Everything new must build upon that which has
gone before. Breeds of horses are no exception. When the settlers of Middle Tennessee began concerning
themselves with improving their horse stock they naturally looked to
other breeds for help.
As was pointed out in the previous chapter the first importations
were Thoroughbreds, but whatever influence these stallions had on
saddle horses was incidental to their main purpose of producing race
horses. Certainly such
horses were not imported for the primary purpose of upgrading saddle
and utility horses.
Although the Morgan and Thoroughbred were the only
established breeds in America during the early 1800's, there were
many famous families of horses beginning to develop. It is often taken for
granted that the Walking Horse was greatly influenced by the Saddle
Horse and the Standardbred. It would seem more accurate to say all were influenced by the
same families of horses.
Most of the saddle horse families which came south to
influence the stock of Kentucky and Tennessee came from Canada or
were offspring of Canadian horses.
Most of these were believed to trace to the Narragansett
Pacer. In any event it
is known that many stallions were imported into Middle Tennessee
during the early years of 1800 and when crossed with native mares
produced what became known as the Tennessee Pacer. Actually it was this pacer
which evolved into the Tennessee Walking Horse we know today. While
never developing into a distinct breed the Tennessee Pacer was a
definite "type" and produced some of the nation's outstanding race
and saddle horses. The
great families which combined with the utility stock of Middle
Tennessee to produce the Tennessee Pacer are the same families that
laid the foundation for the Tennessee Walking Horse.