Tennessee Walking Horses are known for their running walk. A distinctly American breed, Tennessee Walking Horses were developed from colonial bloodlines to perform a comfortable running walk suitable for carrying riders long distance over level farm land. The most prominent characteristic of Tennessee Walkers is their swift and smooth “running walk.” This gait is inherited and cannot be taught to a horse that does not possess it naturally. It is a square four-beat gait with a gliding motion, and a bobbing of the head and swinging of the ears accompany each step.
Tennessee Walkers are also known for their gaits. They are “flat foot walk” which is a slow, bold, and even gait; and the “canter” which is a refined gallop with a slow and high rolling motion. The canter is full of spring, rhythm, and grace, and is often referred to as the “rocking chair gait.” All three gaits of the Tennessee Walker are extremely easy on the rider. Tennessee Walkers were developed for the purpose of riding, driving, and light farm work. Typical Walkers are affectionate, gentle, and intelligent animals. The breed is seen in a variety of colors including brown, black, bay, chestnut, roan, palomino, white or gray. Their face, legs and body may also be marked with white. Averaging Tennessee Walker’s head is 15.2 hands, they have long graceful necks, short back, well-built hindquarters, sloping shoulders, slender but strong legs, and sound feet.
The Tennessee Walker’s head is handsome and refined with bright eyes, prominent nostrils, and pointed well-shaped ears. Their manes are tails are usually left long and flowing. The Walker is a popular pleasure, trail and show horse throughout the country. Their good manners and poised and dignified Tennessee Walking Horses are indeed a pleasure to ride.