Although the official name of this horse is Tennessee, it is better and more popularly known in America as the Plantation Walking Horse, which indicates the special purpose for which it was produced, to carry the farmers and planters of the South at a comfortable pace over their plantations. Like the Morgan Horse, this breed owes its foundation to one powerful prepotent stallion (known as ‘Black Allan’, from his colour) a Standard Bred trotting stallion of mixed Hambletonian and Morgan ancestry.
Foaled in 1886, he was taken to Tennessee as a colt, and like ‘Justin Morgan’ the progenitor of the Morgan breed, had a long life at stud and produced numerous progeny, mainly from the Tennessee mares of mixed Thoroughbred, pacing and saddle-horse strains. He was a sire of great prepotency, reproducing his type regularly and carrying on the blood with all its power in succeeding generations with constant uniformity. The breed was a natural product from the needs of the place and times and established itself as a most popular and useful type purely on its own merits.
The Walking Horse is a much heavier and more powerful animal than the American Saddle Horse and is generally larger, stouter, more robust and less elegant than the latter. The head is large and plain, neck rather short, body and quarters solid and massive, with heavier limbs. The prevailing colours are bay, black and chestnut, while roan is common and greys are also found. He is temperate by disposition, intelligent and well-mannered. His principal characteristic, from which he derives his name, Walking Horse, is the running walk, fast, easy and enduring, the gait that is so much favoured by the Southern farmers and planters. Careful training is needed to develop the true running gait, which is liable to turn into the ‘pace’ if pressed.
In addition, he also has other paces: a good ordinary walk; he canters well and is a good trotter in harness. Members of this breed have for a long time been widely used for agricultural work on farms, as well as for riding, and are undoubtedly first-class general-purpose animals, useful on the farm, between the shafts or under saddle. In weight he runs to 1,000lb and over, and in height is seldom below 15.2 hands.
Discover here about Tennessee Walking Horse their Facts, History & Characteristics.