Originally Posted by Skippy!
LOL I was thinking about not posting after I saw the user name of the thread creator.. LOL
Mine has to be Tennessee Walking Horses for a few reasons...
1- How abused and mistreated the show horses are.. when I think of a walking horse, the first thing that comes to mind is those HUGE shoes and wide eyes.
2- They look like a really crazy riding horse.. most of the "pleasure" ones I see are absolutely insane.. but you can't tell their owners this.. their owners I have encountered believe that since they are well papered, they must be wonderful animals.. and the bucking/rearing? Its just SPIRIT
3- That every single Walking Horse breeder I have met think that they are the best breed on earth and that all other breeds just don't cut it. Paint horses and Quarter horses are my favorite breeds, but just because they are doesnt mean I don't think any other breed sucks. If I meet someone who breeds Arabians I don't run my mouth about how much I dislike arabians.. but good lord.. every Walking Horse Trainer/Breeder I have met has shoved TWH's down my throat as soon as they find out I like Quarter Horses and Paints and down on me for liking my breed. There is no such thing as the ULTIMATE horse breed.. all breeds have their strong points.. but no one breed is the best.
4- There is no real work when you ride them.. you just plop your butt in the saddle and feel it grow. At least with riding horses with a trot, you can post and whatnot.. this is where I get most of my excersize when riding.
5- Midnight Sun bred horses have huge ugly heads.. its a cruel hard fact.. LOL
6- I just don't care for the build of Walkers.. their heads tend to look a little huge, their eyes bulge, and the stance they put them in when they are posing for pictures reminds me of a horse that has sore feet and is trying to stretch its weight out.
7- They bred the original purpose out of the horse. The horses that are the best breeders, make the most money, and most people drool over are the World Grand Champions in the heavily shod division thing.. when they have the thick pads on.. Well, I worked with show Walkers.. and they can't be turned out with those shoes on.. and can't be worked for longer than 15 minutes a day with those shoes on or they get overly exhausted. Walkers were created to walk ALL DAY and have a smooth efficient gait so the farmer could check fence lines and check over their crops all day. Now, the "best of the best" can't go for very long at all under saddle because of those stupid pads. If they horse wont pick its feet up that high WITHOUT shoes.. maybe they arent supposed to pick their feet up that high at all!
8- They are broke to ride at a mere 16 months if they are used to show... from what I have seen from 4 different show barns.. Sure, Thoroughbreds are also broke at an early age.. but guess what? They only carry about 90 pounds because that's racing regulations.. Walking Horses? The people I have seen that break these yearlings weigh over 200 and less than 400... Poor babies =/
Its more the people that own Walking horses that I don't like.. about 15% or 10% of all walkers I met were actually GOOD horses.. the rest were absolutely terrible horses because of one thing or another.. whether it be their trainer, owner, or their breeding.
Again, this is my opinion, so im not right or wrong, im just speaking from my experience =)
I just wanted to comment on a few things here:
1) This is not the breeds fault, but the trainers fault. The TWHBEA is moving away from these practices calling them inhumane and inappropriate. You will see less and less "big lick" horses. Not all TWH's are big lick walkers either. My two have a natural gait and have never had weights on their feet/hooves.
2) This can be said about a lot of breeds. For me, every crazy horse I have ever seen has been an Arab. I have yet to see a crazy TwH - to be honest.
3) I agree - no breed is the best or worst. Breeders are proud of the product they sell though. You can't fault them for thinking thiers in the best. And again, you can't fault the horse because of the people.
4) There is no work when you ride them? LOL. I take it that you havent ridden one. You have to work to get them in their gait and to keep them in their gait. If you are talking about posting or keeping your western seat, well yea...its a godsend for some of us who don't have to work to keep their seat and hate posting. I for one had a QH for 23 yrs but broke my back. The only way I can ride again without extreme pain is a gaited horse because its very low impact on my back if any. Gaited horses are a blessing for those of us with these injuries.
5) My husbands horse has Midnight Sun. I think he is gorgeous though.
6) Not all TWH's have the roman head. It depends on thier bloodline. As for being parked out, that's something that is trained. Not all TWH's do it. Its more of a "show thing".
7) Again - the stacked shoes and weights on the legs are frowned upon by many these days. We would like to keep them naturally gaited, not that false big lick.
8 ) I don't know the breaking rules of some breeders/trainers. But my TWH's werent broken until 2 yrs old. I guess it depends on the breeder/trainer. Again, how can you fault the horse because of poor practices by humans?