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In , the Rocky Mountain Horse Association was created to increase population numbers and promote the breed; [1] there were only 26 horses in the first batch of registrations. Since then, the association has, over the life of the registry, registered over horses as of , and the breed has spread to 47 states and 11 countries. Horses must also, after reaching 23 months of age, be inspected to ensure that they meet the physical characteristic and gait requirements of the registry. The breed was originally developed for general use on the farms of the Appalachian foothills, where it was found pulling plows and buggies, working cattle and being ridden by both adults and children.

Today, it is still used for working cattle, as well as endurance riding and pleasure riding. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Rocky Mountain Horse Association. The Encyclopedia of the Horse 1st American ed. International Museum of the Horse.

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Our Timeless Passion for the Horse. American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. International Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds. University of Oklahoma Press. List of donkey breeds Donkey Zebra Onager. Retrieved from " https: Articles with 'species' microformats Commons category link is on Wikidata Good articles. Views Read Edit View history. In other projects Wikimedia Commons. This page was last edited on 8 September , at By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Silver dapple-colored Rocky Mountain Horse.

Any solid color allowed, but Silver dapple coloration preferred. In the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' Association was formed, and it closed the studbook in In the early 21st century, this annual event has attracted considerable attention and controversy, because of efforts to prevent abuse of horses that was practiced to enhance their performance in the show ring.

The two basic categories of Tennessee Walking Horse show competition are called "flat-shod" and "performance", distinguished by desired leg action.

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Flat-shod horses, wearing regular horseshoes , exhibit less exaggerated movement. Performance horses are shod with built-up pads or "stacks", along with other weighted action devices, creating the so-called "Big Lick" style. The United States Equestrian Federation and some breed organizations now prohibit the use of stacks and action devices at shows they sanction.

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It prohibits the practice of soring , abusive practices which were used to enhance the Big Lick movement prized in the show ring. Despite the law, some horses are still being abused. The controversy over continuing soring practices has led to a split within the breed community, criminal charges against a number of individuals, and the creation of several separate breed organizations.

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The modern Tennessee Walking Horse is described as "refined and elegant, yet solidly built". The head is well-defined, with small, well-placed ears. The breed averages The shoulders and hip are long and sloping, with a short back and strong coupling. They are found in all solid colors , and several pinto patterns.

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Pinto patterns include overo , sabino and tobiano. The Tennessee Walking Horse has a reputation for having a calm disposition and a naturally smooth riding gait. The Tennessee Walking Horse is best known for its running-walk. This is a four-beat gait with the same footfall pattern as a regular, or flat, walk , but significantly faster. While a horse performing a flat walk moves at 4 to 8 miles per hour 6. In the running walk, the horse's rear feet overstep the prints of its front feet by 6 to 18 inches 15 to 46 centimetres , with a longer overstep being more prized in the Tennessee Walking Horse breed.

While performing the running walk, the horse nods its head in rhythm with its gait. Some members of the breed perform other variations of lateral ambling gaits , including the rack, stepping pace, fox trot and single-foot, which are allowable for pleasure riding but penalized in the show ring. These horses were bred on the limestone pastures of Middle Tennessee , and became known as "Tennessee Pacers". Originally used as all-purpose horses on plantations and farms, they were used for riding, pulling and racing.

Morgan , Standardbred , Thoroughbred and American Saddlebred blood was also added to the breed through decades of breeding. In , Black Allan later known as Allan F-1 was born. By the stallion Allendorf from the Hambletonian family of Standardbreds and out of a Morgan mare named Maggie Marshall, he became the foundation sire of the Tennessee Walking Horse breed. From his line, a foal named Roan Allen was born in Able to perform several ambling gaits, Roan Allen became a successful show horse, and in turn sired several famous Tennessee Walking Horses.

The stud book was closed in , meaning that since that date every Tennessee Walker must have both its dam and stud registered in order to be eligible for registration. While the Tennessee Walking Horse is most common in the southern and southeastern US , it is found throughout the country. The Tennessee Walker is noted for its appearance in horse show events, particularly performances in saddle seat -style English riding equipment, [13] but is also a very popular trail riding horse.

