Originally Posted by Mrs John
Thank you, BarneyBabby.
What gaits are special for TWH? I've read that they are walk, running walk and canter but I've also heard that these horses perform flat foot walk that is natural for them in contrast to running walk that is artificial... What is true?
The running walk is not
an artificial gait. It is a natural, genetically predisposed, gait.
Not all Tennessee Walkers are born to do a running walk. Much depends on their their blood line, and body structure.
The running walk may not feel the same on each horse because of their body structure.
The intermediate gait for a Tennessee Walker can include the running walk, stepping pace and rack, although the stepping pace and rack are discouraged.
The Tennessee Walker in my avatar does a smooth-as-silk stepping pace which I actually prefer over my other two Tennessee Walkers who were born to perform the running walk as their intermediate gait.
Trotting is not in the breed standard for Tennessee Walkers, therefore it should not be permitted, even though some folks seem to think it's ok to allow it.
Tennessee Walkers are also famous for their slow-motion "rocking chair canter". If done correctly, one can hear a very slight hesitation between each footfall. Many many years ago, I had taught my very athletic Arab/Saddlebred to do that rocking chair canter and he was a show stopper in every parade I took him in
Wikipedia has a good description of the Tennessee Walker Tennessee Walking Horse - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Notice the Foundation Mare of Record was a black Morgan mare named Maggie Marshall. She was a great-granddaughter of Figure, the famous stallion in Walt Disney's movie "Justin Morgan Had a Horse" if you are familiar with that
Morgan horses are also gaited even though the Morgan world has tried their darndest to breed the gait out of them ---- thankfully without success:)
Hope this helps you