Mission, Philosophy & Program

A pleasure horse should be a pleasure to have around

Our Mission

Skyline Ranch's mountain view

Mountain view from Skyline Ranch

At the Skyline we endeavour to produce top quality naturally-gaited Tennessee Walking Horses, raising training and selling ethically. CANADIAN TWH!

Our Philosophy

The Canadian Tennessee Walking Horse is a multi-gaited horse. These gaits are inherent in the breed. These natural gaits can be enhanced by  understanding the gait;  no special shoeing or abusive techniques are required. Many training practices found in all breeds may be detrimental to the long-term health and happiness of the animal. We do not use any of these. Additionally, we believe that most horses that are used too young will not remain sound in later years. If allowed to mature before hard use, there will be many more good years later. TWH are capable of regular usage into their 30’s if not started too young. Due to different breeding selection, many Canadian-bred TWH are superior in conformation and natural gait to their Tennessee ancestors.

Our Program

Skyline's Dark Storm at a walking pace

Skyline's Dark Storm

We bought our first TWH in 1995. We bought the best stallion we could afford. We were fortunate to find one who, due to injuries, gave us better name recognition than would have normally been afforded. From there, we added the best brood mares we could find.  We then tried to match the mares to stallions that would produce the best possible offspring. We did not limit our breeding to only one stallion. The strength of any breeding program lies in the mares!

We are breeding for the natural even four beat gait. Both pace and trot are faults. We want straight legs on the front; we do not want excessive sickle hocks nor cow hocks on the hind. Conformation faults lead to early breakdown.

Training begins at birth. A halter is put on the foal at the earliest opportunity. Its feet are picked up, it is touched everywhere, and soon it is asked to follow on the halter. Hooves are trimmed as needed from about 8 weeks of age on. This foot work is carried on every 6 to 8 weeks thereafter. This is the only handling these horses get until the third year. They are left to run in the pasture and become horses! By the time the foal has reached two years of age it is quite quiet, stands tied and leads well. More ground work is started in the round pen late in the third year. This includes desensitization, introduction to the saddle, ground driving and trailer loading.

At the futurity

At the futurity

When the horse is mature enough mentally it will be introduced to riding. Very little (if any) riding will be done before the 4th year. Light usage in the 4th year, more in the 5th. Many are used as pack horses in the mountains, carrying light loads, in those early years. Our training techniques are eclectic, encompassing Parelli, Roberts, Irwin, and others. The techniques are essentially “resistance-free”. Our young horses are expected to have trust but at the  same time show respect. Bad manners — stepping on the handler, bumping, bolting away, etc. are not tolerated. They should stand still. Saddle horses should stand for mounting and dismounting. They should across still and moving water without fuss. They should lope/canter readily, and under control, on request (but only on request). Our horses are left barefoot until they will be exposed to rocky ground, at which time they are shod with “keg” shoes. Barefoot is best unless conditions dictate otherwise.

We support the Canadian Registry’s Triple Challenge Program. We have entered 4 horses, achieving the top levels available. Royal’s Last Class Act and Yvening Sugar Moon achieved the Gold Award for conformation and movement. Skyline’s Regulus achieved the Bronze Award for movement and conformation (top award available at his age). Skyline’s Bellatrix was tested for the Gold Award as well as the top Level Horsemanship, top Level Trail, and beginning driving. Results are pending at time of this entry.

All sales are backed by a written contract which includes a return clause.

Pleasure horses should be a pleasure to have around!

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