The "real" Walking Horse Champions.
Strolling Jim 1939
Haynes Peacock 1940-41
Black Angel 1943
City Girl 1944
Midnight Sun 1945
Why did they have to ruin that.I hope they bring it back
Strolling Jim, is that not the coolest name ever? I don't know why they have to "improve" things. Why don't they just follow that old saying? "If it ain't broke... Don't try to fix it..."
I know absolutely nothing about gaited horses but those are great pics! They look much happier, natural and more enjoyable to ride than the big lick horses we see today.
I don't know why they did what they did but it was like a cancer that spread. I hate that name as well
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In terms of movement the horses are much closer to the "native gait" that came from the breeding shed. But "closer" does not mean "natural." Look at the feet. Look at the seat. Only City Girl is being ridden in anything like a conventional equitation seat. All the others are being ridden in a "chair seat" that will allow the rider to hollow the back and get a maximized front end movement. Even in those days it was the "big front end" that won championships. In this sense the Walker of this time is not so different from the ASB of this time, where similar judging standards existed.
And how do you think they got those tails to stand up like that? :wink:
Not many folks today recognize just how close the Walker and ASB were in terms of training practices, equitation practices, and judging standards. The move to the Big Lick occurs in '52 with Talk of the Town. This is pure importation of an ASB way of going. The trainers wanted lot of lift and biggest front end they could get. Since they'd hit the limits of breeding (or at chose not to pursue that line of approach) they went with the devices and manufactured the gait. The rest, as they say, is history. :cry:
We did business for many years with a gentleman who was a groom for Winston Wiser and regularly exercised Merry Go Boy. He had lots of interesting stories to tell (including hauling Go Boy in the back of a pickup truck with a cattle rack and Winston sipping Crown Royal as he navigated the hills of East TN between shows; Go Boy was blanketed and wore a hood and goggles :lol:). When we had Walkers we favored the Merry Boy/Merry Go Boy lines as we felt they had better movement, more refinement, and better temperaments. Our stallion was a Merry Boy (not Merry Go Boy) grandson. We were even able to breed one of our mares to the last, surviving son of Merry Go Boy who was owned by a gent in Oak Ridge. I think that foal was his last. Sadly, these lines were out of favor in the wider Walker world (where the Midnight Sun lines were more popular).
I've seen some videos of the old timers and they were very different from the movement that is common today (even among the Light Shod horses).
These old guys knew horses but were NOT "natural horsemen" or "touchy feely horsemen" or "fluffbunny horsemen." They could be rough as cobs in their handling practices. They also very quickly followed the crowd into the world of the Big Lick when that became the show ring standard.
I always enjoy your post Guileherme......I live in the area you're talking about.
I've been told by many people my horse is a legacy walking horse....many crosses of Merry Go Boy and a few of Midnight sun. Her personality is exactly as you describe. She's Wide bodied and stocky with thick legs......wonderful gaits.....
The celebration is coming up soon....I'm still thinking about attending....
Their tails aren't broke are they? Please tell me there is a brace of some sort underneath their tails.
Guilherme and Gunslinger would enjoy conversing with the brothers Danny and Billy Taylor in the Winchester area, if you haven't already.
Billy's farm twhheritagesociety.com
Danny's farm twhheritagesociety.com
I spoke with Danny Taylor a few years back over the phone for a few hours:shock: It should've been an all-dayer on his front porch sipping lemonade mixed in with that white stuff:shock::shock:
The Taylor brothers are in their late 60's/early 70's and have been in Walking horses all their lives. Mr. Danny Taylor sure told some stories.
My 25 yr old goes straight back to Wilson's Allen on his bottom. Mr. Taylor told me that is where Duke (the horse in my avatar) got his tremendous heart and work ethic.
When my chiro came to work on a horse, she brought her NH trainer husband with her to help because I can't handle being outside in this heat for very long. I stayed in front of a barn fan and when they were done, like all good horsemen her hubby wanted to see all my horses.
He stared in amazement and asked "are these Walking Horses?" I replied they were, except for the little Arab. He asked if they were Foundation horses.
I replied they could all be considered close-Foundation-bred horses as the 17 yr old's (my youngest) parents were both in their mid-20's when he was foaled. He is only five generations from Old Glory on the top and I believe six from Nell Dement on the bottom.
He shook his head and said "I LIKE your Walking Horses, they have some meat to them. I could rope off any one of them. I have taken TWH's in for training and none of them are put together as well as all of yours".
But it isn't just the Walking Horses - it's every breed. Take any breed in today's world and compare them to 40 years ago - there is no comparison.
I much prefer my old Lippett Morgan/Egyptian Arab cross that I laid to rest at age 27 in the late 80's to the Morab crosses I see in today's world. I hate saying things like that because I love and appreciate all horses but human intervention has not always been kind under the guise of "preservation" or "improvement" :-(
I didn't have this old guys papers but he was supposedly out of some really huge named show stud. Midnight something-er-other. I think he came out of Pennsylvania. This was the biggest hearted, sweatest, toughest old guy anyone could have owned...
The story go's that he was shown pretty heavily and did well as a youngster (I have no proof). These photo's were taken in his mid-30's. I don't know if he really showed or not. I'll have to dig out his younger pictures. Back in the day his mane fell to his shoulder and his tail swept the ground. He was an amazing site. Awestriking. He commanded attention and was just beautiful....In my eyes... He was a champion...
He's burried on a hill behind my house now.
I wish more had happy endings like that.
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