A Brief History of the Tennessee Walking Horse

200 years ago hearty pioneers in the Carolinas and other Eastern states rode over the mountains into Tennessee.Their mounts were mostly sturdy Saddle Horses and Thoroughbreds.  Later the Morgan and Standardbred filtered in and the ancestry of the Tennessee walking horse was complete.
  From the best brood lines of these four breeds "the greatest all-purpose horses of all-time" the Tennessee walking horse emerged! Each of the four breeds contributed specific traits resulting in a breed with distinctive characteristics. Great strength and stamina, quiet disposition and aptitude for the running walk and distinctive incomparable way of going that sets the Tennessee Walker apart from other breeds in the horse world.
  The flat walk, running walk and canter are natural inherited gaits that can be easily recognized from the time a young foal starts to amble beside its mother. The rhythmic walk, coordination of legs, head and body movement enables this stylish and handsome horse to perform the smooth, free and easy gait the versatile Plantation Tennessee Walker is so noted for!"
For more history about this wonderful breed click on the links below.

Gaits - The Tennessee Walking Horse has a distinct way of going.

 Rocking Canter:    Video

 Flat Walk:        

  The Flat Walk is a four-beat gait.  When the hind legs are at full step, the fore legs are at half step.  When fore legs are at full step, the hind legs are at half step. 

Running Walk:        Video

  The running walk is a four-beat gait with each of the horses feet hitting the ground separately at regular intervals.  As the horse moves the head will nod rhythmically with the regular raise and fall of the feet. .  He overstrides with his hind foot the track of the front foot.  The hind almost touching the fore foot on the same side before that foot is removed.   

Acknowledgement: We thank Anita Howe of Howe They Walk Farm for providing these videos that represent the natural gaits of the pleasure Walker.  http://www.howetheywalk.com