1966-Voice Of The Tennessee Walking Horse 1966 May Voice RS - Page 26

(Continued from page JO) ranks of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders As­ sociation which ended with the death of several ag­ ing directors of the Association. But the damage had been done. The American Horse Shows Association, whose directors and committees were loaded with jumper, hunter and gaited horse people, increased the restrictions on Walking Horses until they met themselves coming back. The rules now forbid the use of vaseline and medicines of any kind around the front feet. If a horse is scratched on the front legs while riding in a trailer to a horse show or is bruised in the stable, the owner cannot protect his animal by treating the wound or cut. The rule states that 'No medicant may be applied regardless of whether it changes the color of the horse’s leg or not.’ "It is the aim of this paper to present a few facts that will serve to lay the ghost of the sore bleeding Tennessee Walking Horse. Any average, healthy, do- it-yourself American can train a horse. With the same approach that a person takes to build a boat in his basement or a tree house for his kids, the literature and methodology of the horse trainer lies within the ken of the average American. There are more ama­ teur horse experts than in any other field of recre­ ation. The colts play and run free in the pasture or farm until they near their second birthday and are then taken to the stall where they are introduced to a halter, saddle and simple snaffle bit. If you take a bucket of feed to a colt twice a day for a week, he will recognize you and permit you to do just about anything you want within reason. He weighs almost a half-ton, has a brain the size of a walnut and fright­ ens like a rabbit at any loud sound, quick move or threatening gesture. So you play it nice and easy. When he has sniffed your saddle a few times, licked your hand and the pommel, he will permit you to tighten the girth and make him ready to ride. You can toss a sack of grain on his back to teach him to carry weight, 'dumb jock’ style, or you can mount or dismount a couple of dozen times until he gets used to your weight. Now you are ready. But for what? "You are now prepared to ride him thirty minutes a day, seven days a week for the next two years. Rain or shine, sleet or snow, the procedure must not vary and your patience must not flag. If your horse is bred right, he will walk. He may be the one in a hundred that has looks, speed, consistency, and the sheen and brilliance of a great horse. If he is one of the other ninety-nine, he will be a fun horse, a minor leaguer, who can’t make the big time. When he paces you add weight to his shoes, which are carefully re­ set every six weeks by an experienced blacksmith. You can add aluminum or wooden balls or rubber- coated chains on his front feet to make him extend his front feet like a ballet dancer. Or you can forget this sophistry and content yourself with a horse that will fox-trot down the trail without your