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HISTORY and GAITS

Grandpa Oliver with Old Sam.
Sam pulled the plow, and took the family to church on Sunday. Everyone in the neighborhood used old Sam to get the doctor. If you headed old Sam up the branch he automatically went to one doctor and if you headed Sam down the branch he went to the other doctor. Tennessee using horses, plantation horses, this was the stock to eventually become the Tennessee Walking Horse. My husband raised in Eastern Tennessee is very proud of his roots and his grandfather who handed down his Civil War saddle to Al along with many stories of old Sam.
In 1885, a cross between a stallion called Allendorf, from the Hamiltonian family of trotters, and Maggie Marshall, a Morgan mare resulted in a black colt with a white blaze, off hind coronet and rear hind sock. Black Allen foal of 1886. He was latter to be chosen by the T.W.H.B.E.A. as the foundation sire of the Tennessee Walking Horse and designated Allen F-1. It was the cross between Allen and the Tennessee Pacer/Plantation horse that produced todays Tennessee Walking Horse. Walkers have impressed the nation with their gentle disposition and kindly manner. They continue to prove themselves one of the most versatile horse's. This docile temperament ,together with the smooth and easy gaits has caused Walking Horse's to be in much demand in all sections of the country. Its serves nobly in English or Western Pleasure. The Walking horse, has taken the young, the aged, the timid, as well as the experienced riders over the miles of pleasure through paths and trails.

Resting place of Midnight Sun
GAITS OF PLEASURE
The flat foot walk, running walk and canter are natural, inherited gaits and can be easily recognized from the time a young foal starts to amble beside it's mother. With the rhythmic coordination of legs, head and body movement . The flat walk and the famed running walk are both basic, loose, four-cornered gaits. That is to say the running walk is nothing more than an extension in stride and speed over the flat walk. A 1-2-3-4 beat with each of the horse's hooves hitting the ground separately at regular intervals. As he moves, his head will nod in rhythm with the regular rise and fall of his hooves, overstriding with his hind foot the track left by his front foot-left rear over left front, right rear over right front. In general he should travel in a straight direct motion, never winging, crossing, or swinging. The flat walk should be loose, bold and square with plenty of motion. The running walk should be executed with loose ease of movement, pulling with the fore, pushing with the rear. There should be a noticeable difference in speed between the running walk and the flat walk. The running walk speed may be 6-8 mph, but a good running walk should never allow proper form to be sacrificed for excessive speed. The rocking chair canter is a high rolling collected gallop with distinct head motion, chin tucked and smooth collected movement. The rise and fall of the canter gives notation to the term "rocking chair".
Offering participation in halter, harness, English and Western pleasure, jumping, dressage and western events, the Versatility Program provides progressive achievement levels for it's participants. The T.W.H.B.E.A. Distance Award Program recognizes those who spend many hours in the saddle on organized trail rides. With dressage being instituted the association rewards all levels of equine accomplishment. With over 500,000 horse's registered the Tennessee Walking Horse has firmly established itself as one of the top ten recognized horse breeds in the U.S., and has earned the distinction as the fastest growing breed !!! With their endearing nature and that smooth ride those of us who are privileged to have them are not surprised!
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