This breed is composed from Thoroughbreds, Canadian Pacer, Saddlebreds, Morgans, American Standardbreds, and Narranganett Pacers. All were fused into one animal in the middle Tennessee bluegrass region. These crosses produced a saddle gait, which eventually became the "Running Walk". The result, over countless years, was the first breed of horse to bear the state name - The Tennessee Walking Horse.
The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders & Exhibitors Association was formed in 1935, they currently have more than 20,000 members. Close to 300,000 horses have been registered since the TWHBEA was formed.
Most Walking horses are multigaited, but the most desirable gait is the runningwalk. TWH can flat-foot walk at speeds of four to seven miles per hour. The running walk is a very smooth ground covering eight to ten miles per hour. What exactly is a Running Walk? The running walk is a four-beat lateral gait. It is similar to a walk of any regular horse of any other breed. The difference is that it gets speeds of up to 10 miles per hour. The horse will glide over the track left by the front foot with his hind foot (right rear over right front, left rear over left front). The action of the back foot slipping over the front track is known as overstride. Overstride is unique to the walking horse breed. A Tennessee Walking Horse will nod its head in rhythm with the cadence of its feet. Walking Horses are born with the ability to do other gaits in addition to the running walk. Some of these gaits are the rack, pace, foxtrot, stepping pace, , single-foot and other variations of the famous running walk. The Tennessee Walking Horse is also famous for their "rocking chair" canter, which is a collected gallop. The canter is performed in much the same way as other breeds, but the walking horse seems to have a more relaxed way of performing this gait.
The Tennessee Walker crosses very well with all breeds. There are several Associations that provide registration for the foals.
The Tennessee Walking Horses generally range from
14.3 to 17 hands ( a hand being 4 inches)
and weigh 900 to 1200 pounds. Color: Tennessee Walking Horses come in all colors and all patterns. Black, bay, chestnut, palomino, buckskin roan and spotted patterns are often seen.
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