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Thread: Mountain Horses

  1. #1
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    Mountain Horses

    Hey guys, not sure if this is the right area to ask this but a buddy and I are going to be getting into horses this year. We like the smoothness of Tennessee Walkers and seeing what everyone’s opinions are on Tennessee Walkers as elk hunting horses and as pack horses. We will be hunting rugged country in NW Wyoming. I don’t know if we could ride Walkers and use a mule or quarter horse behind the walker because we would be dragging the pack horses as the Walkers have a fast gait. Or should we just stick with QH’s or mules? Or can walkers pack very well as in ride a walker and pack a walker?
    Thanks for the input.

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    I've had horses on and off for most of my life but I'm far from an expert so take my advice with a grain of salt. Get a big square assed quarter horse or something with a little draft mixed in. Your best resource would be to go to one of the local outfitters in Cody, take a look at their horses and ask them for their recommendation. I personally like a shorter stout type black hooved horse...about 15 hands tall although my favorite horse was a 16.2 or 17 hand saddlebred/quarter cross. White horses and white socks get scratches easier. Just my 2 cents.

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    I had a quarter horse/Arab mare which I bred to a Tennessee Walker. The Walker was not as quick on his feet as the mare and not as good in real rough areas. Both were easy riders. Both would pack, but the walker was so tall it made loading him difficult. I think a well built 14.5 to 15 hand horse is tall enough.

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    I have both breeds of those horses. The TW does have a smooth gait and the quarter horse has a rough ride if you walk the TW at a fast pace and try to keep up with him. I just hold the TW back so the quarter horse is just walking and not trotting trying to keep up with the TW or, put the quarter horse up front and have the TW walk at the QH's pace behind him. They both do great in the rough, high country on trails and on game trails...... they both do a fine job !! Some people love mules but I have owned my last mule. The ones I owned were like crazy women ....you never knew what kind of mood they were going to be in. If your going to buy some horses it doesn't matter what which kind you get QT or TW just make sure they are GOOD horses and not some untrained, crazy horses !! There are to many good horses out there to own bad ones !

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    WYO.....I have a moderate amount of experience in this area.....however take it for what its worth....it worked for me....might not for all. When I was younger I put everything I had (stock wise in the mountains).....some of those animals worked out......some caused me to hike 32.7 miles in a 48 hour period to recover one The gaited animals were nice.....felt good on my hindquarters and IMHO that was it. Just not big enough boned for me. As you eluded to......you will most likely drag the animals behind you .....until trained and they felt it in their mind they need to keep up.

    WY ME is spot on with what I think also.....get your stock from an outfitter or a ranch that rents horses to hunters.....unless you have the time to do all the training.....I think its worth the extra 2000$ to get an experienced animal that ties, stands all day and packs. Much safer also to start out that way.

    My stock preference is either all mules.....or a Dun big boned quarter horse as lead with mules as packers. Appaloosas also make great great mountain horses. All black hooves.

    Feel free to send me any questions so you don't have to relearn something....its also a lot safer that way

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    just don't go with an appaloosa.


    you know why the indians rode appaloosas to war?

    SO THEY WOULD BE MAD WHEN THEY GOT THERE!
    AS GOES THE CHURCH, SO GOES THE NATION

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    The Wyoming outfitted hunts I was on used draft horse cut with thoroughbreds.

    NM used mules

    I have owned quarter horses and Arabs.
    For myself, I would own mules hands down.

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    hard to beat a good mule.
    AS GOES THE CHURCH, SO GOES THE NATION

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    Thanks for the info guys. Sounds like everyone has had different experiences with TW’s. Like Slugz said, I am also concerned about how they will pack weight compared to QH’s.

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    I have been on over 25 horseback, wilderness hunting trips. While I have never packed an animal, I have seen what they (outfitters, packers) use. I actually worked for a season for one guiding in the summer. My preference for riding is a big, jack mule. I am a big guy weighing around 240# and a mule is really comfortable for me. I like their gait and they are really smart. I did a 34 mile hunting trip into the Teton Wilderness to Thorofare when I was 70 and rode a mule. After 9 1/2 hours in the saddle, I was not too sore and felt pretty good. I rode the same mule for the next 7 days hunting and also on the return to the trailhead. About 20 years ago I was thinking of getting some riding animals and looked into mules. Good trained riding mule are really spendy!

    Just my take
    Colorado Cowboy
    Cowboy Action Shooter; Endowment Life Member-NRA, NRA certified Range Safety Officer, Pistol Instructor, Rifle Instructor, RMEF, Boone & Crockett Club.
    The Original Rocket Scientist-Retired
    "My Father always considered a walk in the mountains as the equivalent of church going."
    Aldous Huxley

 

 
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