Tennessee Walking Horse

 

COLOR Tennessee Walkers, as they are commonly known, are generally black, chestnut, sorrel, bay, or champagne; Other colors patterns such as roan and pinto are common.
SIZE Walkers are generally 15 to 17 hh, but can range from 13.2hh to 18hh.
WEIGHT Weight is generally between 900 – 1200 lb (410-550kg).
LIFE EXPECTANCY Up to 30 years.
ORIGIN USA, Tennessee.
USES The Tennessee Walker is used for horse show events, particularly under saddle seat style English riding equipment, but is also a very popular trail riding horse, both in western riding equipment as well as English. The breed is a popular parade horse, and has been used in television, movies and other performing events.

Tennessee Walking Horses were developed for the purposes of riding, driving, and light farm work. They also became very popular with Southern plantation owners who called them Plantation Walkers. These men needed horses with comfortable gaits that could carry them the many miles necessary for inspecting immense fields.

The Tennessee Walker’s gaits were favored by country doctors who spent many hours on horseback. The traveling preachers, who rode from church to church practicing their sermons on the way, preferred these fast and steady walking horses.

INFLUENCE Narragansett Pacer, Canadian Pacer, Standardbred, Thoroughbred, Morgan, and American Saddlebred.
TEMPERAMENT Walker has calm, docile temperament.

Tennessee Walking Horse description

A light horse breed founded in middle Tennessee, the Tennessee Walking Horse is a composition of Narragansett and Canadian Pacer, Standardbred, Thoroughbred, Morgan, and American Saddlebred stock. Originally breed as a utility horse, this breed is an ideal mount for riders of all ages and levels of experience. The breed easily adapts to English or Western gear, and its calm, docile temperament combined with naturally smooth and easy gaits insure the popularity of the Tennessee Walking Horse as the “world’s greatest show, trail, and pleasure horse.”

Owning a Tennessee Walking Horse is affordable, with a price range for every person’s pocketbook. A horse for pleasure is obviously more affordable than a horse trained to perform in the show ring. Considering the breed’s easy ride, the companionship, its dependability, Tennessee Walking Horse owners find that the satisfaction they receive far outweighs the price of ownership.

Tennessee Walking Horse history

The Tennessee Walker originated from the Narragansett Pacer and the Canadian Pacer. In the early 1800s, these two breeds were blended by Tennessee breeders who were looking for a horse that could handle the mountainous terrain of the area. Confederate Pacer and Union Trotter blood was added during the Civil War, creating the sturdy Southern Plantation Horse (aka the Tennessee Pacer). Breeders later added Thoroughbred, Standardbred, Morgan, and American Saddlebred blood to refine and add stamina to their gaited horse.

In 1885, Black Allen was born. By the stallion Allendorf and out of a Morgan mare named Maggie Marshall, he became the foundation sire of the Tennessee Walking Horse breed.

The breed became popular due to their smooth gaits and incredible stamina. It was common for farmers to hold match races with their Walkers, who they also used for plowing fields. Even after the coming of the automobile, Tennessee communities kept their Walkers to manage the poor roads of the area. The Walkers began to gain a reputation as a showy animal, and breeders sought bloodlines to produce refined, intelligent, flashy horses.

The registry was formed in 1935. The studbook was closed in 1947, so every Walker after that date has to have both parents registered to be registered themselves.

Tennessee Walking Horse fun facts

William Shatner of the very popular science fiction television series “Star Trek” owns a successful Tennessee Walking Horse breeding farm in Kentucky.

Many Tennessee Walking Horses are used in parades and such, and some specifically in the Indy 500 and the Super Bowl.