Breed Spotlight: Tennessee Walking Horse

September 18, 2020 2 min read

The Tennessee Walking Horse also known as Plantation Walking Horse is a breed of a gaited horse known for its unique four-beat running walk and flashy movement. The Tennessee Walking Horse's unique walking gait makes it a favorite ride with beginners, older riders, and riders with back problems.  They were originally bred as a utility horse for all types of farm work as well as family transportation and recreation.

The Tennessee Walking Horse is the states official horse. The breed dates to the late 19th/early 20th century and is descended from a composition of Narragansett, Canadian Pacer, Standardbred, Thoroughbred, Morgan, and American Saddlebred stock. These bloods were fused into one animal in the middle of the Tennessee bluegrass region, resulting in one of the greatest show, pleasure, and trail riding horses.

The Tennessee Walking Horse gaits:

  1. The Flat walk is the slowest of the three, described as bold, even, and comfortable for the rider.
  2. The Canter is a rise and fall movement. It is described as a spring and rhythm movement without jar or jolt to the rider.
  3. The running walk is the gait for which the walking horse is most noted! This extra smooth gliding gait is basically the same as the flat walk with a marked increase in speed. This breed can travel 10 to 20 miles per hour at this gait.

Characteristics:

  1. Average size from 3 to 17 and 900 to 1200 pounds.
  2. They can be many different colors and patterns. Blacks, browns, bays, and chestnuts are common as are buckskins, duns, roans, pintos, and palominos.
  3. They are refined and elegant, yet solidly built.
  4. Usually have a calm disposition.
  5. Well-defined head, and long neck.
  6. Small head with well-placed ears.

They may be a warm-blooded breed, but there are several personality traits that are more reflective of the larger cold-blooded breeds. They are strong, athletic, and love having attention. When they are happy, they will be playful, and perfect for anyone who loves horses. 



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