About LLL Walkers
Triple L Walkers is owned by Larry L. (Triple L) and Rena Lautaret. We live
just south of Whitefish, Montana,
in sight of beautiful Big
Mountain Ski Resort on a family meadow and have had horses for the past
I have started and trained Arabians, Quarter horses, Morgans, Tennessee Walkers, and several with questionable pedigree.
One of my passions is horse packing trips into places like the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex, and I have taken camping and hunting trips into the Great Bear, Bob Marshall, and Scapegoat Wildernesses, as well as a lot of other locations around Montana.
You learn a lot on these trips about packing, riding, equipment, horse handling and care, etc. Probably most mistakes that can be made when undertaking such an endeavor have been made, and some of them multiple times. In fact, a book should be written about some of the wild experiences that have occurred on these trips. Anyone who has been involved much in such endeavors is well aware of the joys, challenges, and thrills of such activities.
In 2003 a friend, who already had Tennessee Walkers, contacted me about
going in together and getting some registered stock. The time seemed right,
and I had ridden one of my friend’s Tennessee Walkers on a midnight
ride in the wilderness while chasing other escaped stock. That is, of course,
a different and interesting story in its own right, but the salient point
here is that that ride in the dark of night sold me on the value of the Tennessee
Walkers smoothness, gait, temperament, and ground covering ability on trails.
The horses acquired at this time were, for the most part, unbroken and in need of TLC. By this time I had learned a lot about the use of the round corral and many of the Natural Horsemanship principles as written about by Pat Parelli, and been intrigued and influenced by the book of Monte Roberts, the “real” “Horse Whisperer.” This philosophy was a great step in helping me do on purpose that which I had done a number of times in a “hit or miss” fashion. I had already “broken,” or really “trained” several horses for my own use, and they did well in the environment I used them in.
I had always seemed to do well with horses, but by starting out on the right foot and applying a process of determined but gentle handling of each horse, I began to get, what I believe, were fairly remarkable results.
Most of the Tennessee Walkers on this web site have been completely begun and brought to where they are today by me personally. Many other folks, many of whom are not at all accomplished riders, have been the recipients of these benefits as they have ridden the horses in a variety of settings. Many have come to ride with me for an hour or two who have never ridden before. I have the luxury of saddling up the horses and riding out our gate into a pretty “woodsy” setting of trails and forest obstacles. I have taken many others on some quite extensive camping and/or hunting trips into the wilderness. Many times the riders were quite a bit greener than the horses. Many of these trips cover several days at a time.
The Tennessee Walkers have proven thus far to be wonderfully tractable, quiet, gentle, and stable horses that people at all levels of horsemanship can ride safely and confidently. Most of my current stock are comparatively young. But they have had experiences that many horses much older have not had. As they age and mature and are exposed to more and more experiences, I expect them to show even greater stability and grace.
For general information about the breed, or to check out the bloodlines, go to www.twhbea.com.
I have never been much interested in “form over function.” I want my horses to be usable, tractable, and safe. As I age, I think less and less of “unscheduled landings,” and “rodeos.” I much prefer to do that sort of activity in groundwork, and have been delighted at how these Tennessee Walkers respond to the more gentle approach. I would rather “ask” the horse to do something than try to “force” it. On the other hand, I want there to be no question as to who is “in the saddle.” I want obedience and respect from my horses, but also to let them learn and mature as they are ready. I have been delighted with the results thus far, and welcome inquiries or information about specific stock or strategies or training tips. I want to be a constant learner, and for my horses to be also.
I have typically taken my two year olds into the wilderness and packed them lightly for the trail experience, getting used to a load, learning to avoid trees and other obstacles, etc., and this had proven to be invaluable in their preparation and steadiness later. I also have packed most of my stock, as it seems a great way to get them used to a wider application than often horses get if they are only ridden in recreational fashion. It makes them much more usable for hunting or other wilderness experience also, of course, and gets them used to crossing water, mud, logs, rocks, etc., and helps them not be jumpy when birds, small critters, or game suddenly appear.
I want to work with any potential buyer and the horse to see that it is a genuinely good fit, and will take whatever time is necessary to make sure it is a wonderful thing for both horse and rider. References from buyers, riders, hunters, etc. are available upon request.
A quick word about imprinting. My experience with imprinting is that it makes the foal tremendously tractable and nearly unflappable. They simply bond with people, are easier to catch, are lovers, enjoy being around people, and want to please. I don’t know how to even place a “value” on it because it makes such a stark difference in the temperament and steadiness of the foal. They typically learn very quickly, accept you as “boss,” but with a willingness that is a beautiful thing. All of the foals foaled on my place have, fortunately, been imprinted, and it shows when you go to feed them each morning, when you begin to train and ride them.
A quick word about the term tractable. The term means “1. easily managed, taught or controlled; docile, compliant. 2. easily worked; malleable.” This is such a huge concept, because for a horse to be safe, it must “listen” or pay attention. This quality must be there. Many people have been hurt because of a horse that wasn’t paying attention or was scared or rebellious.
In selecting a horse, one must know whether or not it is willing to learn and listen and obey. Also in selecting a suitable horse one must know its temperament, its conformation, what it is “built” for, what kind of riding one will primarily be doing, the confidence level of the rider, and who one will be riding with. A horse that might be great for “games” or “cows” might not be that good on the trail and vice versa. If you are riding with slow partners, it is a drag to have a really fast walking horse.
Conversely if you are riding with those whose horses move more quickly, it is a real pain to be lagging behind, always trotting to keep up, etc.
If one wants to use a horse for hunting, packing, etc., it requires an entirely different mindset and training to make a horse suitable. It is in this realm that I believe my horses shine, as they have been bred for it, trained for it, and raised in an environment where that is expected and performed. They are also calm and tractable for other uses, of course, and that is where the temperament of both horse and rider come into play. A confident rider will be impatient with a slow methodical horse. A more timid rider will be overwhelmed and always scared by a confident and “raring to go” type of horse. I want to fit the horse to the person and environment, and when that happens everyone wins.