The Racking Horse is an American breed known for its "rack." The rack is a bi-lateral four-beat gait which is neither a pace nor a trot. It is often called a "single-foot" because only one foot strikes the ground at a time. Unlike many horses used for show purposes, this gait is a natural occurrence in the horse, with no artificial means of changing the horse's rack allowed by the Racking Horse Association.
The Racking Horse is attractive and gracefully built with a long sloping neck, full flanks, well-boned, smooth legs, and finely textured hair. The horse is considered a "light" horse, standing at 15.2 hands high, and weighing around 1,000 pounds. It's coat can be black, bay, chestnut, brown, gray, yellow, and occasionally spotted.
The popularity of this horse was firmly established on the Southern plantations before the Civil War. Because of its beauty, stamina, calm disposition and, most importantly, its naturally smooth gait, it became known as a horse that could be ridden comfortably for hours. In 1971, the Racking Horse Breeders' Association of America was established to recognize and promote the breed. In 1975, the state of Alabama recognized the Racking Horse as its official state horse.
Much to the credit of the RHBAA, no artificial influences are allowed to affect the Racking Horse's natural gait. In the show ring no boots, chains, or other action devices are allowed, nor are full bridles or set tails. Today over 77,000 horses are registered with the RHBAA.
1. Thoroughbred 2. Saddlebred 3. Standardbred 4. Morgan
For more information:
Racking Horse Breeders' Association of America