Skip to content

What Do You Think?



Question: How do you feel about the influx of colts into the Tennessee Walking Horse market?

An important and somewhat controversial question was posed to me regarding the influx of colts into the Tennessee Walking Horse market. I decided to pose this question to our readers.

When speaking to numerous people I asked several questions about the industry, to initiate a discussion. My questions included are there too many studs? Too many colts? What steps would you take to limit the number of studs and colts? Should there be qualifications for a stallion to stand at stud? Should there be limits on artificial breeding? What about embryos?

After talking to several people I came to realize is that this is quite a controversial issue for many people. Some of the readers felt strongly about this issue; some felt so strongly that in fact they were hesitant to answer the questions on the record. I respect that and do appreciate all responses given.

In my effort to be informed, I called the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association to find out how many colts were registered. To date for 2003 there were 12,508 colts registered.

The people I talked to all agreed that the yearling market is down and that changes do need to be made. They did not all agree on the reason for the fall or how to fix it.

Here are some of the responses I was given on the record.

Larry Lowman, Shelbyville, Tenn.

Lowman began by saying he does not feel there are too many colts or stallions. Lowman believes the reason the yearling market is down can be attributed to several issues. The extended show season cuts down on time available to start colts because there is less time to start colts. The few that are started are hand picked, while the others are not given a chance. He also said not as many trainers are starting colts, but instead are buying the few given the opportunity by someone else.

"We need to promote the new young trainers and try to create a new market for our horses," Lowman said. He also said there are a lot of states that need backing and support so they can cultivate new shows and new members.

Bill Harlin, Franklin, Tenn.

Bill Harlin does believe there is a huge surplus of colts being born. "There needs to be a greater sense of responsibility for the excess animals when there is no market," Harlin said.

He also thinks we need to "broaden the customer base." There are a lot more people out there ready to contribute to the breed, according to Harlin.

Ricky Womack, Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Ricky Womack believes there are too many stallions and too many colts. But he does not think there should be set qualifications that a stud should meet in order to breed.

When asked about limits on the number of colts a mare can have Womack said, "It was tried by AQHA, but did not hold up in court." Womack did have an opinion on a possible way to limit the number of colts. "We need to do away with fall breeding because you cannot legally limit the number of colts a mare has," Womack said.

Valton Rummage, Columbia, Tenn.

Valton Rummage also believes there is a problem with the number of colts and stallions. He does not think there should be qualifications on studs. "The problem is that supply and demand are out of whack," Rummage said. "There are no set controls in place and no one to make the decision."

Rummage said people do not understand the situation. One example he gave was of an owner that threw two studs in a pasture with multiple mares. There is no way to know who the sire is. The owner wanted to know how to sell these unregistered horses. "Something drastic needs to be done," Rummage said.

Now I turn to you the reader. Ask yourself these same questions and send me your responses for possible publication in a future 'What Do You Think?' Email your comments to me at houchins@walkinghorsereport.com or fax in your answers to 931-684-8196, Attn: What Do You Think. Thanks for your response.

More Stories

  • Walking In The Smokies stall deadline approaching

    The Walking In The Smokies Horse Show, scheduled for April 8-10, 2021, in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is preparing for their first annual show and would like to send a reminder to anyone needing stalls that the deadline is March 15. Please contact Lexi Stinnett at 828-550-8520 to reserve stalls on the show grounds. Read More
  • Trainers' Show announces judges

    The Walking Horse Trainers’ Association National Trainers’ Show will be held at Calsonic Arena in Shelbyville, Tenn. March 18-20, 2021. Judges for the three-day event will be Wayne Dean, Newton Parks and Johnny Puckett. Read More
  • USDA prepares for 2021 show season

    The USDA recently conducted their virtual HIO training course for the 2021 show season. The USDA and industry recently received the final report from the National Academies of Sciences (NAS) and some of the recommendations in that report are communicated in the new processes the USDA will implement in 2021... Read More
  • WHOA hosts virtual awards ceremony

    On Saturday. February 20th, the Walking Horse Owners’ Association (WHOA) held their National High Point awards for 2020 on their WHOA Facebook page with winners who chose to be zooming in to accept their awards... Read More
  • WHOA to host virtual awards ceremony on February 20

    The Walking Horse Owners’ Association (WHOA) will recognize their award winners from the 2020 show season during a virtual awards ceremony on Saturday, February 20, 2021. The show will be broadcast live on WHOA’s Facebook page beginning at 6 pm central time. Read More
  • FAST Spring Showcase announces judging panel

    The FAST Spring Showcase is pleased to announce that John Fikes, Newton Parks and Sam Sorrell will judge this years’ two-day event. The show will be held at Calsonic Arena in Shelbyville, Tenn. April 16-17, 2021... Read More
  • Obituary – Kimberly Woods

    Kimberly Lynn Woods, age 47 departed this life on Sunday, February 14, 2021 at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky... Read More
  • WHAA annual barn party rescheduled due to inclement weather

    There will be a lot of great items to auction as well as breeding fees to some of the top stallions in the industry and training fees for many of the top trainers. Everyone is encouraged to bring your young horses to preview for the upcoming show season. Read More
  • Birth Announcement – William Jackson Bauer

    Dr. & Mrs. Will  Bauer of Gainesville, Georgia welcomed their first child, William Jackson Bauer, on December 4, 2020. Jack weighed 7 pounds, 2 ounces at birth... Read More
  • Equine Obituary – Master's Razzle and Jazz

    The Walking Horse Community and the Alan Riddley Family lost Master’s Razzle And Jazz, the reigning 2020 World Grand Champion, on Friday, February 5, 2021, due to complications of colic. Master’s Razzle And Jazz, affectionately known as “Lurch”, will forever be remembered by his gentle ways, powerful gait and his eye-catching presence. Read More