Proper seat position riding tennessee walker-Go Gaited! Tennessee Walking Horse FAQs - Expert advice on horse care and horse riding

The Tennessee Walking Horse or Tennessee Walker is a breed of gaited horse known for its unique four-beat running-walk and flashy movement. It was originally developed in the southern United States for use on farms and plantations. It is a popular riding horse due to its calm disposition, smooth gaits and sure-footedness. The Tennessee Walking Horse is often seen in the show ring, but is also popular as a pleasure and trail riding horse using both English and Western equipment. Tennessee Walkers are also seen in movies, television shows and other performances.

Proper seat position riding tennessee walker

Proper seat position riding tennessee walker

Proper seat position riding tennessee walker

Tennessee Walking Horsesfive-gaited American Saddlebredsthree-gaited pleasure, and park Saddlebreds, and other gaited breeds that adhere closely to their traditions, are usually shown with a full mane and forelock, though the Anime sex free goth and the first lock of the mane may be braided with satin ribbon, which is color-coordinated with the browband of the bridle and the rider's outfit. Breed Pedigrees. Horses that naturally have an upright neck with high head carriage, as well as animated gaits and high action are best at saddle seat. See also: Equitation and English pleasure. American horse breed noted for its Northern swingers walk gait. Didi's Story. Keep working with your horse to create this intuitive method of instruction. Riding should be an enjoyable experience for Proper seat position riding tennessee walker and rider.

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Retrieved March 17, The breed has also been featured in television, movies and other performing events. Ranch Proper seat position riding tennessee walker. Choose what kind of horse you want to ride. With any luck, you'll be riding effortlessly too! Pressure shoeing is also used, eliminating use of chemicals altogether. If you're taking lessons or just riding at a stable, chances are you won't need to worry about the headstall, bit, or saddle. Horse Training Videos. Click here for Currency Exchange Rates. English-style spurs are optional. Dressage Today. Pick up a slow jog to see whether Proper seat position riding tennessee walker moving in sync with your horse's rhythmic motion. Echo Of Hoofbeats by Dr. Properties for Sale.

How many of you have trailered in for a lesson or clinic with expectations, only to be caught by surprise?

  • Myths and misunderstandings about smooth-gaited horses abound.
  • Seat position 2: Sit in the center of the saddle seat upright on your seat bones, not rocked back on your pockets.
  • We've all seen people that appear to effortlessly ride horses.

The style developed into its modern form in the United States, and is also seen in Canada and South Africa. To a much lesser extent, it is ridden with American action horse breeds in Europe and Australia.

The horse breeds mainly used for this flashy style are typically the showy Morgan Horse, and the high stepping American Saddlebred. The goal of the saddle seat riding style is to show off the horse's extravagant gaits, particularly the trot.

In the United States, there sometimes is confusion between saddle seat and hunt seat disciplines among individuals who are neither familiar with different styles of English saddle nor the substantial differences in rider position and attire between the disciplines. Saddle seat riding began as a distinct style within the broader group of English riding disciplines developed in the United States from two sources. The first was the Plantation tradition of the American South , where smooth-moving, high-stepping horses were used by plantation owners and overseers to travel across the fields.

The horses had to be smooth riding and comfortable enough for hours of riding while overseeing the plantation, but the owners also required an impressive, high-stepping horse for riding in town. Hence, the term "park horse" is still used today to describe competitions where the action of the horse is of paramount importance.

Saddle seat is a style of English riding that differs considerably from other styles such as hunt seat and dressage. To the casual observer the rider sits well back in the saddle, carrying his or her hands higher than in other disciplines. Riders in equitation classes are penalized for leaning forward to any significant degree. However, like any other riding discipline, the position of the rider reflects the desired position of the horse.

In saddle seat, high-stepping gaits are required of the horses shown, and the rider's position, behind the center of balance of the animal, allows the riding aids to be used to encourage front leg action in the horse. Horses that naturally have an upright neck with high head carriage, as well as animated gaits and high action are best at saddle seat. They should be very energetic but still remain responsive to the rider's aids. Less often, Friesians and Andalusians are exhibited.

