The Tennessee Walking Horse (TWH) is an elegant and majestic breed of horse that is renowned for its smooth and comfortable gait. Originally bred for work on the plantations of the American South, the breed has been developed over the years to become a favorite of equestrians all over the world.
TWHs are a medium-sized breed of horse, usually standing between 14.2 and 17 hands high. They have a distinctive head and neck posture, with a long and arched neck that is held high, and a short and well-muscled back. The breed is also known for its smooth, four-beat gait, which is a combination of a flat-footed walk and a running walk. This gait is so comfortable that it has earned the nickname “the rocking chair gait.”
Tennessee Walking Horse – Origins
The Tennessee Walking Horse has a long and rich history that dates back to the 19th century. The breed was developed in the mid-1800s in the American South, where it was used by plantation owners as a working horse. The breed was created by crossing various gaited breeds, such as the Morgan, Standardbred, American Saddlebred, and Tennessee Fox Trotter, with the goal of creating a horse with a smooth, comfortable gait that could work long hours in the fields.
The breed was officially recognized by the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ Association in 1935, and it has been gaining popularity ever since. Today, the breed is renowned for its smooth gait, intelligence, and tractability, and it is used in many different disciplines, including show, pleasure, trail, and ranch work.
Tennessee Walking Horses – Temperament
Tennessee Walking Horses are known for their calm and gentle temperaments. They are intelligent and trainable, and they are eager to please their owners. The breed is known for its willingness to learn and its responsiveness to commands.
TWHs are also known for their good-natured personalities. They are friendly and sociable horses, and they tend to get along well with other horses and people. They are also known for their hardy and resilient nature, which makes them well-suited for long hours of work.
Tennessee Walking Horses – Uses
Tennessee Walking Horses have a variety of uses, and they are popular in many different disciplines. Here are some of the most common uses for the breed:
1. Pleasure Riding
Tennessee Walking Horses make excellent mounts for pleasure riding. Their smooth gait makes them comfortable and enjoyable to ride, and they are sure-footed and reliable.
2. Trail Riding
TWHs are well-suited for trail riding due to their sure-footedness and calm nature. They are also known for their stamina and endurance, which makes them well-suited for long rides.
TWHs are popular in the show ring due to their elegant conformation and flashy gaits. They are seen in many different disciplines, including western pleasure, hunter, dressage, and eventing.
4. Ranch Work
Tennessee Walking Horses are well-suited for ranch work due to their hardy nature and willingness to work. They are used for a variety of tasks, such as herding cattle, carrying riders, and pulling wagons or carts.
Tennessee Walking Horses – Care
Tennessee Walking Horses require the same basic care as any other horse. They should be fed a balanced diet of hay, grain, and supplements, and they should be provided with clean, dry bedding. They should also be groomed regularly and provided with regular exercise.
Tennessee Walking Horses – Health
Tennessee Walking Horses are generally healthy and hardy horses, but they can be prone to some health issues. These health issues include laminitis, colic, and respiratory issues. It is important to have your horse examined regularly by a veterinarian to ensure they are healthy and free of any medical issues.
Tennessee Walking Horses – Cost
The cost of a Tennessee Walking Horse will vary depending on its age, breed, and quality. Prices can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousands of dollars.
Tennessee Walking Horses are an elegant and majestic breed of horse that is renowned for its smooth and comfortable gait. The breed is known for its intelligence, tractability, and good-natured personalities, which make them a favorite of equestrians all over the world. TWHs are used in many different disciplines, including show, pleasure, trail, and ranch work, and they are relatively easy to care for. With the proper care and maintenance, a Tennessee Walking Horse can be a reliable and enjoyable mount for many years to come.