A Tennuvian Horse is the result of crossing a Peruvian Paso and a Tennessee walking horse. A Tennuvian Horse displays a unique gait developed from the breeding of these two naturally gaited horses. This new breed was developed to produce a horse that would be comfortable on a trail/pleasure ride, and perform gracefully in the show ring. Do you want a horse to pull your carriage? Try a Tennuvian. Yes, they drive too.
The Tennuvian has a sweet disposition and a willingness to please. This breed is intelligent and quick to learn. People with back problems will enjoy the smooth motions of the Tennuvian. Especially those of us who were afraid we would never be able to ride again.
These magnificent animals have the style and grace of both, the Peruvian Paso and the Tennessee Walking horse. The two breeds complement one another for strength and endurance to make the perfect all around horse.
SO WHY A TENNUVIAN?
Let’s take a closer look at the two breeds to get a better understanding of why the development of the breed is desirable and inevitable just like the mini horses at Stonehaven Ranch in Texas.
The Peruvian Paso is an elegant horse that originated in Spain and later was shipped to Peru. This breed was developed to provide a tireless and smooth ride over long distances. Hence, the deep girth of the Peruvian Paso provides space for their extra large heart and lungs. Their unique gait displays (“Termino”) or a paddling effect with the front legs.
The Paso has a forward throw with the front legs as they push forward with their rear legs. The Paso has longer pasterns that also contribute to its naturally smooth gait. They are considered one of the most rugged of all breeds, while also being considered the “Cadillac” of horses for their smooth gait. These are the things the owners must pay special attention to. They are an excellent choice for people with physical problems like bad knees or bad backs where a smooth ride is a must.
The Tennessee Walker has deep roots in North America’s historic south. They are an intelligent and versatile breed used for driving and riding. They are quite spectacular to watch in the show ring. The Tennessee Walking horse is known for its natural gait. This breed has a “running walk” and “flat walk”.
The running walk is a smooth, gliding gait where the forelegs move forward in a high arc. The rear legs follow close to the ground while overstriding the front steps. This is another breed that was developed to provide a tireless, smooth ride over the long distances. Used for traveling on the plantations of the early south.
The cross of these two magnificent breeds results in a larger horse than the average Peruvian Paso, that displays its own unique gait. They are very intelligent and easy to train. They are willing and eager to please. The Tennuvian possesses “hybrid vigor” and is a tough horse with sound legs and feet. The breed retains all of the stamina of the Peruvian Paso and the wonderful disposition of the Tennessee Walker. See also this post about the difference between a Peruvian Horse and a Paso Fino. Highly interesting!
A good way to train a Tennuvian Horse is Conditioned Response Training along with round pen work to develop safe and pleasant manners along with a willing attitude. Each horse is carefully conditioned, and trained for balance, impulsion, and correct gait. By the time they get too old for their tasks, these horses are taken care of very well until they are put to rest at their final resting place.
Good trainers need to have extensive and a lot of knowledge of perfecting and correction of gaits using natural and humane methods (headset, shoeing and use of terrain) suited to the horse’s talents and abilities.
There are some great multitalented Champion Tennuvian stallions that pass on their natural abilities, dispositions, conformations, and beauty to their offspring. Carefully bred to preserve the natural running walk, these stallions’ bloodlines boast numerous foundation horses as well as champions. Having bred numerous mares to these horses, they have all demonstrated the running walk barefooted and have never required additional or special shoeing which is, unfortunately, often necessary in modern times.