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Tennessee Walking Horses in Dressage?

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  • #21
    My mare is a walker out of a BNT barn known for world champion big lick horses...uhm,, needless to say..they would be appalled that she is not showing any talent for a true gait, but step paces. She's been in dressage training for the past year and is progressing well, but unfortunately because she step paces, she won't ever be able to show at a TWH dressage show.

    I don't know WHERE she will ever fit in. She is learning to turn on her haunches and on the forehand, does lateral work passably, has learned finally how to walk straight - halt..most of the time square, sometimes does that gaited halt (one leg back). So we are making progress and I had hoped to show her in the gaited classes for dressage as she really is a nice horse..but..since she step paces instead of doing a running walk, I guess that is moot and we will continue training in dressage...just because it makes her so much nicer to ride.

    No she wouldn't ever get to a high level - just not built for it, but I really wanted to show her at the lower levels. So I'm sad and disappointed, but she is still the only horse I enjoy riding and that has to be good enough for now. (can't do the trotters anymore, my back just will not take that).

    Good luck and continue on with training, if your horse can do the dog walk and running walk, and canter when necessary..and collect..etc. you can do the walking horse dressage tests.

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    • #22
      Sidepasser,

      Can you get your mare to a WH trainer? I've ridden several from time to time and with 30 seconds of verbal instruction of how to get them to gait, took off on trail rides with the admonition, "You're not getting them to walk!" Ditto the half-walker. I just didn't "get" the instruction.

      Your mare might gait if she gets the training and you learn what the heck it is that helps a horse gait- cause I never got it.

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      • #23
        I could send her off and try but she is sound, happy and relaxed (no more tearing around at megawatt speed) has great bare feet and so I will enjoy her like she is. She is a square, sorry a rectangle. Very very lateral but that is how the many of the big lick horses are bred these days, makes it easier to get that gait out of them. She washed out of that right quick. No aptitude for it nor desire.

        I don't know how to encourage her to gait as I am not a "walking horse" person or trainer, but her step pace is smooth enough that I can ride for hours and get off and am still able to walk. I think I'll keep her like she is..I looked for a long time to find one that was a joy to ride even if she has no true walking horse gait. Thanks for the suggestion but it's one I considered carefully and then put back in the box.

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        • #24
          Originally posted by sidepasser View Post
          My mare is a walker out of a BNT barn known for world champion big lick horses...uhm,, needless to say..they would be appalled that she is not showing any talent for a true gait, but step paces. She's been in dressage training for the past year and is progressing well, but unfortunately because she step paces, she won't ever be able to show at a TWH dressage show.

          I don't know WHERE she will ever fit in. She is learning to turn on her haunches and on the forehand, does lateral work passably, has learned finally how to walk straight - halt..most of the time square, sometimes does that gaited halt (one leg back). So we are making progress and I had hoped to show her in the gaited classes for dressage as she really is a nice horse..but..since she step paces instead of doing a running walk, I guess that is moot and we will continue training in dressage...just because it makes her so much nicer to ride.

          No she wouldn't ever get to a high level - just not built for it, but I really wanted to show her at the lower levels. So I'm sad and disappointed, but she is still the only horse I enjoy riding and that has to be good enough for now. (can't do the trotters anymore, my back just will not take that).

          Good luck and continue on with training, if your horse can do the dog walk and running walk, and canter when necessary..and collect..etc. you can do the walking horse dressage tests.
          Sidepasser, how long have you been working with a dressage trainer? I would encourage you to keep at it. In my experience with my gaited horse, the dressage work only improved her fox trot. She started out quite pacey and stiff but now will do a lovely, true fox trot. We've been at it for about 2.5 years. Lateral work helps her a ton too. The more we do, the more rolling her fox trot gets.

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          • #25
            Here is my TWH mare Cloud. It was her very first show, ever. The picture isn't great, but you'll get the idea.
            http://pets.webshots.com/photo/22056...60910712QuOLxI

            Another one posing after her class.
            http://pets.webshots.com/photo/24460...60910712yjdjKv
            http://community.webshots.com/user/snafflebitz

            "My Saddlebred can do anything your horse can do" Clique

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            • #26
              Sidepasser, that mare could walk. I've seen her, yes she could I am going to Strongly Encourage you to consider a clinic with Larry Whitesell. He'll be at Gillsville, GA over Labor Day. www.whitesellgaitedhorsemanship.com

              At least consider it. A step pace is a moment's change from a Running Walk, and when you can quit worrying about who she used to be, and ride who she can be...you're in baby.

              Signed, owner of a Coins Hard Cash/Pusher colt

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              • #27
                Sidepasser, if you like her as she is and don't want to show, nothing wrong with that.

                I should have added that I would never consider sending her to a Big Lick trainer. In fact, what I should have qualified is to find a trainer that you both can work with, not just send her out. All the TW's I rode were regular shod and used for trail. In general, they are pretty sound with good dispositions.

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                • #28
                  Cats, if she can hook up with Larry, it's dressage based riding with a deep understanding of gaited horses- NO crap, no gimmicks. That mare has it in her, it's getting her butt working harder that'll bring it out, I'm sure of it. She's a NICE mare, be nice to just see, that's all

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