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History of the Tennessee Walking Horse
Tennessee Walking Horse History -Camelot Wilderness Ranch

The Tennessee Walker became an official breed in April of 1935 and is composed of Thoroughbred, Standard Bred, Morgan, the Canadian and the Narangasett Pacer blood lines. Much of the mixed breeding first occurred during the Civil War as war horses of these various breeds were captured and stolen. Some people believe that General Lee’s favorite mount, Traveler, was indeed the first Tennessee Walker. He did exhibit a very unusual gait for the time. After the Civil War, the quest began to produce a superior, smooth gaited horse which plantation owners could ride all day, without fatigue, to survey their massive fields. With refinement, what evolved was the Tennessee Walker of today. In the typical walking horse show ring, walkers may compete flat shod or in elevated, padded shoes.

The Walking Horse is most well known for its smooth, gliding running walk which is naturally inherited and is clocked around 10-20 miles per hour. It is typically 3 gaited performing the flat walk, running walk, and rocking horse canter. Some walking horse however can additionally perform the smooth and even faster rack. Walking horses are one of the most popular trail horses in America. They also compete in roping events, barrel racing, and pole bending in Tennessee and make excellent hunter jumpers. This American made horse has become increasingly popular over the last decade in European countries as well and they come in every color imaginable, ranging in size from 14.3 to 17 hands.


Two of the most infamous walking horses were Roy Roger’s Trigger and The Lone Ranger’s Silver, who exemplified the gentle nature of the breed and willingness to perform. Sometimes referred to as the “gentlemen of horses”, Walking horses have big hearts and are with out a doubt, “people persons”. Perfect for youth to senior citizens, as the saying goes, ride one today and you’ll own one tomorrow.

Tennessee Walking Horse History
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