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CoHo – Tennessee Walking Horse

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CoHo is a 12 year old Tennessee Walking horse who is looking for a new home. We thought we would be able to keep him forever, but life has changed and now we find that we have to move to Mexico and can’t take every horse with us.

  • 14’3 hands tall
  • gelding
  • unregistered (as far as we know) Tennessee Walking horse type
That's CoHo with his pet pal, Iota McHippus

That’s CoHo with his pet pal, Iota McHippus

CoHo is the ‘brother’ of Iota McHippus.

The Backstory

Yes, he can wear star shades and have fun with a pedestal!

Yes, he can wear star shades and have fun with a pedestal!

He came to use about 6 years ago. My husband was looking for a horse to learn horsemanship on and found this guy posted on a flyer in the local grocery store. He reminded him of a horse he had known growing up and decided to get him right away. Shortly after this, while continuing his riding lessons at a riding center, he took a bad fall and his horsemanship days pretty much ended forever. At least the riding parts.

Coho then sort of became a pasture pal to my own horse (a young colt, the now grown up paint in the photo above,  I was starting myself – a complete newbie – I didn’t say we were the smartest people, did I?) as well as a mini (Iota) I found later. Coho didn’t get as much attention from me as I would have liked because I was busy with the other guys, my work and he was still the hubby’s horse, also he had some habits he had come with that were often over my level of ability.

For example, he would straighten out during a session with me in our field at the end of a 16′ or 22′ foot long rope and run back to the barn or to the end of the field. Our guess is someone may have tried this with him in his past and when he didn’t get it right might have wailed on him. I don’t know. I do know he would overreact and I have since learned to use only the slightest, precisely timed cues to keep him tracking in a circle. I had work to do with my own two horses and turned my training attention to them.

He’s a Bit Behind in his Schooling

So Coho hasn’t has as much education as he should have by now. He also has an unexplained phobia of plastic that makes noise. While we work with it and he gets to a nice stable relaxed point with it today, tomorrow we’re almost always all the way back to square one. I mean this is after the gentle total body rubdown with a grocery bag, a walk across a big blue tarp and back again, a fluttering scrap at the end of a carrot stick. Is this trust? An issue with eyesight? We just have never been able to figure out a definitive answer, and I’ve asked every trainer, vet or otherwise horsey person we’ve ever had on sight or where I’ve taken him.

Under saddle...

Under saddle…

Needs a Better, More Confident Rider?

This is partially why I don’t feel safe riding him. A more accomplished rider with a round pen would have no problems! Why do I think so? He’s a very willing horse! He’s nice! He’s brave when it comes to other things. He will smack a plastic barrel, knocking it down for days if you ask him to. He’ll get up on a pedestal and ask for treats too. If the broom is near his stall door he’ll hork it around, or anything else that comes within reach. Not out of spite or boredom, but to get your attention. He’s funny and I think he has a very good sense of humor. When we throw a party in the barn he’s at his door the whole time trying to interact with whoever will interact with him!


He’s a Nice Boy

When he came to us his eye was hard and resentful. He’d charge you for his food, and give you the ol’ stink eye for just about anything you did. Boy has he changed. His eye is soft, his manner is relaxed – he even lays down in his stall and the pasture from time to time – something he NEVER did in the beginning. I think he trusts life more now. Oh sure, he’ll press you every now and then to see if the rules are still in effect (he might try an ear pin, tight nostril thing to speed up the food delivery  out in the barn yard, for example) but that’s a horse for you, I just tell him no way and those ears prick back forward and I swear he gets an innocent look on that long blazed face.

Honestly, we could have lived with all of this for as long as it took me to get him finished if circumstances hadn’t changed and are now causing us to move to Mexico. Our resources simply won’t allow us to take three horses. We have known since the hubby finally accepted he wasn’t going to ride this horse that we should re-home him. Then the economy went south and the market became flooded with tons of beautifully finished riding horses. So who would want our problem child?

