The Horse That Wouldn’t Trot

This entertaining and informative book by Rose Miller is not only a fascinating history of Tennessee Walking Horses, but also contains delightful anecdotes about her trials and tribulations in breeding, training and showing horses. By the end of the book, I felt like I knew her family and horses like neighbors, experiencing their successes, joys with births and sorrows in death.

A back injury led Rose to the Walkers’ smooth gait and their dependability for pleasure riding or for show. She shares her soul-deep love for the animals and how she relates and communicates with the horse’s mysterious mind. For example, the stallion who dug a hole under the fence to get to a mare, or certain stallion’s preference for mares of a particular color. Or the show horse who associated the words “mail box” with getting close to an object and standing still, a valuable training tool.

The book includes great photos of Rose’s beautiful horses in shows, in parades and of her prize show stallion posing with a bride in full wedding attire for a bridal supplement to the newspaper.

Rose has done a good job of building tension in writing about the show competitions. She also explains the history of the Tennessee Walkers, how their distinctive gait was bred into a more “showy” step and the unsavory practice of “soring” horses (applying caustic chemicals and chains and more) to make them step higher to thrill the audiences and win the competitions.

When I was growing up on a ranch in eastern Montana, my horse was a Tennessee Walking Horse, a red roan named Strawberry. He had a wonderful, easy gait that I always describe as like riding a rocking chair. But although he was a great kid’s horse, very laid back, I always thought he was a bit lazy. We always fell way behind the other horses when they were trotting out to the pasture. Now I understand it was because Walkers don’t trot and their gait doesn’t match. I also now understand the term “barn sour,” because while we fell behind on the way to the pasture, Strawberry would be out in the lead when heading home. A lesson learned too late!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it to horse owners as well as readers who simple have an interest in horses and their varied traits and personalities. The Horse That Wouldn’t Trot is available on Rose’s Website and at Amazon.com

Rose Miller’s next book is Mules, Mules and More Mules: The Adventures and Misadventures of a First Time Mule Owner, which will be coming out this fall.

Rose and Praise Hallelujah, her prize stallion

The Horse That Wouldn’t Trot: A Life with Tennessee Walking Horses: Lessons Learned and Memories Shared

This entertaining and informative book by Rose Miller is not only a fascinating history of Tennessee Walking Horses, but also contains delightful anecdotes about her trials and tribulations in breeding, training and showing horses. By the end of the book, I felt like I knew her family like neighbors, experiencing successes, new life and death.

A back injury led Rose to the Walkers’ smooth gait and dependability for pleasure riding or for show. She shares her soul-deep love for the animals and how she relates and communicates with the horse’s mysterious mind. For example, the stallion who dug a hole under the fence to get to a mare, or certain stallion’s preference for mares of a particular color. Or the show horse who associated the words “mail box” with getting close to an object and standing still, a valuable training tool.

The book includes great photos of Rose’s beautiful horses, in shows, in parades and one of her prize show stallion posing with a bride in full wedding attire for a bridal supplement to the newspaper.

Rose has done a good job of building tension in writing about the show competitions. She also explains the history of the Tennessee Walkers, how their distinctive gait was bred into a more “showy” step and the unsavory practice of “soring” horses to make them step higher to win more.

My horse when I was growing up on a ranch in eastern Montana was a Tennessee Walking Horse, a red roan named Strawberry. He had a wonderful, easy gait that I always describe as like riding a rocking chair. But although he was a great kid’s horse, very laid back, I always thought he was a bit lazy. We always fell way behind the other horses when they were trotting out to the pasture. Now I understand it was because Walkers don’t trot. I also understand the term “barn sour,” because while we fell behind on the way to the pasture, Strawberry would be out in the lead when heading home.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it to horse owners as well as readers who are just interested in horses and their varied traits and personalities. The Horse That Wouldn’t Trot is available at

Rose Miller’s next book is

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9 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. This is a great book review, Heidi. The Horse That Wouldn’t Trot sounds like a book I’d enjoy.

  2. Thanks for letting us know about this book. It sounds like a good one.

  3. Heidi, thanks so much for the fabulous review. The picture on the cover is of Xanadu, the stallion who loved to breed grey mares and knew what “mail box” meant!

    • Xanadu is a BEAUTIFUL horse!

  4. I’m glad to hear of this book. It reminds me of Traveler, named after Robert E. Lee’s horse, of course. Traveler was also a strawberry roan Tennessee Walking Horse. A few years earlier I had fallen from a galloping horse and after that I was afraid to go faster than a trot. But Traveler was such a mellow, solid horse that riding him was easy and fun. He was old (16, I think) when he came to live with us, but he was energetic, whimsical and sweet-tempered. It was also exciting and soothing at the same time when he went into that wonderful “Walk on!” gait. We both loved it! This brings back some of the best memories of my youth!

  5. Interesting review, Heidi. I’m sure I’d love the book. I’ve never ridden a Tennesse Walking horse, but my sister once had a pacer that was a delight to ride. About Lynn Murray’s Traveler. We had a colt we named Traveler after Robert E. Lee’s gray. From a grayish white mare, we thought he be the same color, but he turned off to be a bay instead. I only learned a few years ago (maybe 20) that colts aren’t always born the color they’ll eventually become.

  6. Yes, Eunice, isn’t that funny how they change color?

    And I love the name Traveler too.

    Thanks to you all for stopping by.

  7. Enjoyed reading about this. . .sounds great!
    On the trail in ID

    • Trail riding is now my new love. The show horses all are retired, my last stallion, Praise Hallelujah, is gelded and can now at age 22 lives with the mares he so loved as an eager herd sire. Now I am riding gaited mules on the trails. The horses watch from their pasture and say, “Go for it and leave me home to eat.” Mules are different and I love them!


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