Tennessee walkers - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 01-26-2012, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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Tennessee walkers

Okay, I have one, she's I think 3 maybe 4 (I can't remember which one it is). okay, I've been told by all the Tennessee walker owners/breeders here that Tennessee walker's are skinny in their first few years, and they fatten out. So My horse is a little skinny, in better condition than when we got her. Now I've been told from a livestock person/friend, that its un-natural for horses to be skinny,

So my question is this, is its natural for a Tennessee walker to be skinny for their first few years, or have I been told wrong by all these experts?
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post #2 of 12 Old 01-26-2012, 10:52 AM
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Don't know about your Walker people, but my neighbor has never had a skinny Walker (and he breeds/used to breed and raise them). My TWH was never really skinny, but he did get a little thin during his growing phases.

When they are growing, you may see them get a little thin, and in my opinion, I would rather a young, growing horse to be a little thin than a little too fat.

But that is from my opinions and experiences. Other more experienced people can give you more advice.

Horseshoe Loop Farm: Home of Gypsie (22 y/o TWH mare), Dakota (10 y/o TWH gelding), Codie (18 y/o Walkaloosa gelding) & Harlow (9 y/o APHA mare)
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post #3 of 12 Old 01-26-2012, 11:11 AM
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Do you mean narrow or skinny? My walker was skinny when I got her but she had been neglected. She was a very narrow horse until last year when she started filling out width wise but she was never skinny (once I gave her groceries)....

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post #4 of 12 Old 01-26-2012, 11:14 AM
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All of our walkers, we have three, where more refined when they were younger but once they hit about five or six years old they fill out more. Walkers sometimes depending on their breeding take longer to fill out than per say a quarter horse or stock breed. They should not be skinny as in bony they should just be more refined and narrow so to speak.

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post #5 of 12 Old 01-26-2012, 11:20 AM
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my walkers are narrow but no way skinny lol :) post a pic of twh and we can tell you if they need more weight or not... lol :)
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post #6 of 12 Old 01-26-2012, 11:25 AM
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(Indie's mom was full walker, and she really looks the part, so I'll go ahead and throw in what I know)

I agree with the above posters that they are commonly narrow (and a little dainty) built, but shouldn't really be "skinny." Most walkers I've seen have been on the narrow side, I know for Rackers this was a bred trait by plantation owners so that when riding the horses through the fields it would be easier to ride between the crops instead of over them.

Now your little walker may LOOK skinny compared to a bigger boned QH (oh boy... it sure does look funny seeing my little Racker in a herd of big boned Quarter Horses ), and when they are super fit it wouldn't be uncommon for the first few ribs to be more easily felt and seen, but your horse shouldn't be "skinny" as in you can see most or all of the ribs, or the butt is more sunken in than it should be.

Hope that helps :)
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post #7 of 12 Old 01-26-2012, 01:21 PM
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^^ditto all that.

Some blood lines are slender-built by nature and won't fill out until they're 7, 8, or even nine years old.

Other TWH's can be built like Quarter Horses and need to be on diets by the time they're seven.

I have two Tankers and one "Slim-Line".

As others have said, pics would be great so we can tell if the horse truly is skinny (which it should not be) or just going thru a gangly/lanky stage that some TWH's go thru when they're young (like my Slim-Line guy)
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post #8 of 12 Old 01-26-2012, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the help, I don't truly feel comfortable posting a picture of her (due to bad coat of winter hair, But she's starting to get brushed). But I can tell you right now she is narrow, slim compared to skinny. When I first got her, she was skinny,
Thanks again for the help.
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post #9 of 12 Old 01-26-2012, 02:08 PM
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I have a 11 year old TWH gelding, and he was skinny when I got him so I knew he had to just be plain neglected because as long as he has hay he stays "fat" on just that. I give him a omega supplement just to help with coat etc, but he really cant have but a handfull of grain or Im afraid he would founder (and I only do that to get him in at night). My vets always telling me I need to put him on a diet but then I really have to tell him again he doesnt get anything other than a supplement and hay. And its not a weight gain supplement of any kind. Now my QH mare stayed narrow for awhile, but really your horse is still young at 3-4 years old, and I was always told that mares really dont top out until they are about 5 and geldings take even a couple more years after that so she probably just has some more growing to do as well as a better diet if she comes from a neglectful situation. And honestly since my mare turned 5 I had to cut her grain in half because she went from a hard to put weight on horse to more of a easy keeper as she has gotten older.
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post #10 of 12 Old 01-26-2012, 02:53 PM
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My worst case is a youngster I bought at 18mos who was thin, thin, thin. Problem was it didn't matter how much food I fed him, it all went into growing and out the back end. He was 7 before he started looking like he was well fed.

What you really want to look for is how much fat is over the top of their ribs up to their back bone. If there's a good roll there you are fine.
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