Skip to content

TWHBEA Announces New Study



The University of Tennessee and the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ and Exhibitors’ Association (TWHBEA) today announced that they are working together to develop and secure funding for a balance and mobility study to analyze the natural gait of the Tennessee Walking Horse.

"The Tennessee Walking Horse industry provides a very significant economic impact and much recognition for our state,” said Dr. Alan Mathew, head of the Department of Animal Science at the University of Tennessee . “As Tennessee’s Land Grant University, we are delighted to have this opportunity to collaborate with TWHBEA to provide expertise and science-based information for the benefit of Walking Horse owners, trainers, pleasure riders, and others involved with this unique breed."

Using high performance 3D cameras and analysis from judges and veterinarians coupled with genetic markers, study implementers would be able to record the gait of today’s Tennessee Walking Horses in different disciplines. Historical films will be used to analyze the natural movements of the breed at its inception. Study implementers will then compare the motion of the breed’s foundation horses to the motion and mobility of today’s Tennessee Walking Horses.

“We are very excited about the information this study could provide us and its potential use to help preserve the historic gait of our breed,” said Chuck Cadle, executive director of the TWHBEA.

The study would also analyze potential differences in horses’ weight distribution based on the way they are shod.

“Certainly there’s a natural evolution in the performance of show horses through breeding and improved training methods, but this study will finally help us determine if today’s horses are still in synch with the natural gait of this breed,” said Dr. Mathew.

Cadle continued, “We base breeding decisions on performance in the show ring, and that may not be the best way to preserve the natural gait of this breed. This study will help us make the best breeding decisions so we don’t dilute our population and compromise the gait that makes our horse famous.

“We hope that with this scientific information, we can all agree on what’s in the best interest of the breed and how to move forward together. If today’s show horses are not functioning the way the breed’s founding sires and mares did, then we as an industry may need to change our expectations for this breed.”

If the study could be initiated within the year, it could be completed by 2011. TWHBEA and UT intend to seek funds for the project and are willing to discuss it with interested parties.

More Stories

  • Rising Star Meet, Greet & Eat

    Rising Star Ranch invites everyone to attend their Meet, Greet & Eat at Rising Star Ranch in Shelbyville, Tennessee, on Mar. 3. Following a delicious lunch at 12:00, colts will be previewed... Read More
  • Obituary - Karen Pendleton

    Karen Jo Wright Pendleton, 66, of Mt. Sterling, died Monday, Feb. 12, at her residence surrounded by her family. She was born Mar. 15, 1951 in Lexington to the late Wheeler and Retta Stephens Wright. Read More
  • APHIS launches webpage for frequently requested records

    The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is launching a new “Frequently Requested Records” page on our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) e-reading room, in accordance with the FOIA statute Read More
  • Pre-entry available for Rising Star Ranch Colt Preview

    The Rising Star Ranch Colt Preview showcases the new crop of stars that will be coming to the show rings in 2018. At Rising Star Ranch we want to help the trainers and owners present their entries in our Colt Preview in the most professional manner... Read More
  • Youth Council hosts first annual “Tennessee Globewalkers” basketball game

    We are doing it again! Having fun and raising money to help one of our own! You’ve heard of the “Harlem Globetrotters.” Now you have a chance to see and experience the “Tennessee Globewalkers!"... Read More
  • Owners excel in 2017

    Valentine’s Day and honoring the owners with an annual banquet always come close together and highlight February. The Walking Horse Owners’ Association (WHOA) hosted a fabulous banquet with their usual tremendous crowd on Saturday, Feb. 10. The banquet was hosted to honor those who did well in 2017. Read More
  • Trainers' Show offers rich history; a must stop for many contenders

    The Walking Horse Trainers’ Association serves as host to its annual show each year, oftenreferred to by industry insiders as simply “The Trainers’ Show” — and it’s become a must stop for many of the industry’s best of the best as they embark on the new show season. Read More
  • Equine Education – coming to Shelbyville!

    The youth is the future of the walking horse industry, and, quite simply, the more kids interested, the better off the industry. That’s the line of thinking Jerry Harris had when he began organizing Equine In Education, a program scheduled to take place in Shelbyville, Tennessee March 9 at the Calsonic Arena. Read More
  • Shane Shiflet Photography Special

    Starting Monday Feb. 12 through noon on Feb. 16, you can buy 5 images between 2008 and 2017 from any show for $175. Over a 50% savings! These will be emailed, cropped and color corrected high res images that you will own to do whatever you like.   Read More
  • FAST Spring Showcase adds class

    The FAST Spring Showcase, scheduled for Apr. 13-14, has added a class to their original schedule. Class 11a on Friday evening will be Amateur Lite-Shod... Read More