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Use and characteristics of the Tennessee Walking Horse
Tennessee Walking Horses are strong and powerful animals with magnificent presence and full, long manes and tails. Standing 14.3 hands (59 inches/150 cm) to 17 hands (68 inches/173 cm) tall, they look even larger thanks to their conformation and head carriage. Equestrians have plenty of choice when planning to buy a Tennessee Walking Horse. They are bred in most solid colours as well as pinto patterns and more unusual colours such as silver dapple. The breed is notable for its length of shoulders and hips, short and strong back, and long neck. The legs can be cow-hocked or sickle-hocked, which would be faults in other breeds but are of benefit to breeders who sell a Tennessee Walking Horse. That’s because this unusual conformation enables it to perform the gaits for which it is famous. The best-known is the spectacular four-beat running walk, during which the hind feet overstep the front feet by up to 18 inches (46 centimetres). As it powers along at speeds of up to 20 mph (32 kph), the horse nods its head rhythmically. The slower flat-foot walk is also a four-beat gait. They are also famed for their “rocking-horse” canter.