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Tennessee walking horses

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I'm not saying I've discovered the next breed I'd like to own, and frankly, finding an Arabian would be easier, but I'd fall head over heels for a big (16hh+) Tennessee walking horse mare (preferably black or dark brown). That being said, I'm finding a heck of a time locating breeders! IF, and that's a big if, I'm in the financial position to afford a nice bred yearling/2 yo, I want something nice. Papers. Not started too early. Genetic tested or at least parents and genealogy known and no signs of congenital issues. And by/out of parents who are proven producers and will let me get an idea of what I'm buying.

Never thought I'd look at gaited horses but having an easy keeper that can do pretty much anything a non-gaited horse can but won't tire as quickly and is a smoother ride...why not? I've ridden quite a few and never met a mean one yet. Most importantly, I think one would fit my lifestyle.

I know there are some walker owners and gaited folks on here. Anybody know of anyone personally who breeds these horses and would regularly have papered, good boned, unshown stock for sale? Not looking now...but I've become really interested in the breed recently and my old paint gelding is scaring 30 to death and I'd like to have an idea of where to look for a horse before he kicks the bucket. Not so much that I'm looking to replace him because I love him and he's very much rideable (just for short trails and hanging out, he gets mad if he's left behind) but my mare is going to be very upset if she's by herself.

I mean, I know where I'd look for quarter horses, and there's a million "gaited" horses who are probably grade walkers floating around, but I'd want to invest in something of quality. There are rescues, but I'm not looking for an expensive pet with no papers that I couldn't breed if I really wanted to. (would I ever? probably not, unless the horse was phenomenal). I can't seem to find many barns who have a waitlist or regularly sell that breed. I'm in north fl but not opposed to driving halfway cross country if it was the perfect critter.
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having an easy keeper that can do pretty much anything a non-gaited horse can but won't tire as quickly and is a smoother ride...why not?
I know you are a lot more experience with horses than I am, but ... have you had an easy keeper? They actually aren't very easy at all, has been my experience.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I know you are a lot more experience with horses than I am, but ... have you had an easy keeper? They actually aren't very easy at all, has been my experience.
No but I've dealt with them (specifically morbidly obese donkeys that get fat on no grass and a handful of hay) and I have turnout areas with woods and sparse grass where I could control their roughage intake and still let them browse around and have turnout. I'm aware of this breeds issues with insulin resistance and metabolic issues. An ounce of prevention, which is another reason I'd be looking for a young horse who hasn't had the chance to develop something because someone neglected those special needs. There's no reason a young horse who's bred to be an easy keeper can't stay healthy and happy if you manage it. An easy keeper horse in my care (especially one predisposed to metabolic issues) would have limited access to short, sweet pasture, would get a balanced vit/min supplement in a handful of soaked forage and would get little alfalfa cube bits as treats.

I'd rather prevent metabolic issues by adjusting their nutrition than end up with another hard keeper who can't gain weight unless he's consuming 9lbs of hard grain (and it's a concentrate, not a complete feed) a day plus all the hay he can consume. I don't think it's healthy to have to pour that many carbs down a horse and if I could change my old man to a forage based diet I would, but that might not ever be possible. I've been the hard keeper route and I've ways to manage a horse who wants to be a fatty. If you can prevent snowball of weight gain/insulin issues/laminitis, then you might not have to deal with any of those things.

Preferably I'd also be purchasing from stock with no known history of those issues but I'd be careful anyhow. I'd like a horse who was able to be maintained on little pasture. These horses were bred to be fuel efficient and most of the time all of their issues come from people killing them with kindness.

The maintenance on an easy keeper is arguably harder than a hard keeper, and if you create issues by allowing them to become overweight or otherwise ailed then they're also more expensive, but if you manage that from day 1, then I don't see a huge issue. I'll trade a little more work for having to feed them an obscene amount of grain to keep them alive.

Easy keeper only means they can do more with less feed. That sounds good to me, and can be utilized if you know how to manage a horse like that. Many horse breeds have been bred to be "easy keepers" for centuries, and are now being ruined by people who feed them commercial sugary, starchy diets that messes them up.
 
