Trigger. That is a name most should be familiar with. It was the name of a rather famous horse, once upon a time. A horse many would presumably assume was a Quarter Horse; however, they would be wrong. A little-known fact about Trigger is that one of the horses who played him was, in fact, a Tennessee Walking Horse.
The Tennessee Walking Horse: From the name alone, one would think this breed strictly originated from Tennessee. It is true they came from Tennessee, but they have Canadian and Spanish blood. The breed originated from the Narragansett Pacer (which sadly is now extinct) and Canadian Pacer, which were brought from Canada to Kentucky in the late 1700 and early 1800s as well as other breeds including the Standardbred, Thoroughbred, Morgan and the American Saddlebred. They were then crossed with the Spanish Mustang brought in from Texas, and would later be known as the “Tennessee Pacer”.
Also known as the “Plantation Walking Horse”, the Tennessee Walking Horse is most noted for its gait – the running walk, a gait that comes naturally to the breed. The running walk is desired for the smoothness it gives the rider. A horse that is sound can keep a running walk for long distances. Many Tennessee Walking Horses can
Many Tennessee Walking Horses can perform the rack as well. They can reach speeds up to 6 to 8 miles per hour just by merely performing this gait. This trait, coupled with their easy-going temperament, made them a desirable mount. However, they were bred for utility to use for recreation and show.
Tennessee walking horses range from 14.2 – 17 hands with an average of 15.2 hands in height and weigh about 900-1200 pounds. They come in a variety of colors including black, chestnut, bay, brown, roan, gray, palomino, and pure white.