The Tennessee Walking Horse is the traditional field trial mount. Its comfortable, four-beat gaits, ground-eating stride, willing temperament, and all-day endurance make it an effective and enjoyable aid to keeping up with the action afield. Field trial bird dogs cover vast amounts of country as they hunt, with braces averaging five to seven miles of varied terrain per hour. A good horse is necessary to set the pace and get over the course. From horseback, a far-ranging dog is more easily seen and the call of “Point!” can be readily attended. A big-running field trial dog will quickly learn to look for its handler’s horse to establish its location on the course.
Good horses are invaluable for the handler and his scout, the assistant charged with locating a pointing dog. It’s a necessary conveyance for the judges and reporter, who must be in a position to observe all aspects of each dog’s performance. And what better way to appreciate a day in the field for the gallery of spectators than from the back of a strong, smooth-striding mount!
The Tennessee Walking Horse is an integral part of the plantation quail hunting scene, also. Developed in the late 18th Century by Southern landowners as a means of traversing their great tracts of timber and farmland, the Walking Horse is still the favorite means of transport for bird hunting in the Southern region.—Barbara Teare
The Horse’s Role in Field Trials supplements the feature, “The Dixie Tradition” which was published in the December-January 2016 issue.
Photo by: Chris Mathan
The Tennessee Walking Horse is an integral part of the plantation quail hunting scene
The full ARTICLE is pUblished in the
December-January 2016 Issue
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