Class terminology varies between breeds. Each class may ask for different variations of the gaits, extended gaits, and sometimes for any specialized gaits. Any of the breeds used for saddle seat competition may also be shown in driving classes in harness , usually called " fine harness " or " pleasure driving ", usually requiring a walk and two speeds of trot.

Rules for horse grooming and handler attire parallel saddle seat rules. Saddle seat riders use a special saddle not seen in other English riding disciplines. These saddles have a cut-back pommel, which is set back several inches usually four to allow for the higher withers and neck set of the horse.

The saddle has little padding, a very flat seat, and is placed further back on the horse to allow the extravagant front end movement of the horse. This saddle also deliberately places the rider slightly "behind the motion," which makes it easier to influence both the headset of the horse and the animal's gaits. Due to the cutback pommel, these saddles are usually a few inches longer than other English saddles.

Even a properly balanced saddle seat saddle is quite flat and places the rider in a position that feels less secure. However, good riders that ride a balanced saddle seat with long stirrups in a "classical" position legs balanced under the rider, not sitting too far back on the horse's loins , are able to properly ride their horses, encouraging the animals to step under themselves and collect, raising their backs, elevating their necks, and working off their hindquarters.

Poorly made saddles of this style can be unbalanced and an improper seat leads to a hollow-backed horse who does not have properly engaged hindquarters, with a superficially correct front-end position that is achieved by improperly forcing the horse's head and neck up and in, usually by means of leveraged training aids.

The saddle seat horse traditionally wears a double bridle full bridle , with both a curb bit and a bradoon. A pelham bit is also legal for pleasure classes, though not common. The shanks of the curb bit are often longer than those found on the Weymouth style double bridle used in dressage , often 7 inches in overall length some breeds have length limits in the rules. The cavesson is sometimes plain leather, and sometimes colored to match the browband, depending on breed and fashion trends in tack.

Junior classes, limited to horses under four or five years old, may allow horses to wear a snaffle bit. Running martingales are also sometimes used in training but not in the show ring. High action is prized in the saddle seat horse. Therefore, many horses used in saddle seat are allowed to grow longer feet than in other disciplines and are shod with pads and special shoes. While ordinary horseshoes are usually held on with horseshoe nails clinched on the outside wall of the hoof, shoes on high-action breeds are often held in place with a metal band, as well as with clinches, because of their weight.

Toe length and shoe weight therefore is an often controversial issue among saddle seat competitors. Toe length and, at times, shoe weight, are often measured at sanctioned shows. Pad height is also governed by breed: some breeds and divisions either prohibit pads altogether or only allow minimal pads. Other breeds, such as the American Saddlebred allow a 1-inch wedge pad, while at the extreme, 4-inch "stacks" are seen on certain Tennessee Walking Horses.

In Country Pleasure competition for Saddlebreds and flat shod divisions for Tennessee Walkers, built-up shoes and pads are not allowed, all action must be produced from natural ability.

In saddle seat breed competition for Morgans and Arabians, pads and slightly weighted shoes are allowed, but with strictly enforced limits on overall toe length and shoe weight. The exact combination of elevation knee height and extension how far out in front the horse reaches with its feet is determined to some extent by breed and fashion.

The balance of the shoe can alter action: the three-gaited American Saddlebred and the Hackney Horse have the highest knee action, while the Tennessee Walking Horse is asked to perform the "big lick," exaggerated action of the front legs, especially in the running walk, where the horse both lifts its feet very high and reaches them out in front as far as possible.

Many saddle seat horses also wear certain devices to increase their action while in training. Use of these devices is controversial, though when used correctly, they are said to help develop necessary muscles and should not be used in a manner that causes the horse physical pain. Devices used include stretchies elastic rubber tubing attached to the front legs by fleece-covered leather half-hobbles, used to provide resistance training , weighted rattles large beads or chains placed around the fetlock, and "shackles" or a "running-W", devices composed of pulleys and ropes that help increase the horses' range of motion.

