HORSES OF THE WORLD

 

TENNESSEE WALKING HORSE

 

Origin:
North America

Tennessee Walking Horse
Copyright byStuart Vesty, Photo is courtesy of the TWHBEA

History:
The Tennessee Walking Horse traces back to the Narragansett Pacer. In 1903 the foundation sire for the modern horse, Black Alan was imported to Tennessee. His sire was a Standardbred trotter and his dam a Morgan horse. Black Alan was crossed with Tennessee Pacer, Thoroughbred, Saddlebred and Standardbred horses to produce a fast, comfortable, robust horse with a good temperament for the plantation owners to ride when inspecting their crops. Originally the horse was known as Southern Plantation Walking Horse and Tennessee Pacer.
In 1935 the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeder's Association of America was founded in Lewisburg, Tennessee and in 1947 the Tennessee Walking Horse was recognized as a breed. It is the only horse named after an American state. There are approximately 300,000 registered Tennessee Walking Horses.

Characteristics:
Head:
fairly plain head; intelligent looking; small, well placed ears
Neck: strong, arched
Shoulders: long, well sloped
Body: powerful body; fairly short back; short, strong coupling; broad chest; strong hindquarters
Legs: clean, hard limbs
Color: any; black and solid colors most popular
Height: average 15.2hh
Weight: 900 to 1200 pounds
Temperament: gentle, kind
Qualities: distinctive gaits; high front action, fast, robust
Distinct inherited gaits:
The Tennessee Walking Horse is famous for its distinct, inherited gaits. Both walks are a loose four beat gait with a high front action, but there should be a noticeable difference in tempo between the two walks. As the horse moves it nods its head in rhythm with the rise and fall of the hooves. The hind feet overstride the tracks left by the front feet.
- flat foot walk: bold, loose and square with plenty of shoulder movement
- running walk: unique to the breed, a smooth gliding gait, like the flat foot gait but faster
- canter: a collected gallop with a distinctive rocking motion

Today:
The Tennessee Walking Horse is a popular and successful contestant in the show ring. It is a good trail riding and Western pleasure horse.