American Walking Pony

Lisa Selvaggio
by Lisa Selvaggio
fast facts

About American Walking Pony

Elegant, refined, muscular
30-35 years
Best Suited For
All levels of horse owners, riders, and trainers
Willing, calm, obedient, intelligent, docile
Comparable Breed
Welsh Pony, Tennessee Walking Horse
American Walking Pony Breed History

The American Walking Pony is a popular equine breed, even though it is a relatively new breed. This horse was originally developed to be used as a show pony, particularly in gaited show competitions. As a result, these attractive ponies have multiple gaits that include the rack, slow gait, canter, trot, merry walk, pleasure walk, and walk.

Breeding experiments were done over the course of many years in order to develop a large pony breed that would be similar in size to the beloved Arabian Horse. But breeders also wanted to be sure that the new pony breed would even feature smooth and comfortable saddle gaits.

The American Walking Pony breed was created in 1968.

The handsome American Walking Pony originated when a Welsh Pony was crossed with a Tennessee Walking Horse in 1968. The golden palomino colt that was produced became the foundation cross for the new horse breed.

Also in 1968, the breed’s founder, Joan Hudson Brown, created the American Walking Pony Registry. To be a part of this registry, a pony’s parents have to either be registered Welsh Ponies, registered Tennessee Walking Horses, or a cross between these two breeds.

Breed Traits

The American Walking Pony is a true pleasure to work with. These docile ponies are willing to listen to your commands, so they are easy to work with. They are also calm and docile, and they are comfortable to ride.

Because of this equine breed’s ability to learn quickly, and to easily understand its trainers and riders, these ponies will accurately execute instructions. In fact, you may be surprised by this horse’s willingness to learn and be trained. It is these characteristics that make the American Walking Pony a great show horse.

American Walking ponies are willing to learn and take commands.

Overall Description

For a pony breed, the American Walking Pony is relatively large in size. When observing this pony, you will also notice that it exhibits characteristics from both of its parent breeds. For example, from its Tennessee Walking Horse ancestry, it has acquired a naturally fluid and smooth gait. On the other hand, from its Welsh Pony ancestry, it has acquired a long, highly arched, and muscular neck, along with a proportioned and beautiful head like an Arabian.

These ponies will feature a neatly chiseled, small head, along with widely set, bold eyes and pointed, well-shaped ears. The neck will be high-set, muscular, arched, and long, while the back will be short, the hips will be muscular, and the shoulders will be slightly sloped. The chest will be wide, the pasterns will be of a medium length and sloping, and the tail will be straight.

The seven gaits that these ponies are able to perform are natural and inherited, and the merry walk and the pleasure walk are two gaits that are unique to this breed.

The American Walking Pony’s gaits are natural and inherited.


The American Walking Pony features a variety of beautiful coat colors that include white, bay, gray, chestnut, buckskin, dun, black, brown, grullo, champagne, roan, perlino, cremello, and palomino. In fact, all solid equine colors are allowed within this pony breed.

Grooming Requirements

Just as you would do with any other equine breed, in order to keep your American Walking Pony looking healthy and attractive, you will need to have regular grooming sessions and use a high quality set of equine grooming tools to get the job done right.

For example, by using a curry comb in circular motions all over the pony’s body, you can easily remove all of the excess hair in the coat, along with any debris and dirt that has accumulated in the coat from the pony being active in the great outdoors.

The curry comb alone will work very well at making the coat smooth and shiny, but you can also follow it with a body finishing brush in order to bring out even more of the coat’s natural shine, as well as a dandy brush and shedding blade to remove even more debris and loose hair.

When it comes to cleaning your pony’s delicate face, use a soft sponge or a soft cloth that has been moistened with some water, rather than using a brush that could be irritating. Gently clean around the pony’s ears and eyes.

To keep the tail and the mane flowing smoothly and beautifully, you can use a mane comb and a tail brush to remove tangles and clean the hair as well. And to keep the hooves clean and healthy, use a hoof pick to remove any rocks, mud, and other debris that has collected within them, while also checking the hooves to ensure that they are healthy.

Photo credit: horselover16/Flickr

Lisa Selvaggio
Lisa Selvaggio

Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. She enjoys producing content that helps people understand animals better so they can give their pets a safe and happy home.

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