The Running Walk of the Tennessee Walking Horse by Eldon Eadie

The Running Walk of the Tennessee Walking Horse
Eldon Eadie

Canadian Eldon Eadie produced this video on the gaits of the Tennessee Walking Horse, both the ideal middle gait and the others which the breed exhibits. It is one of the few videos available that focuses on gait identification rather than training to produce a specific gait.

The video is first and foremost an educational production. Its purpose is to define the middle gait known as the running walk. Eldon narrates the DVD and defines certain terms that will be used so that the viewer understands precisely what they mean the next time they occur in the discussion. These terms are: gait, cycle, stride (not to be confused with overstride), natural, a word with many different uses in the gaited horse communities, modifying a gait and enhancing a gait.

Definitions established, the DVD begins its visual task by showing clips of first a English-style trotting horse, then a Standardbred pacer engaged in a harness race. These two gaits are defined as total opposites, with the four-beat middle gaits falling in between them. The running walk, the foxtrot, and the stepping pace are then described in the narrative, as the horses clearly demonstrating pure forms of these gaits are presented on the screen for the view to ascertain the footfall patterns and general appearance of each gait that corresponds to the definitions.

Following the basic illustrated gait definitions and demonstrations, the video becomes more technical. The gaits of several different horses are categorized and charted. This information is probably more then most beginning horseman can understand, and could perhaps confuse even more seasoned breed enthusiasts who ride by the feel and sound of the gaits. Eldon insists that the gait is neurological, not based simply on conformation.

He also warns breeders not to choose overstride as the primary selecting quality in evaluating mares and stallions. His belief is that this factor leads to paciness in breeding stock, which results in foals lacking the natural even timing that is the essential element of the true running walk.

This title is in the following categories:

Gaits - Gaited

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