Profile: The Racking Horse developed on Southern plantations before the Civil War and shares its parentage with the Tennessee Walking Horse. The Racking Horse’s comfortable gait made it easy for plantation owners to ride from field to field without fatigue. The breed registry was created in the 1970s to break away from the Walking Horse’s more showy action and to concentrate on the pleasure horse aspects of the Racking Horse. The Racking Horse is used and shown in English and western pleasure and performance classes, as well as competitive trail riding. In 1975, the Racking Horse became Alabama’s official State Horse.
Characteristics: The breed’s name refers to the rack—the old-fashioned term for a gait. The Racking Horse has a four-beat gait called the single-foot, where each foot touches the ground individually. Although this gait is natural, the Racking Horse can also have a show gait, which is a higher stepping, trained movement. The Racking Horse is found in many colors, including palomino, buckskin, roan and spotted. Its average height is 15.2 hands. For more information: Racking Horse Breeders’ Association of America, www.rackinghorse.com