General Information on the Tennessee Walking Horse Breed

"To Ride One Is to Own One"

    Looking for a particular breed of horse which is naturally docile, known for good, calm dispositions, smooth to ride and easy to handle?  All your research will point you to the Tennessee Walking Horse.  I get lots of calls from people who haven't had a horse in their lives since they were teens, or never had one at all, empty-nesters, people who have more time on their hands due to a change in career, marital status, family status, and/or even health status!  Doctors who have any horse knowledge at all consistently refer people with back problems (who don't want to give up their riding) to gaited horses, especially the Tennessee Walking Horses.

    Imagine having the sweetest-natured horse, a boost for your confidence, and at the same time, never bouncing in the saddle!  No posting, no jarring -- just "smooth sailing". 

Click on the wagging tail above to see proof of the Tennessee Walking Horse gaiting from birth (and use your browser 'back' key to return to this page).

    The Tennessee Walking Horse is renowned for his ability to perform a smooth, 4-beat lateral gait, similar to other breeds of horses, except more quickly timed, and they're BORN that way!  Yes, the first steps they take are "gaited steps" -- no training or devices needed.  The Tennessee Walking Horse performs three distinct gaits: the flat foot walk, running walk, and canter (click here to go to the official breed website to see videos of gaits.).  The horse glides over the track left by the front foot with the hind foot, which is known as 'overstride'.  A true-gaited Tennessee Walker will nod his head in rhythm with the cadence of his feet, and sometimes flop their ears with each nod.  Most walking horses are capable of performing a regular slow walk like any other breed, a "flat walk" (the first gait), a "running walk" (the 2nd gait, which can be as fast as 10 mph) and then the canter.  Walking horses are also known for their beautiful 'carousel' canters, rising and falling slowing and smoothly.  Other gaits that can be performed by some Walkers are the pace (which is undesirable because it's rough), the rack, the foxtrot, and the single-foot.

Did you know?

The elephant is the only other animal which is born performing the "running walk", naturally!

    This light breed of pleasure horse was bred to work in the fields during the week, especially to ride the turn rows on the plantations in the south, but be a smooth ride on the weekends for pleasure.  A fusion of Thoroughbreds, Canadian Pacers, Saddlebreds, Morgans, American Standardbreds and Narragansett Pacers, this docile servant evolved in the middle Tennessee bluegrass region, and therefore christened the "Tennessee Walking Horse".  The Tennessee Walker's size ranges from 14H to 17H, with the average being from 15H to 15.2H.  From the 1930's, this gentle breed was known for having rather large, coarse heads, but through the years, especially due to the influence of "Pride of Midnight", a son of the 1945, 1946 World Grand Champion "Midnight Sun".  We believe the beautiful head began with him, and most Walkers today are much more refined and pretty than their ancestors.  Colors are almost limited to your imagination!  Walkers are black, sorrel, chestnut, grey, roan, bay, buckskin, champagne, palomino, cremello and spotted (sabino, tobiano and overo).

Did you know?

"Trigger", ridden by Roy Rogers, was a Tennessee Walking Horse.

The well-known mount of Roy Rogers, Trigger, Jr. (registered Allen's Gold Zephyr) was the most famous of all yellow horses.  He was foaled in 1941, the produce of Barker's Moonbeam and Fisher's Gray Maud.
Along with the original Trigger, there was also Little Trigger (not registered with any breed association like the original Trigger) and Trigger Jr. (a registered Tennessee Walking Horse with the registered name of Allen's Gold Zephyr). Neither Little Trigger or Trigger Jr. were related to the original Trigger.


In the late 40ís, Roy bought a beautiful palomino Tennessee Walking Horse stallion that he named Trigger Jr. even though he was not related to Trigger.  Randall taught this horse a full range of crowd-pleasing tricks and even taught him to dance.  Roy used him occasionally in films and extensively in personal appearances throughout the 50ís and 60ís. Roy used Trigger Jr. as a stud and raised some good palomino foals on his Happy Trails Ranch in Oro Grande, CA.  Randy Travis owned a grandson of Trigger Jr. and Triggerson, the performing horse Val Kilmer led onstage as a tribute to Roy during the Academy Awards show in March 1999, is a grandson of Trigger Jr.


For a time, Roy had a whole herd of highly trained palomino horses that he used in a circus type liberty horse act.  A liberty horse is one that works without bridle, reins or restraint - at liberty.  Roy used this act in some of his personal appearances at rodeos and state fairs.  The fact is that Roy owned and used many palomino horses throughout the years, some that he bought and some that he bred and raised.  To the casual fan and observer, they were all Trigger!

