17 HH Tenn. Walker - Will he gait smooth?
I recently bought a 2-year-old gelded Walker that is just beautiful and is a real sweetheart. The only thing he has going against him is his size! He is already 17 hands high and isn't done growing. I have noticed a rougher ride with him and am wondering if some of you more experienced Walker owners can give me insight on the future with his gaiting. Will it always be a rougher ride on him or what can I do to improve it. We use a double twisted wire bit to try and improve the gait but...... I also notice he trips alot on his front feet. Is this more because of his size or because he's still young?
How in the world is that aginst him!? Hahah, I for one would like to see TWH's big again. I don't know why TWH's have gotten so darn small. In my state it's near impossible to find a TWH that's taller than 14.2.
I miss the old style TWH's
How are you having him shod, if he's shod? I personally (no debate please) wouldn't and don't ride two year olds. Regardless of the breed. I'd say as he matures and learns himself and how to carry a ride he'll improve.
How long has he been under saddle?
He's young and gangly, I'm sure once he fills out a little and becomes more aware of where his legs are and how to properly use him he'll even out a bit. Two is pretty young to start a horse. (Just my opinion)
He has shoes on his front hooves only.
And how long has he been under saddle?
If you watch him at play in the pasture you will marvel at how his legs get in a tangle doing "16 different gaits" at once and he never falls down - lol lol lol
He needs time to learn what to do with his legs and find his gait. That can take a couple years and some slow easy work.
While it is "The Rule" to start Walkers under saddle really young, I don't like it at all.
They need to be handled a lot and do some groundwork, but that saddle can wait awhile as far as I'm concerned. Please be patient with the dollface:-)
i'd love to see a picture, but like has been said he just needs to fill out into himself. his legs are too long for him to be comfortable with right now.
Two years is to young to be starting any horse and could also be the problem with your rough ride. I would wait until at least 2 1/2 to 3 years to begin. 3-4 years old is the ideal age to begin saddle training a horse. He can keep growing until 5 years old, but at 3 to 4 years a horse is NORMALLY mentally and bodily ready to begin under saddle work. He still needs time to become used to his massive size. Imagine trying to walk on THOSE stilts! Let alone gait :lol:
On the topic of bits, a double twisted wire is to harsh. Try a fleece padded mechanical hackamore or a bosal. No bit can 'fix' or 'make' a horse gait, it's all comes naturally and with training. There is honestly no such thing as a 'correction bit', as those bits correct nothing and usually make the horse much, much worse.
By using a bitless bridal (mechanical or bosal) the horse can focus more on what his feet are doing rather than whats going on in his mouth. I have actually found that with my gaited horses, I have a happier horse, better gaits, and better control with a hackamore versus a bit. Especially with my greenie. With a hackamore I can emphasize and focus much more on leg and seat cues, and get better responses from my mount. Later on then, once I have established proper cues in the horse, I will move up to a bit, such as a light curb or snaffle.
Tripping usually means hoof problems. His hooves could be to long and not break over fast enough. I would take some pictures of his hooves and post them here, there are many natural hoof people and they should be able to tell you if his toes are to long or not.
Another cause of tripping is the rider. If you are pushing him to fast or to hard before he is ready he can trip just trying to go. Try going easier on him, work at a walk if you must ride and practice cues. Ask for a nice, easy gait at first and slowly work up from there. A perfect gait won't pop out of no-were, it takes some time and patience to achieve.
His size won't affect his gait. It just comes down to his own ability. My walker tends to step on his front feet a lot at a flat walk. He starts to lengthen the stride in his back legs but doesn't make the adjustment in his front. He also trips a lot when doing turns or loping. However, the more I ride him the better he figures out how to move and the less he steps on himself.
He won't be any less smooth because of his size, it actually allow him to reach under himself easier and get a longer stride. And just start getting him to figure out how to carry himself. You can do this with a little bit of lounging and reward him when he is moving well and make sure he isn't crossfiring when he lopes.
Hope that helps
Only 4 months so I should obviously just be patient and wait.
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