Skip to content

Walking Horse Trainer Salute: Tim Smith



Tim Smith – Shelbyville, Tennessee

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN TRAINING HORSES PROFESSIONALLY?
22 years

TELL US SOME FAMILY HISTORY OF RAISING AND SHOWING WALKING HORSES.
My dad, Tex Smith, trained horses in the 70’s. When I was young, he got me a pony and I was hooked. We trained some horses at home and I showed in the juvenile classes in Alabama. As I got older, my love for the horses and the breed grew. When I was in high school, we had some outside horses. It wasn’t unusual for me to show in the juvenile class and the stake class on the same night. The rest is kind of history.

OF ALL THE HORSES YOU HAVE TRAINED, OPEN AND AMATEUR, DO YOU HAVE A HORSE YOU FEEL MADE YOU INTO THE TRAINER YOU ARE TODAY? WHAT HORSE WAS THAT AND WHY DO FEEL THAT WAY?
There really isn’t once particular horse. I really think that each horse and experience throughout the years has played some sort of roll in shaping who I am as a person and trainer.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUNG ASPIRING TRAINERS?
Work hard and be honest. Everything else will take care of itself.

WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN THE PERFECT YEARLING?
I always look for a yearling with a short back, a long neck and of course a good mover.

HOW ARE YOU MANAGING THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK? IS YOUR BARN ON LOCKDOWN? ARE YOU STILL HOLDING YOUR REGULAR CLIENT APPOINTMENTS? HOW HAS THIS AFFECTED YOUR TRAINING?
It is business as usual at my barn. Of course, there are less customer appointments, and several of mine come and watch their horses from their cars, but that’s about all that has changed.

WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE PAST WORLD GRAND CHAMPION AND WHY?
I Am Jose’ is my favorite. He was special from the beginning and I was blessed to work and sell him to Michael and Casey.

IF THERE WAS ONE AREA OF THE INDUSTRY YOU COULD CHANGE OR RAMP UP, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
I really wish we could change the public perception of our performance horse. Our past seems to continue to haunt us. There are still so many things being said about our horse that is simply not true. We have a spectacular animal.

IF YOU WERE NOT AT THE BARN OR A HORSE SHOW, WHAT WOULD WE FIND YOU DOING IN YOUR FREE TIME?
If I am not at the barn or a show, which isn’t very often, I am usually cutting grass or spending time with my kids and wife.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE TV SHOWS, MOVIES OR NETFLIX FEATURES HAVE YOU BEEN BINGE WATCHING DURING THE PANDEMIC?
I haven’t really binged on anything.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY HAS BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER THUS FAR?
I have been very blessed to work some amazing horses for great people throughout the years. I really take pride in putting amateur and juvenile riders in the winner’s circle and I have enjoyed many wins myself. However, winning Trainer of the Year in 2012 was a highlight. To be voted that honor by the ones you compete against week in and week out is just special.

WHAT WORDS OF WISDOM CAN YOU GIVE TO THE HORSE INDUSTRY ON THE PANDEMIC?
Stay safe and healthy. We are all missing showing, but this will pass and the horses will be ready.

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