Depending on the breed, some devices may be used in the warm-up area but not the show ring, while other breeds ban them from the show grounds entirely. Because of the pain it causes to animals, soring has been banned by federal law, enforced by the United States Department of Agriculture as part of the Horse Protection Act of Therefore, even though the practice is widely condemned and illegal, with possible criminal penalties possible, it is still a problem for the industry.

Correct saddle seat attire differs from that of western or hunt seat disciplines. Fashion in saddle seat disciplines changes with changes in menswear fashions, reflected in collar styles, shirt and tie designs, and sometimes in length of coat and color of linings.

According to the United States Equestrian Federation , conservative solid colors must be worn, such as black, navy blue, brown, dark green or gray. Pinstriped fabrics and other fabric textures that appear solid at a distance are also acceptable. However, in some classes, it is also legal to wear a "day coat," which is a coat that is of a contrasting color from the rider's pants.

In all classes, riders wear Kentucky jodhpurs jods , which are close-fitting pants with knee patches and bell-bottoms that go over the boots, usually with a strap that goes under the boot to keep them from riding up. A long, fitted coat is also required. For men, the coat length usually stops just above the knee. For women, depending on height, the coat may be below the knee, though exact length varies from year to year as show ring fashions change.

The outfit is complete with the addition of jodhpur boots that come just over the ankle similar to "paddock boots" sometimes worn in other disciplines , a hat usually a derby for women and a fedora for men , a vest, tie, and dark gloves. In some breeds, riders have coat linings made in a contrasting color to add extra flash, though colored linings go in and out of style on a regular basis. In equitation classes, where the rider is judged, the coat and jods must match. In performance classes, where the horse is judged, a matching equitation-style suit is appropriate, or riders, particularly women, may wear a day coat.

Riders usually carry a longish whip, usually black, that is similar to that used by dressage riders. English-style spurs are optional. Technically a white-handled whip is only carried after pm, but that particular tradition is widely ignored. After p. No formal attire can be worn in pleasure or pleasure equitation classes, except for Morgan horse competition, but it is commonly seen in evening equitation championships, and in "park" style riding and Driving classes for American Saddlebreds and Arabians.

In a few breed disciplines, though never in equitation, wearing flashy, brocaded coats in a formal class in lieu of a matching suit is occasionally fashionable, usually depending on parallel styles in the world of men's fashions. Under United States Equestrian Federation rules, a rider may opt to wear protective headgear in any class without penalty.

In small, unrated, "academy" or "schooling" shows, classes for people new to saddle seat may relax the dress requirements and allow exhibitors to show without a costly show jacket, and simply wear Kentucky jodhpurs, boots, a long sleeve button down shirt, sometimes a vest, and an equestrian helmet instead of a derby.

Show ring grooming and "turnout" of the saddle seat horse is intended to emphasize elegance and grace. There are noticeable variations in grooming style between breeds, and sometimes within different disciplines of the same breed.

Therefore, it is often quite easy even for newcomers to tell which breed is being shown by the obeserving the way the horses are groomed. Horses shown saddle seat generally are left with a very long, flowing mane that is not trimmed or pulled. Tennessee Walking Horses , five-gaited American Saddlebreds , three-gaited pleasure, and park Saddlebreds, and other gaited breeds that adhere closely to their traditions, are usually shown with a full mane and forelock, though the forelock and the first lock of the mane may be braided with satin ribbon, which is color-coordinated with the browband of the bridle and the rider's outfit.

In recent years, the trend amongst Saddlebred exhibitors is to shave off the forelock. On the other hand, Arabian and Morgan horses show with a full mane and tail with no additions; exhibitors are specifically prohibited from braiding or adding ribbons to their horses. American Saddlebreds shown specifically in three-gaited competition are shown with a roached entirely shaved off mane and forelock, to accentuate the lines of the neck and head.

For all other breeds, only part of the mane is trimmed. This area, called the bridle path the area of the mane just behind the horse's ears, where the bridle lies across the top of the horse's head , is often trimmed farther down the neck than in other disciplines in order to show off the clean throatlatch, length, and elegance of the horse's neck.

