pads and wedges
Hey everyone im new to the gaited horse world and I bought a little two year old stud colt TWH (Tennessee Walking Horse) about a year ago. I gelded him about five months ago. Hes been under saddle for about eight months and he's doing well. He is starting to develop a distinct flat walk and running walk however I dont see a lot of action in his feet (knee action is what im wanting) I have used action chains and it didn't help him it just caused his rear end to kickout to the side while he was working I figure the chains were interfering with the back feet and he had no room to put them so I dont use them anymore. Therefore im wondering if pads and wedges are something I should use. I want to know if I can get mild ones how they effect long term health overall performance what there pourpous is and all that good jazz. So y'all load me up with anything and everything you know about this what you think and your past experiences. Thanks :)
The easiest way to get front end action is to buy a horse that is bred to it. This is difficult in the TWH (particularly the show lines) as it's universally the case that front end action is artificially created by devices; folks who do this are not "trainers" but rather "mechanics."
As you've noted the devices cause gross variations in the horse's normal way of going. This is the short term effect. There are ways to use more devices to correct this. Use of these will lead to long term effect. The effect, by the way, is injury to the horse in the hock, stiffle, back, and shoulder (among other things).
Last, and far from least, a coming three year old is physically incapable of giving sustained performance as they lack the physical maturity and strength to do so. When the horse matures at six or so, presuming proper training along the way, you'll have a good chance of having trained in as much as the horse can give. This is about the best you can do.
If you don't care about inflicting injury on the horse then hang out in places where TWH show folk discuss the use of devices. If you do care about that accept the fact that you've bought a horse with a genetically determined level of "talent" for what you want. Use time and intelligent training to polish this "diamond" to its maximum luster. And live with that result.
Good luck in what you select.
Before this get ugly, and im sure it will, let me start by saying pads and wedges are not the rout you want to go. I don't exactly sit with most on this forum about performace walkers, but YOU dont need pads and chains.
At coming 3 your horse is still learning to move, I would suggest doing alot of short and long work transitioning between a flat walk and running walk to build muscles and endurance. Like G said it is very possible you have what you have. Every horse has a limit of speed, smoothness, and gait, and once you reach that limit all you can do is add polish.
^^^^Ditto all of the above-----------------------
I don't know a whole lot about what you are looking to do, but I am fairly familiar with the opinions of such devices among members of this forum. I highly suggest you look around at the threads that have already been posted about TWHs and other gaited breeds and their "training" mechanisms.
I don't want this thread to turn into something where, you OP, as a new member, are feeling attacked or embarrassed. Go take a look at some other threads first. Search for key words like "big lick" and "soring."
And welcome to the forum. We all love horses here!
He has a good gait. Just not a big mover like the ones they show on the rail. I was just trying to get some insight on the whole deal. Like I said he is just now beginning to show distinction and organization from flat and running walk. My vet said it would take him a long time to build stamina due to the fact that his muscle fibers were long and he need conditioning, nutrition, and time to develop short muscle fibers. Ive been taking it easy on the guy I dont ride him very hard and I ride him about once a week or every other week. And I let him be leisurely for the most part. I dont wantto hurt him. Also iI've been told that these walker grow for longer periods than other horses. So im hesitant to ride him a lot because I feel it puts stress on the growth plate in the long bones that determine height. Ive asked my vet if it was ok to ride him he said it was ok as long as I didnt push him hard. Ive been giving him lots and lots of breaks specially if we are in a brisk running walk or rack. I try not to let him rack though now that he is figuring out his flat and running walk.
Does anyone here have an idea when these horses start to fill out? Since I've had him he has grown maybe 1 hand and he's a short fella. But he's super lean and gangly. I feed him a lot. Maximum lbs recommended but even more this winter. And does anyone have any tips on protien ratio? Im afraid of excessive protien since I dont work him very hard or often. He gets a fat supplement from southern states called omega plus. Its 25% good cool fat source I feed him the reccomended amount for body weight.the only thing I see is height he has developed some muscle but not as much as other young horses I've had (all quarter horses)
When they stop growing in height can sometimes depend on blood line.
I can't speak to the newer "models" but my coming 20 Generator fella had a growth spurt at age seven that took him to 16.1H. He was always gangly looking and hip high no matter how much I fed him. The last two years I've been trying to take weight OFF because his long athletic-built self does not look good with extra pounds.
The fella in my avatar is more "Morgany" looking (a Morgan mare is the TWH foundation mare of record). Even though his sire, Pride's Genious was well over 16H, my fella topped out at 14.3H and filled out by the time he was four or five; I can't remember as he is now 26 and we've been buds 23 of those years.
Also, that stocky little 14.3H guy in my avatar has such a natural awesome reach that folks comment on it when he is 1,000+ feet away, at liberty in the pasture. It's been commented to me there are TWH's "with twice the leg" that can't get under themselves like he can". As someone else said, the horse either has the reach or it doesn't:-)
My third TWH, who will be 19 this year, was coming 12 when I bought him; he had his height and had already "blossomed" :-P As an FYI, he is built like the horse in my avatar but is 15.3H and comes from very old timey Plantation stock; both his parents were in their 20's when he was foaled.
If sounds as if your vet has given you great advice. If your fella is on the gangly side believe me that will be a huge athletic plus once he gets his legs under him (don't push that as TWH's are generally 3 or a little older before they finally find their legs and their gait.
My two stocky built TWH's deal with insulin issues, to-date the lanky athletic guy (who was gangly as a young-un) does not.
What kind of a horse do you want him to be. Big Lick or trail? Totally different disciplines. A high stepping Big Lick horse is a terrible trail horse. Likewise, a pleasure mover is a terrible Big Lick horse.
Which ever you want, you have to remember horses learn from regular repetition, especially young ones. 15 minutes/session twice a day, is much better then an hour a day, 3 times a week.
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