American Walking Ponies were developed primarily as a show
horse for gaited competition. Although they have three unique gaits, they are
able to compete in seven.
They are essentially a cross between the Tennessee Walking
Horse and the Welsh Pony. As a result of its Welsh pony heritage, they also
make a good light hunter.
American Walking ponies are a relatively large pony-type (14
hands high). They have a a clean, smallish head on a well arched and muscled
neck. Their back is short, their shoulders are slightly sloped, and their hips
are well muscled.
The three gaits unique to the American Walking Pony are the
Pleasure Walk, the Merry Walk, and the canter. Both the Pleasure Walk and the
Merry Walk are four-beat gaits that are faster than a regular walk (the Merry Walk
being the faster of the two), and are described as being light and free.
The American Walking Pony Registry, established in 1968,
regulates the breed by allowing only horses that have been registered with both
the Walking Horse and Welsh Pony registries (or with some cross between the
two) to be made available for stud.