In the 20th century, the Tennessee Walking Horse was crossed with Welsh ponies to create the American Walking Pony , a gaited pony breed. The breed has also been featured in television, movies and other performing events. The two basic categories of Tennessee Walking Horse show competition are called "flat-shod" and "performance".

Flat-shod horses compete in many different disciplines under both western and English tack. Performance horses, sometimes called "padded" or "built up", exhibit flashy and animated gaits, lifting their forelegs high off the ground with each step. Horses are shod in double and triple-nailed pads, [20] which are sometimes called "stacks".

Horses in western classes are outfitted with Western saddles and related equipment similar to that used by other breeds in western pleasure classes, and exhibitors may not mix English and Western-style equipment. Riders must wear a hat or helmet in western classes. Tennessee Walkers are also shown in both pleasure and fine harness driving classes, with grooming similar to that of the saddle seat horses.

In classes where horses are turned out in saddle seat equipment, it is typical for the horse to be shown in a single curb bit with a bit shank under 9.

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Riders wear typical saddle seat attire. Hats are not always mandatory, but use of safety helmets is allowed and ranges from strongly encouraged [19]: The showing, exhibition and sale of Tennessee Walking Horses and some other horse breeds is governed by the Horse Protection Act of HPA due to concerns about the practice of soring. This developed during the s and became widespread in the s, resulting in a public outcry against it. Violations of the HPA may result in criminal charges, fines and prison sentences.

APHIS inspection teams, which include inspectors, investigators, and veterinary medical officers, also conduct unannounced inspections of some horse shows, and have the authority to revoke the license of a DQP who does not follow the standards of the Act. Action devices, which remain legal but are often used in conjunction with illegal soring practices, [22] are defined in the Code of Federal Regulations as "any boot, collar, chain, roller, or other device which encircles or is placed upon the lower extremity of the leg of a horse in such a manner that it can either rotate around the leg, or slide up and down the leg so as to cause friction, or which can strike the hoof, coronet band or fetlock joint".

Between and , Auburn University conducted research as to the effect of applications of chemical and physical irritants to the legs of Tennessee Walking Horses.


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The study found that chains of any weight, used in combination with chemical soring, produced lesions and pain in horses. However, chains of 6 ounces or lighter, used on their own, produced no pain, tissue damage or thermographic changes. Soring can be detected by observing the horse for lameness , assessing its stance and palpating the lower legs. Some trainers trick inspectors by training horses not to react to the pain that palpation may cause, often by severely punishing the horse for flinching when the sored area is touched.


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The practice is sometimes called "stewarding", in reference to the horse show steward. Some trainers use topical anesthetics, which are timed to wear off before the horse goes into the show ring. Pressure shoeing is also used, eliminating use of chemicals altogether. Trainers who sore their horses have been observed leaving the show grounds when they find that the more stringent federal inspection teams are present. Although illegal under federal law for more than 40 years, soring is still practiced; criminal charges have been filed against people who violate the Act. In , legislation to amend and strengthen the HPA was introduced in Congress.

On November 13, a hearing was held. Controversies over shoeing rules, concerns about soring , and the breed industry's compliance with the Horse Protection Act has resulted in the development of multiple governing organizations. The breed registry is kept by the TWHBEA, which promotes all riding disciplines within the breed, but does not sanction horse shows. In it banned the use of action devices and stacks at any time in any class.

The Tennessee Walking Horse Heritage Society is a group dedicated to the preservation of the original Tennessee Walker bloodlines, mainly for use as trail and pleasure horses, rather than for showing. Pedigrees may not include horses that have been shown with stacks post Two organizations have formed to promote the exhibition of flat-shod horses. The NWHA was in the process of building its own "tracking registry" to document both pedigree and performance achievements of horses recorded there. Two organizations promulgate rules for horse shows in which action devices are allowed: It is considered the showcase competition for the breed.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Horse Protection Act of and Soring.

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Built up pads, called "stacks", held on by a band over the top of the hoof, are used in performance divisions. X-ray shows nails within the shoe pad that are included for additional weight and might create pressure on the sole of the foot, a type of soring. Canadian Registry of the Tennessee Walking Horse. Archived from the original on March 7, Retrieved September 6, Archived from the original on February 26,