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Tennesee walking horses...
In the next week, I will likely be the owner of a 6Yo gelding TWH. As I have spent most of my years riding primarily English, and I ride primarily (for now at least) an English saddle, I have a few general questions.
I have had limited saddle time on him, but to say I'm impressed with his easy gait is an understatement. On the other hand, I'm not clear if my English saddle will be sufficient for him, at least for the time being. I borrowed a saddle for the test rides. Trail, road and ring pleasure hacking (no showing or events) are all He will be doing.
I have also discovered that as he transitions his gait-speeds, he becomes a bit of a jack-hammer. If you forget your gripping the saddle with your thighs as he slows, you are asking him to speed up. I need to be sure I relax as much as possible when i need gait/speed changes, as it gets a bit jarring in the saddle, and you cannot (or should not) leg-grip.
What I'm asking here, is for anyone who has more experience than I, chime in, and let me know what you think are any thoughts on the transition from straight English riding techniques, to primarily riding a gaited horse.
What I can definitely say about him..He is trained to the nine's, he is very gentle and easy-going. no "panic" buttons I have yet found, and as personality goes, he is exactly the type In have been searching for.
So, who would like to add ANYTHING about their experiences with the TWH? ALL comments are welcome, I will be rethinking the ways I have ridden previously, as some of them seemingly won't work well for him
Thanks much, Lw
(his photo is attched)
You say you rode him english and that may be the issue...I have had my TWH for a little over a year now, but ride western (more to grip while in transisition(only my opinion of course), ..riding him and my quarter horses are night and day. Snap (TWH) just vibrates with energy, walkers walk fast and he leaves my others behind, and when they get in their gait its like floating...I love it and he does too. He was only actually properly trained/broke a year ago....(supposed to have bought a broke horse and he wasnt)..and we make progress everyday. He has a wonderful personality, and from what I get from other TWH owners thats overall how they feel about theirs. I would think with a english saddle cueing would be more easily felt because more of your body makes contact with the horse from my observation. Walkers are wonderful for trail rides...on Snaps first trail ride its like its his mission to just keep trucking, my quarter horses are just more laid back, my daughter complains that we leave her and her horse behind..but its just natural for walkers to have go. Hes not scarey (not anymore anyway) its just a different energy..I guess I cant explain it... this might not help much but your going to love your walker if hes anything like mine:) and it could just be time and adjustment factor for him to get used to what you want from him.
I have not had the English saddle on him yet, but it is my best and most favorite saddle. I had done my test rides in Western, only currently, I do not own one.
I do have an Aussie saddle, maybe that will be the best option. Still I have my best seat in my 30year old well broken to my butt English saddle.
As to his "feel", I liken Him to a train. Once he has motion, best to let him go. He is a very large legged and bodied Horse, so when he's in drive, I'm covering ground..I dislike trotting, so this should work out for me...It is mostly my lack of experience working with this breed, so it is a learning (relearning?) experience...
I appreciate your reply, btw...Lw
I have 2 walkers. I've always ridden them in a western saddle but I have a 12 year old that rides my 5 year old mare in an english saddle and just plain adores her. I am not educated in the proper methods for riding a walking horse but in my experience it helps to actually ride with your lower legs forward, almost in front of the girth and I've seen alot of pix on the web of saddle seat folks doing that on gaited horses. Not sure if it's proper advice or not but it helps me since my horse has that side to side gait rather then a trot...
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