The modern day Walking horse has evolved from the show horse of the 20th century into an all-around, talented horse enjoyed by a quickly growing fan base of equine enthusiasts. Young and old, pleasure rider or competitive show exhibitor, this wonderful breed’s combination of beauty, intelligence, kind and even temperament, versatility and smooth gaits makes it one of the most enjoyable, user-friendly breeds in the world. As endurance competitions increase in popularity, Walking horses are successfully competing head to head with traditional endurance breeds, like the Arabian, and performing well, while offering a more comfortable ride. Many Walking horses are being used to sort and work cattle, and still others are competing in driving, jumping, trail and obstacle competitions with great success. Gaited dressage has risen in popularity in recent years, with the naturally smooth-gaited Walking horse becoming more and more popular as an alternative to the trotting dressage horse. People are always pleasantly surprised as they discover new ways to enjoy their Walking horses. The Walking horse is the ideal family horse, trail companion, and competitive show horse all wrapped up in one beautiful package. The Walking horse of today must be able to perform the signature gaits, in a natural manner, without enhancements or artificial aid. The stride of the Walking horse should be long, loose, and relaxed, without tension in the neck or body beyond what is needed to perform the gait. A natural, deep, head shake occurs when performing a correct flat walk and running walk, and is also present at the “dog” walk as well. Walking horses which rack should do so in a correctly balanced frame, without being markedly hollow or braced, as this may compromise the longevity and usability of the horse.