Care and Training FAQs


Q: What makes TWHs smooth?
A: The product of selective breeding, TWHs perform a four-beat gait as opposed to a two-beat diagonal gait such as the trot. The horse's back legs slide underneath the animal, serving as a shock absorber. This unique overstriding of the back legs provide a gliding sensation for the rider.

Q: Do all TWHs wear high heeled shoes?
A: No, only the high-stepping performance horse wears a package and action devices. It has been estimated that about 5% of all TWHs are shown in this fashion. The majority of the breed is made up of breeding stallions and broodmares, using horses such as police horses or horses that work on ranches and pleasure type animals used for family fun.

Q: Are there any books or videos available to help me care for and train my Tennessee Walking Horse?
A: The TWHBEASM gift shop has a three part series of educational and instructional videos produced by the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' and Exhibitors' AssociationSM. They cover subjects such as halter training, round-pen techniques, gait recognition, bitting, collection, shoeing and grooming procedures. To purchase any of these videos, visit our on-line gift shop.

Q: How do I smooth-out my pacey horse?
A: Whether or not the horsepaces depends on the horses' gait, conformation, the rider's ability, shoeing, etc. Many times the rider simply rides the horse past the natural running walk into the pace.

Q: What is the optimal hoof angle for my Tennessee Walking Horse?
A: This depends on the horses' conformation, ability, gait. etc. See our suggested hoof angles for pleasure horses.

Q: What is the best bit to use with my Tennessee Walking Horse?
A: It depends on what you want to do with the horse; recreational riding, reining, jumping, barrel racing, showing, etc. A Tennessee Walking Horse requires no special bit. A bit that is used commonly on trail riding walking horses is the Tom Thumb with a 6 to 8 inch shank.

Q: Do Tennessee Walking Horses canter?
A: Yes. The Tennessee Walking Horse's canter is performed in much the same way as other breeds, but the walking horse seems to have a more relaxed way of performing this gait. The Walking Horse's canter lifts the front end giving an easy rise and fall motion much like rocking chair. This is often referred to as the "rocking-chair" gait.

Q: Can a Tennessee Walking Horse be used for jumping/dressage/barrel racing?
A: Yes! Versatility is one of the great benefits of owning a Tennessee Walking Horse. Click here to see how you can get involved in the TWHBEASM Versatility Program.

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