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The Tennessee Walker horse is well known for its famous and unique running walk, known as the four beat running walk. The horse was originally bought up in the South of the US in the 18th century and used on farms and plantations. The Tennesse Walker became the first choice for most Civil War generals because of its comfortable gaits.
The Tennessee Walker horse breed is still to this day a popular riding horse because of its calm and even temperament. The horse breed is now used for both showing and pleasure mounts.
The horses are used for showing because they are noted for their appearance, especially performances in saddle seat style English riding equipment. They are also popular in the riding trails too.
Tennessee Walker ‘Running Walk’
The well known ‘running walk’ that the Tennessee Walker horse is known for, follows the exact same movements as a normal walk but can reach up to double the speed. A normal walk lingers around the four to eight miles per hour mark, whereas the running walk can reach up to 20 miles per hour.
A ‘stride’ is where the horse’s back feet overstep the front feet by around six to eight inches, this is prized between Tennessee Walker owners and trainers.
Tennessee Walker Breed Characteristics
The Tennessee Walkers temperament has been described and even, calm and elegant by many. The particular breed is solidly built, with a tall structure and long neck. Typically the Tennessee Walker breed stands between 14.3 to 17 hands high and weighs around 900 to 1,200 pounds.
The horse breed had a strong and defined structure with a short back. Generally, the hindquarters are a moderate thickness and depth which are well muscled.
The Tennessee Walker horse breed can be found in multiple solid colours and even several pinto patterns. The most commonly seen solid colours are bay, black and chestnut but colours caused by dilution genes are also found, which include the dun, champagne, cream and silver dapple genes. Pinto patterns have also been seen in overo, sabino and tobiano.