last year....

Never Ride Faster than your guardian angel can fly


Last edited by Mingiz; 06-14-2010 at 06:16 AM.
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post #29 of 31 Old 06-14-2010, 09:41 AM
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I've had 2. My old guy lived to be in his 30's and never lost the "fire". My new one is a 5 year old mare.

They are very loyal animals, they try very hard not to misbehave and aim only to please. They tend to be handled rough. Both of mine were before I got them, not abused mind you, but handled rough. They are kind and loving and very respectful. I love how they snort and flare their nostrils in that "viscious" look when we all know they are just teddy bears...

"Be a best friend, tell the truth, and overuse I love you
Go to work, do your best, don't outsmart your common sense
Never let your prayin knees get lazy
And love like crazy"
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post #30 of 31 Old 06-14-2010, 10:27 AM
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I've had a couple of Saddlebreds, a Quarter horse, and an old work pony (used to plow the fields). I got my first TWH in November. Then the second in April. Both of mine are the "in-your-pocket" type of horses...very loveable and willing and trying to please. Rosie is a been there done that 16 yo mare. She has never spooked with me on her back in any situation, and doesn't have the "marish" behavior in the least little bit. Rookie is a 9 yo gelding. When he spooks, he comes to a dead stop and stares at whatever has spooked him. Then he'll slowly walk up to it (with a little nudging of course) and sniff it then go on about his merry way. When I first got Rookie, he didn't do the running walk at all. His original owner had treated him like a Quarter horse and used him for team penning. He had always been shod by a Quarter horse farrier, but had a smooth "jog" when I got him. A trainer actually told her that he would NEVER have the smooth TWH walk. His owner actually cried when I went to pick him up because he is so loveable. My farrier has been out to work on him twice since I got him. He is setting up his angles, and he has smoothed out quite nicely. I rode him with the lady I bought him from yesterday. She couldn't believe the difference in him. He will now do the running walk. Not all the time, but when he shifts into a trot or jog, I simply slow him down to a regular walk and tell him slow gait, and he'll go back into it. Both of them are soft in the mouth, and I ride both in a very loose reign using voice commands and leg signals to let them know what I want. They also both neck reign which makes it very easy to stay out of their mouths. Her husband noticed his back legs, they're actually straight now, instead of him looking pigeon toed in the back. She said that she really misses him, but is glad that I took him. She also told me that I have been able to do more with him in the past couple of months than she was able to do in the past year and a half that she had owned him. I accredit all of that to the bond that we now have, and the great work that my farrier does with him. Rosie had been shown in the past, but always flat shod. Neither one of them had ever been sored or padded, and I use them totally for trails. I love them so much that if it ever came down to it, I'd rather live in the horse trailer than sell either one of them. I trust them both completely, and they really take care of me on the trails. They are the nicest horses that I have ever owned or taken care of.

Good luck with your mare! She looks like a very nice gentle girl.
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