--- Happy Trails website

    A common ridiculous notion held by many people not familiar with this gentle breed is that they do not run, or if you do run them, you "mess up" their gaits.  NOT TRUE!  (Watch the old Roy Rogers movies!) We show these versatile horses in English pleasure classes, Western pleasure classes, basic reining, trail obstacle, driving, fences, water glass (a fun class to show off how smooth your horse is), and even barrels and poles.  Now, if you're looking for a serious competitive barrel or pole horse, you're not going to buy a Tennessee Walker -- they're bred for pleasure, but that's not to say they cannot compete.  They are simply not bred for bursts of speed, but they are capable of running the patterns and running them fast.  We have a National Versatility Program ( for more information) in which we compete in a wide range of these types of classes, showcasing the breed's versatility.  (Click here to see our own National Supreme Versatility Champion.)  You're not going to buy a Walking Horse for rodeo competition, roping calves, cutting or running steers, but that's not to say that they cannot do it! 

    You're going to buy a Tennessee Walking Horse to fall in love, to have a furry, loveable equine friend, to become addicted to the glide ride, experiencing the controlled power of a horse in ultimate comfort, and best of all, you'll buy a Tennessee Walking horse for much-needed stress relief therapy!

                                                                                                    --Laura Kidder


                                            1939        Strolling Jim

                                            1940        Haynes Peacock (gelding)

                                            1941        Haynes Peacock (gelding)

                                            1942        Melody Maid (mare)

                                            1943        Black Angel (mare)

                                            1944        City Girl (mare)

                                            1945        Midnight Sun

                                            1946        Midnight Sun

                                            1947        Merry Go Boy

                                            1948        Merry Go Boy

                                            1949        Midnight Merry (mare)

                                            1950        Old Gloryís Big Man

                                            1951        Talk of the Town

                                            1952        Talk of the Town

                                            1953        Talk of the Town

                                            1954        White Star (mare)

                                            1955        Go Boyís Shadow

                                            1956        Go Boyís Shadow

                                            1957        Sunís Jet Parade

                                            1958        Setting Sun

                                            1959        Rogerís Perfection

                                            1960        Mack Kís Handshaker

                                            1961        B. Major Wilson

                                            1962        Ebony Masterpiece

                                            1963        Sunís Delight           

                                            1964        GLLís Carbon Copy

                                            1965        Triple Threat

                                            1966        Shakerís Shocker

                                            1967        Go Boyís Sundust

                                            1968        Go Boyís Royal Heir

                                            1969        Ebonyís Senator

                                            1970        SLF Aceís Sensation

                                            1971        Sensational Shadow

                                            1972        Handshakerís Delight

                                            1973        Delight Buminí Around

                                            1974        Another Masterpiece

                                            1975        Ebonyís True Grit

                                            1976        Shades of Carbon

                                            1977        The Super Stock

                                            1978        Mark of Carbon

                                            1979        Threatís Supreme

                                            1980        Ebonyís Mountain Man

                                            1981        The Pusher

                                            1982        Prideís Secret Threat

                                            1983        Ebonyís Bold Courier

                                            1984        Delight of  Pride

                                            1985        Prideís Final Edition

                                            1986        Prideís Jubilee Star

                                            1987        Coinís Hard Cash

                                            1988        Docís High Tribute

                                            1989        Motown Magic

                                            1990        The Pushover

                                            1991        Flashy Pride

                                            1992        Dark Spiritís Rebel

                                            1993        The Touch

                                            1994        Genís Armed and Dangerous

                                            1995        Prideís Sundance Star

                                            1996        Heís Puttin On the Ritz

                                            1997        Generatorís Santana

                                            1998        Masquerading

                                            1999        RPM

                                            2000        Cash For Keeps

                                            2001        Prideís Jubilee Encore

                                            2002        Out On Parole

                                            2003        The Whole Nine Yards

                                            2004        The Black Night Shade

                                             2005        Main Power

                                            2006        **NO WORLD GRAND CHAMPION CROWNED THAT YEAR

                                            2007        Master Jazz

                                            2008        Santana's El NiŮo


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Cloud 9 Walkers
P. O. Box 878
Hardin, Texas 77561-0878
(55 minutes east of Houston)

(Entire contents of this website copyrighted by Cloud 9 Walkers)


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