Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Central Illinois
From somebody who's owned several TWH crosses, 1 TWH and 2 Mountain Horses, the difference is flat (natural, trail-riding and ground covering gait), what you are calling, "Running Walk," is a show ring movement where the horse is expected to overstep the hoofprints of the front feet with the back feet, while snapping the front legs up, very much like a Hackney. TWH's naturally drop their hindquarters and elevate the front when they are moving at a running walk (or amble), but in the show ring they reward an exaggerated movement of it. Walkers are fussy--they get tired of ring work and like to perform better on an open outdoor stretch.
There is more than one way to achieve this. I personally prefer going to the dressage world to look for solutions. Work over poles or cavaletti force ANY horse to pick up his feet. Exercises such as walking to a cavaletti then cueing for a lope as he crosses over it at the 18" setting creates a good lift without using chains around the fetlocks, or other such devices. Pretty much ANY exercise that creates collection will improve the overall performance of your TWH.