Thunder is my lesson horse. He is a 9 year old TWH/SSH gelding. I bought him 4 years ago he was my first so called gaited horse that I purchased. I bought him from a horse trader and got really lucky on that deal. He is supposed to be registered but I never got paperwork. Of course he was supposed to be super gaited and rode like a dream for the trader that never actually rode him. When we got him home and saddled him I tried everything known to man to get this horse to respond in some kind of way to me being in the saddle. He just stood there. This poor baby had been saddled and had kids led around on him by the older lady that owned him but had no clue what a headstall and bit were or why I was pulling on the reins and kicking him. So for a couple of rides we ponied him with my son teaching him to rein. Then we took him on a short ride off of our farm. We trailered him about 45 minutes from home to a popular riding trail with exposure to bridges, bicycles, woods, tight spaces etc… we took the lead rope just in case we had to pony him out of there and I also took my crop which he had become accustomed to just in case. We ended up stuck and not being able to cross a creek on the horse trail and had to hit a bicycle trail to get across the creek. Now the bridge across the creek was about 4 ft wide by 50 ft long and it was high over the creek with no handrails. Of course he balked at it. I got off going to lead him across. He balked again. So my fiance’ got behind him with the crop while I was leading him. He only had to touch him with the crop one time and he started to slowly follow me across the bridge. He was so scared that his poor back legs were knocking, but he followed without further questioning. Little did I know that making him follow me across that bridge would connect us forever. He has a trust in me that I have not found in any of my other horses. They too will do what I ask but only because they know I will make them go thru what ever obstacle it is not because they know I will protect them and lead them through safely.
Now Thunder is a LAZY horse. He does not like ground work at all. But if you can get in the saddle and make him understand what you are asking of him he will gladly do it unless it entails running lol.
He was not naturally gaited and it took a solid year of training to get him right and to where he drops into a gait on his own. I done all of his training myself with i should say no ground work because he just would not stand for it.
Thunder has gone to Houston with us each time I have ridden he is wonderful going down the side of the road. Nothing bothers him in a group and he is absolutely AWESOME in the downtown Houston Parade. His top speed is about 7 miles an hour I have never been able to get him to all out run with a rider on his back but he will break gait and go into a canter and then a full lope.
This horse is not for sale for any price he will live out the rest of his days right here on the farm and when he is too old to ride that is fine too. If I could clone this pony I would have 100 of him. I have often said “I wish he would have still been a stud when we got him” but the truth of it is if he had been I would not have purchased him as we did not want studs at all at that point.