There are variations in bridle path lengths: Arabian horse exhibitors are particularly prone to shaving extremely long bridle paths, while exhibitors of American Saddlebreds less so, and Morgan horse exhibitors typically fall in the middle. The tail is left long, and often the bottom of it is kept wrapped up at the stable so that it grows long enough to skim or even drag on the ground as the horse moves, only taken down for show.

Formerly, the upper portion of a three-gaited horse's tail was shaved to balance the look of the roached mane and remains legal for show, but in recent decades the trend has been to keep a normal tail.

Classes for three-gaited horses with full manes and tails are also offered. The American Saddlebred and Tennessee Walking Horse are shown with an artificially positioned tail in the "high action" classes, such as three-gaited and five-gaited under saddle classes, and fine harness competition.

The upright set tail shortens the length of the rest of the tail by several inches. Therefore, horses with set tails, particularly if thin or slow-growing, may have a false tail added. False tails are not allowed in Morgan or Arabian competition. When used, false tails attempt to not appear obviously fake; they are matched to the horse's natural hair color and flow into the natural tail.

Tail setting is a controversial subject. This is primarily because a common way of creating the set look is a tail "nicking" operation, in which the retractor muscles on the underside of the dock are partially cut the tail is not broken, as some people believe. The tail is then placed into a tail set so that when the muscles and ligaments heal they are longer than they were initially. A tail set is a harness -like device with straps that loop from the chest of the horse to the back of the tail to support a spoon crupper that actually holds the tail itself.

A tail set holds the tail up and stretches the muscles and ligaments of the tail, preventing it from gradually sinking down. In the show ring, the tailsetting harness is removed, but the tail is often tied or put into a tail brace to hold it in place.

It is possible to achieve the same look without the horse having to go through the nicking procedure.

Correct saddle seat attire differs from that of western or hunt seat disciplines. Horse Deworming. His Ride the Journey tour takes him to cities across the United States. In , Black Allan later known as Allan F-1 was born. News and Events. To sit in the saddle, please mount up, then put your feet in the stirrups, and sit down with your butt cheeks on the saddle and relax, but not too much. Archived from the original on February 26,

Proper seat position riding tennessee walker

Proper seat position riding tennessee walker

Proper seat position riding tennessee walker

Proper seat position riding tennessee walker

Proper seat position riding tennessee walker. Hunt Seat Hand Position

What are the Tennessee Walking Horse gaits like-how do they feel under saddle? Can you describe each gait precisely? How do they differ from, say, the Missouri Fox Trotter? Walker gaits feel lovely--to me, anyway--but let me make it very clear that I'm talking about natural gaits, trail gaits, real gaits, not the man-made show gaits that are created with the help of heavy shoes, huge stacks of pads, or soring. When I say "Walker gaits," I mean the gaits they'll do as foals at their mother's sides or turned out in pasture or under saddle when they're comfortable and wearing ordinary tack.

Walkers are famous for their flatfoot walk, running walk, and canter, but they can and do offer other gaits--lots of them, in fact. The walks are all four-beat lateral gaits: The horse always has three feet on the ground and one in the air, so his body is always well-supported.

Your Walker may have some "extra" gaits for your trail-riding pleasure. In addition to the two-beat trot and pace, there are many four-beat gaits that don't involve much-if any-head-nodding. Your Walker may have his "official" three gaits, plus any or all of these: Trot, pace, foxtrot, stepping pace, singlefoot, and rack.

Some gaits have different names in different areas; the same gait might be called a "singlefoot," a "stepping pace," or a "saddle gait," depending on your location. I'm ready to buy a Tennessee Walking Horse.

What should I look for? At the gym, some of us prefer the treadmill and others prefer the elliptical trainer or the stair-stepper. Here are four suggestions for successful horse-hunting. Some people enjoy trotting; others love a running walk or a foxtrot or a rack. If you have a bad back, a Walker might be ideal--or he might provide too much back movement for comfort.