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I have had TWH’s and RMH’s for the past 30 years. Mine are all easy keepers. But I don’t add a bunch of stuff to their diets. Grass, hay and a handful of alfalfa pellets with a very small amount of sweet feed. The latter is more of a treat to keep them coming up to the barn morning and evening so that I can look them over. They would spend their lives out at the back of the 40 acres under a tree if they could. Even during a snow storm! Mine have always been very healthy and have great hooves.
I’m not really well versed in blood lines anymore but I would look at older blood lines. If I was looking again, I would look at heritage bred ones. walkingthewalk would probably be a good source for information.
 

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And if I were young enough to start a horse THIS is where I would go🤠🤠

Their stallion Red Zepplin is Heritage bred and a doppelgänger for my Joker (RIP).

These horses are raised on the range.

 

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Consider looking at some of the other gaited breeds as well. McCurdy bred are built tuff as one of my students used to say. There was a breeder next to the school I was teaching at. Lively horses. For once an appropriate autocorrect though I had typed lovely. Other breeds could also fit what you're looking for.
 
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Never thought I'd look at gaited horses but having an easy keeper that can do pretty much anything a non-gaited horse can but won't tire as quickly and is a smoother ride...why not? I've ridden quite a few and never met a mean one yet. Most importantly, I think one would fit my lifestyle.
This caught my attention when I went back to look at what you said you were looking for. I've ridden with those that have gaited while I rode drafts or non gaited. There was no difference I found in how many miles or the speed traveled if the horse was conditioned. Comfort was related to conformation and smoothness of gait whether gaited or not. I've ridden horses in both categories that were like jackhammers and those that were smooth. Riding before buying is not just about temperament and determining if the horse is at a level you expect.
 

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I just looked the cracker horses up on Facebook and it looks like they are having an event on January 29/30 in Webster, Florida. Don’t know if you are close enough or interested but thought it wouldn’t hurt to pass on the information.
 

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I’ve never ridden any and have very little knowledge of them but you might check out the Florida cracker horse.

I know a lady that has a Florida Cracker Horse and she loves her. She's a nice looking horse. I have not ridden one for the experience though.
 

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Walkers on Water breeds some of the nicest walkers you will ever see and she is known for height on her horses. You can also look up John Lester bred horses - there are quite a few FB groups with nice walkers that breeders post in. I like a nice Fox Trotter but have found their gait to be slower than most of my TWH's. We have a friend with one and had one a few years ago and they can't keep up with a forward TWH. I'm not saying they are all like that - just those I have been around.
 

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And if I were young enough to start a horse THIS is where I would go🤠🤠

Their stallion Red Zepplin is Heritage bred and a doppelgänger for my Joker (RIP).

These horses are raised on the range.

YES these guys are hands down some of the best breeders out there for TWH. Their bloodlines are old, dependable and good looking. Their stallions are featured on the homepage of the IHWHA. Red Zepplin is actually a Canadian bred stallion too, from southern Alberta. Last I checked, I have his only daughter in Canada, MGW Full Throttle Freda. I brought up a colt from Shellie a few years ago too, he's three now. His sire is SCW Counting Cadence, and his dam is Kodiaks Bella C.F, who is also Alberta bred.

Shellie is a wonderful lady, I would definitely do business with them again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
@walkinthewalk those are some FINE horses

@QtrBel I've thought about it but I really like my walkers. Like I said I've never met a mean one and I like them as a breed for multiple other reasons. Other gated breeds are definitely cool but I kind of want a walker.

Florida crackers are very cool horses and I definitely wouldn't have a problem with owning one because, as my farrier says, they're the only breed of horse whose feet are meant to function in a swamp. He says that they generally do better in wet environments than most horses. But they're usually really small horses if not ponies.
 

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McCurdy were bred from Walkers and carry a lot of the heritage types. They still allow TWH out crosses as they are trying to regain their numbers.
 
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My big slow 15.2 QH is my best friend! We love ranch riding, jumping and liberty work!
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McCurdy were bred from Walkers and carry a lot of the heritage types. They still allow TWH out crosses as they are trying to regain their numbers.
I live near alot of McCurdy's. they are just like a gaited QH! And can be double registerd as a TWH. Just good luck finding one thats not a foal or over 20k.🙄
 
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