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Horse Property and Horse Activity in Tennessee -
The most popular horse breeds by number in Tennessee place the official State of TN horse first, which is the Tennessee Walking Horse. Quarter Horses are next, followed by the Mule ( and Donkey) and the Spotted Saddle Horse. Tennessee is rated 2nd nationally for the number of mules, donkeys etc.
Of course, just about all breeds and riding disciplines are represented in the state. Tennessee also offers state incentives to horse breeds, in the form of stallion and/or owner awards. TN horse associations each present or host a good number of shows throughout Tennessee, for example the Hunter Jumper Association(s), The National Spotted Saddle Horse Assoc, and of course the nationally famous Walking Horse Owners Association.
The Tennessee Walker came from crosses of horses Colonists brought to create a horse that was easy to ride yet could travel miles and miles with ease. The TWH’s running walk gait furnished the answer. From mountains to the flat, the Tennessee Walker’s specifc gait provided great practical need with style. Later other horse breeds were used to add to the early TWH blood, like the Thoroughbred, Standardbred ( for speed), and the Morgan for utter stamina and good temperament, and the American Saddlebred horse to refine and also add stamina.
Shelbyville and the indoor Calsonic Arena host the world famous, Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration which lasts 11 days or so just before Labor Day each year. This event is attended by people from all across the US and The Walking Horse Owners Association also sponsors other shows throughout the year.
Close to every week of the year, some kind of horse show or event takes place in the Calsonic Arena including, Mules/Donkeys, Spotted Saddle Horses, as Gypsy Vanners, POA, Ranch hores, Minis, Paints, Friesians and Gypsy Vanners, not to mention the Tennessee Walking Horse. However the State of Tennessee has many such great horse show facilities, such as West Tennessee Ag Pavilion/Smith Livestock Center, in Martin; the East Tennessee Agricultural Exposition Center, in Harriman; Agricenter International Show Place Arena in Memphis; the Tri‐State Exhibition Center, in Cleveland; the Hyder‐Burks Agricultural Pavilion, in Cookeville; Walte’rs State Great Smoky Mountains Expo Center, in White Pine: and the Tennessee Miller Coliseum, in Murfreesboro;to name a few.
The second largest population of equines in Tennessee is the Mule. Ever since sometime around 1840, Columbia, TN hosts an annual Mule Day, which is a festival about a week long, and attended by thousands. This event is a world class livestock market, and one of the largest.
Now back prior to the advent of the popularity of the Walking Horse, Tennessee was once known as the center for the Thoroughbred, and the history in the state is immense. Anti-betting laws squelched that, but Tennessee is still famous for fox hunting and for the Iroquois Steeplechase, the first running of which was in 1940. This is the most elite of the spring steeplechases in American and locally is Music City’s grand celebration of Spring. The flat race Kentucky Derby in Kentucky always takes place the first Saturday in May, and the Iroquois Steeplechase, In Tennessee, always takes place the second Saturday in May at the Percy Warner Park in Nashville. Both are attended by huge audiences, fans, owners, jockeys, breeders and trainers and all for the purpose of sorting out the best of the best! The winners list of the Iroquois is also a list of the greatest steeplechase horses in America.
For Fox Hunting in Tennessee, check out the Hillsboro Hounds, the Longreen Foxhounds, the Mells Fox House, Oak Grove Hunt, and the Tennessee Valley Hunt!
In Tennessee, roughly 30 percent of the land is devoted to horse activities or the horse industry. That is a lot of land! The land in Tennessee is basically divided into 3 sections -- East, Middle and West Tennessee.
East Tennessee land: The Blue Ridge Mountain area of East TN was never hugely populated because of the high mountains and terrain. In between the Blue Ridge and the Cumberland ranges further west is The fertile Tennessee Valley, and where the larger cities are located ( Knoxville and Chattanooga, for example).
Middle Tennessee land: is where the greatest population I found along with the center of state government. You find cities like Clarksville and Murfeesburo, and the capital Nashville with roughly 50 percent of the US population within 600 miles! This area is a transportation hub, really, with lots of history too.
West Tennessee hold the predominant land region and is part of the Gulf Coastal Plain from the Mississippi River in the west, to the more eastern Tennessee River. The land goes from hilly to rolling hills to bottom land.
As well as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Cherokee National Forest and the Cumberland Gap National Park, there are 54 state parks in Tennessee. You can only begin to image the popularity of trail riding, although a great number of trails cannot be done on the back of a horse!
Tennessee basically has hot summers and mild to cool winters with generous precipitation throughout the year, with snow from 5 to 16 inches depending on location. Of course it is colder at higher elevations. Summers can range to 90 degrees or infrequently above, but are definitely humid.
Building styles include about everything but historically one can fine lovely Victorian, Greek-Revival, Romantic, Classic Moderne, Beaux Arts, Antebellum, and the variety of Plantation homes. Tennessee even has a Parthenon fllled with lovely TN marble and famous sculpture!
So much to choose from in Tennessee, from geography to architecture, from historic to modern. Choose these, then contact local horse people and especially your favorite horse association for more info, then of course an area realty.