Find out what works best for you! You may surprise yourself, and find that a breed or gait you thought you'd enjoy is just "meh," but another breed or gait you'd never heard of before is "da bomb. Even within a breed, individual horses can have different conformation and different movement. If you fall in love with the long smooth stride of one Walker, don't buy a different one, assuming that his movement will feel exactly the same. It may not! They were both very comfortable to ride, but they weren't the same.

Ride your trail horse prospects on the trail, not just in the arena or pasture. If possible, try them out on the same type of trails you'll ride on when you get home. The same horse may gait differently in the pasture than on the trail, and may also gait differently on a smooth, level trail than over rough, hilly, or uneven terrain. Keep an open mind. Discard any notions of the "best" breed, size, or color. If buy a Tennessee Walking Horse, will I still be able to ride with friends who own non-gaited breeds?

If you want a Walker and don't want to give up your trail rides with your friends who ride trotting horses, look for:. Just long reins--extra-long ones if you ride English--to accommodate your Walker's nodding and lovely long neck. Now go out and enjoy your horse! Jessica Jahiel, PhD www. Her e-mail newsletter www. Ready to look for the right horse for you?

Go to Equine. Thinking of adding a Tennessee Walking Horse to your stable? Plain-shod Tennessee Walking Horses are sound, sane, smooth, and naturally gaited. What really stands out in the Tennessee Walking Horse is disposition.

The Tennesse Walking Horse breed gentle nature is as steady and smooth as the long-reaching stride he's renowned for. Trail riders enjoy a comfortable ride with the gaited curly horse, gaited mule, gaited pony, tennuvian and walkaloosa horses. Learn how to maximize your on trail experience with these crossbreeds.

Our expert counters false assumptions about smooth-gaited horses with fact-based truths in this Trail Rider Magazine article. Learn about the Missouri Fox Trotters and why they make such great trail horses. The sweetness and intelligence of Gaited Curlies is endearing. Discerning riders want a smooth gait and good temperament; the curl and color are like icing on the cake. The Tennuvian is smooth gaited with great endurance - perfect for long days on the trail.

Ride on easy-gaited Spotted Saddle Horses are naturally gaited. Visit breeders who specialize in producing sound, safe, surefooted horses that can travel up and down rocky trails all day long.

Horse Breeds. Horse Health Care. Alternative Therapies. Horse Deworming. Senior Horse Care. Seasonal Care. Hoof Care. It's comfortable for both of us, so I just go ahead and let him do it. I don't show, so it doesn't really matter, but I guess his papers must be fake since he wouldn't gait if he were a purebred Quarter Horse. Don't worry; your horse's papers are probably his own. Gaited horses typically exhibit great tolerance and great sweetness of temperament, and are usually smooth, comfortable rides.

Any rider can feel comfortable on their backs. But is your gaited horse happy and comfortable? No matter what sort of horse you ride, you owe it to him to become the best rider you can be. If you love trail riding and want to make long, challenging trail rides part of your life, then take lessons, practice, and work to achieve good balance and coordination in the saddle. Help your horse become strong and flexible, and develop endurance. Help yourself achieve exactly the same goals.

You'll both have a much better time on the trail, and come home from a long ride sound, happy, and ready to do it all again the next day. I've seen him trot in the pasture, so I know he can do it, but I've heard that if you let a gaited horse trot, it'll ruin his smooth gaits. Versatile gaited horses are quite capable of performing gaits that aren't in their capsule breed description.

If your horse walks, trots, and canters in the pasture, there's no reason he can't walk, trot, and canter under saddle. Go ahead and trot your horse, encouraging him to use his belly muscles, lift and stretch his back, and reach forward and down with his head and neck.

He may not get the chance to exercise these muscles in the same way when he's gaiting, and it's very good for him to do some cross-training. Don't worry about causing your horse to "lose" his special gaits, and don't worry that he'll begin offering a trot when you ask him for his running walk, foxtrot, or singlefoot.

Relax, and trust his intelligence and versatility. To ensure that you get the gait that you want when you want it, simply teach him a specific cue to go with each gait. That way, he'll understand exactly what you're asking for at any given moment.

