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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 20-21 year old TWH named Spade. I love him with everything in me but I still am debating against myself asking the same question, can Tennessee Walking horses really jump? I want to jump mine but do not wish to put any pressure on his joints. He Is in good condition with no joint issues this far. He enjoys jumping over small obsticals but I am scared to take him further. So, can TWHs really jump?
 

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To answer your question - everything depends on conformation. Whether the horse is gaited or not a really good jumper has the conformation to make jumping easier for them. So can your walker jump - probably so, most horses can and will jump. Is your horse a good candidate to jump in a show ring? My first concern is his age. At 20-21 your horse is fairly advanced in years, this is going to affect his stamina and his ability to jump high jumps. Is it fair to ask an older horse to start a jumping career? You may want to get a vet involved. Yes,he is sound today for what you are doing but jumping is hard even on a young horse. My second concern is conformation - is the riders ability. The rider is there to help the horse to jump successfully. They help the horse to get in the correct position to jump. They count strides before a jump to know when to ask the horse to jump. What are your abilities? If you are just beginning your horse may be just fine for those beginner lessons and you both can learn jumping together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
To answer your question - everything depends on conformation. Whether the horse is gaited or not a really good jumper has the conformation to make jumping easier for them. So can your walker jump - probably so, most horses can and will jump. Is your horse a good candidate to jump in a show ring? My first concern is his age. At 20-21 your horse is fairly advanced in years, this is going to affect his stamina and his ability to jump high jumps. Is it fair to ask an older horse to start a jumping career? You may want to get a vet involved. Yes,he is sound today for what you are doing but jumping is hard even on a young horse. My second concern is conformation - is the riders ability. The rider is there to help the horse to jump successfully. They help the horse to get in the correct position to jump. They count strides before a jump to know when to ask the horse to jump. What are your abilities? If you are just beginning your horse may be just fine for those beginner lessons and you both can learn jumping together.
Thank you, for the information! I usually jump him over small logs in the woods and he just pops over them. He enjoys it, but I do not want to harm him, or put more stress on his joints. Our vet came a few months back, and said Spade is still a good horse. The man I had bought him from had said he was 15, but he is not. Spade is a very spirited horse and has a lot of go. I am just not sure what to do. I want to show, but I wanted to show on my horse. I am just not so sure it is the best idea. Also to answer my abilities, I am an intermediate rider. I do not have an arena to jump in, so not much room is provided. It is not easy to jump when you are keeping your horses in a barn that is being used for storage. There are many objects in the middle of the barn, and bad footing for him. He is in well condition at the moment, I just still find myself concerned.
 

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If your goal is to show jumpers it is best to take lessons and get your skills up and then start the search for a jumping horse. I have an extremely spirited, fun 18 year old TWH. You would never guess her age - she is fit and sassy. But conformationally she is not a good candidate to be a jumper. Can she jump? Yep- we do pop over logs on a trail - but to win at a show she is just not built to be competetive.
 

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The answer is a semi-yes. It depends on the horse. I remember a girl that showed a TWH in hunter jumpers (low level 2 to 2'6"). That being said - she never placed well because he would break into his gait and he also would struggle with the strides because he doesn't canter like a regular horse so the spacing between jumps wasn't always ideal for him.

Personally - at 20-21 years old... I'd not worry about jumping him unless it's on trail for fun but that's just me.
 
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