A horse and rider should be comfortable in a variety of environments, and able to do "a little bit of everything well." We were not focused on the show ring or strictly trail riding - we liked to go to a local show one weekend, and out on an overnight trail ride the following weekend. Our horses were happy and willing to do both. We are proud of our ability to produce well-rounded, flexible riding companions that would happily do anything we ask, yet keep the natural spirit/personality they were born with. We are equally proud for fostering capable, knowledgeable and sensitive riders who truly love and respect their horses.
We also believe in naturally gaited horses. Each horse should be conditioned and consistently ridden in ways that enhance their natural talents. Not all Tennessee Walking Horses are the same, and trying to force a particular way of going with shoes or "gimmicks" won't help a horse that isn't built for it. Temperament, conformation and the innate "hard wiring" are "in there" when a foal is born - it's up to us to refine and polish these traits so that each individual can be the best it can be.
Riding lessons can be a great way to reignite that childhood passion for horses, and/or experience horseback riding for the first time later in life. Our Tennessee Walking Horses' smooth, non-jarring gaits were easy on older joints and muscles, and the thrill of being in the saddle is good for the heart and soul. Lessons should be taught with safety, common sense, good horsemanship, and most of all, humor and fun. Mary Ann was a TWHBEA Certified Instructor. To find someone with similar credentials in your area, check the list of Certified Instructors at www.TWHBEA.com