Many gaited horses can perform many gaits and do them all well; think of them as extra-special horses with extra gears. It's perfectly possible for one horse to be able to perform a flatfoot walk, running walk, singlefoot, foxtrot, trot, and canter.

Gaited horses can be spectacular to watch at shows and in parades, but those are only two of the many places where gaited horses excel. From ranch work to police work to handicapped-riding programs, there are hard-working gaited horses everywhere.

They often do well in open competitions, and are increasingly popular for such activities as competitive trail riding and endurance riding.

If you do a lot of trail riding, you've probably seen and admired gaited horses without even realizing that they were gaited. Next time you're on the trail, ask each rider you meet to tell you the breed of his or her horse. I'd be willing to bet that many of those horses will belong to gaited breeds. Where-to-Ride Guide. Training Tips. Ground Work. Pattern Perfect. Private Lesson. Ranch Events. Trail Riding. Western Pleasure. Trail Breeds. Trail Gear. Trail Riding Destinations. Organized Trail Rides.

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rider position | Naturally Gaited

Riding a Tennessee Walking Horse is considerably easier than riding other breeds. They do not trot, so you don't have to learn to post. They park out into a stretched stance for mounting, so their backs are lowered and they are easier to mount. They are gentle, sensible animals that don't require a lot of horse knowledge before you attempt to ride. If these horses were any easier to ride, they would have training wheels. So get on and sit down. Sit with your back straight, and let your legs hang down slightly behind the girth.

Tip your toes up and shorten your stirrup leathers until the stirrup is just above your toe. Your leg should still be relaxed and you should be sitting on the horse, not half-standing in a crouched position, waiting to have to post.

In case you haven't already, now is the time to relax. Sit quietly on your horse, until you feel all the tension ease out of your body, and you are comfortable.

Apply no pressure with your lower leg unless you are cueing for a gait change. It is not necessary to hold onto the horse with your legs, as these gaits are very smooth, and do not dislodge the rider. Your hands should be held so that there is a fairly straight line from your elbow to the corner of the horse's mouth.

Keep your hands soft enough so that when the horse nods his head as he is doing his gait, the natural action of the neck shakes your hand up and down like a handshake. Do NOT attempt to set your horse's head by cresting it at the poll, as you will shorten its stride and reduce the comfort to both horse and rider.

When you are riding, do a mental body check from time to time, to see if ANY of your muscles are tensed. They should not be. Relax them. The biggest muscle workouts involved in riding a Tennessee Walking Horse are getting on it, and smiling a lot. Enjoy your ride. Above is the real McCoy - an honest to goodness, real time, working American cowboy , putting the finishing touches on a young Tennessee Walking Horse filly that he has been training for 30 days.

Notice how relaxed both horse and rider are. The filly is moving ahead in a quiet, confident manner, and shows complete faith in the rider, despite the rope singing around her ears.

She will carry these lessons on how to be a good, sensible saddle horse for the rest of her life, and will continue to enjoy her working relationship with her rider.

Made from the finest French calf leather with meticulous attention to detail. Built on wooden boot trees to create a lovely shaped calf while molding perfectly around the foot as well! Owner bought 'em new, for college competition, but left the team after 4 events, so they're barely used. Size 6. The author, Helen Crabtree, is a noted horsewoman. She has trained over 75 World Champions with her methods. This book shares her expertise.

The book deals with the mechanics of riding Saddle Seat, proper tack, and rider attire, but does not deal with judging Saddle Seat. The emphasis is on showing. The Breed. Breed Colors. Breed Conformation. Breed Gaits. Breed History. Breed Pedigrees.

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Web Rings. Maryan Zyderveld and the late, great Lad's Black Buster Who says you can't ride a stallion with a side saddle? The Art of Horsemanship by Xenophon, the Greek. Echo Of Hoofbeats by Dr. Bob Womack. Saddle Seat Equitation by Helen K. Click here for Currency Exchange Rates.

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Proper seat position riding tennessee walker

Proper seat position riding tennessee walker