But here’s the thing, I don’t think he is a problem child. I think he’s a horse who would be THE perfect companion for a bolder rider than me; someone who has a round pen and can help him past his old ways.

  • He loads GREAT!
  • He saddles well.
  • His ground manners are solidly good.
  • He’s an easy keeper.
  • Has great hooves!
  • He’ll wear his muzzle when he has to.
  • He leads beautifully.
  • He’s pretty.
  • He’s strong.
  • For someone out there he is THE perfect companion. I know it.
  • He’s quite curious and enjoyed the clinics I’ve brought him to.
  • He’s calm with the vet.
  • He’s good with the equine dentist.

He does believe himself to be the top horse in any grouping we’ve ever had here. He’s one of the ones who thinks that’s oh, so very important. That might never change or you might have a mini mare who will give him what-for once and for all.

I think he would make a most excellent therapy horse because of his issues. But I also think in the right hands he would make an awesome trail horse. His hooves are rock hard the good way and he’s as ‘healthy as a horse’. I mean it. I’ve never seen him sick or off a day in his 7 years with us. He tends to pace, so you would have to help him through that if you were to finish him as a riding horse. Some people don’t mind it.

He wears a hat well:



Serious inquiries only. Please read this whole description and view the video(s). He’s not for just anyone. If we can’t find him a good home we will take whatever steps are necessary and compassionate to ensure he does not end up on a slaughter truck nor at a half-way home leading to a slaughter truck. No horse deserves the terror this country allows in that unholy process.

His vetting (vaccinations, coggins) are all up to date, as are his feet. And so too, his teeth.

This isn’t about making money – but slaughter shoppers will find no easy mark here. We may give him free to the right home and how we’ll determine the right home is through the same process any good equine rescue organization does. We will use the same forms they use at the Kentucky Equine Humane Center here in Nicholasville, KY. We will ask for references. The right person will understand why.

This heartbreaking decision for us could be a real fun opportunity for the right new people.

Please Share

Please like and share and comment your thoughts on who should see this page below. Feel free to contact me if you think he’s the right horse for you. How we would love to partner him with people who will appreciate him for his strengths.

Save Your Criticisms

I’ve already had some text-lashings from folks who think we may not be doing right by this horse. People who think we should have done better. People who think we should have found a way to get him more finished before now. The worst at this is me against me. I don’t think you can add a thing to my guilt and sadness over this. So don’t bother venting against me. I’ve already heard it internally.

But I do hope our failure as stewards will provide an excellent opportunity for someone who always a handsome project horse, therapy colleague or pasture pal. I have to trust that this person is out there and my network of equine compassionates will help me find him or her.

6 Responses to "CoHo – Tennessee Walking Horse"
  1. Lori Ribbon says:

    i love you and am praying for Coho’s highest good as well as your own.

  2. Karen says:

    Are you in Kentucky? Have you advertised any at all with the Tennessee Walking Horse publications? Is he registered?

    • iotamchippus says:

      Yes we are in Kentucky. Just south of Lexington. He’s not registered. We have not advertised yet, but that’s a great thought, thank you!

      • Karen says:

        How soon are you needing to sell him? My husband is on the board of directors for TWBHEA. Maybe we can check around to see if anyone would be interested. Most of the people (not us) are into showing, and some need to be registered to do this, but someone may need a trail horse, etc. We are in Iowa, so not much help to you.

    • iotamchippus says:

      You are incredibly kind and resourceful. Happily two wonderful potential forever homes have stepped up and we are going forward with the hopes one will work out. You will be glad to know they are compassionate, TWH lovers with savvy and love. What more could we hope for? If for some reason circumstances provide an opportunity for us to cast our net wider I will most definitely be in touch. I am so honored – as is Coho – by all the support people have shown to our plight. It is truly heartwarming.

  3. Karen says:

    Wonderful news! Good luck!

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