Since the time America began, the Racking Horse has been legendary for
its beauty, stamina and calm disposition, this noble animal's
popularity grew strong on the great southern plantations before the
Civil War. It was learned that the horse could be
ridden comfortably for hours because of its smooth, natural gait.
The Racking Horse is attractive and gracefully built with a long
sloping neck, full flanks, well boned, smooth legs, and finely textured
hair. The Racking Horse is considered a "light" horse in
comparison with other breeds, averaging 15.2 hands high (a "hand" is
considered to be four inches) and weighing 1,000 pounds.
Colors may be black, bay, sorrel, chestnut, brown, gray, yellow,
cremello, buckskin, dun, palomino, roan, champagne, and even spotted.
The "rack" of the Racking Horse 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. The
Racking Horse comes by this gait as naturally as walking or striking a
bold trot comes to other breeds. He is not to be confused
with other breeds, with which the "rack" is an artificially achieved
gait resulting from special training. Though he may be shown under
saddle, in hand or in harness, and may be flat shod or shown with pads,
he still performs the smooth, collected gait which made him famous as a
Beginning riders have found the Racking Horse to be the answer to their
prayers, not only for his extremely comfortable ride, but also because
of his unusual friendliness to humans. Beginners and veterans
alike can appreciate the opportunities generated by this intelligent,
family oriented steed.
In 1975, an act of legislature declared the Racking Horse to be
Alabama's State horse. This notoriety, as well as the
comfortable ride and beautiful stride makes the Racking Horse a
favorite both in the show ring and on the trail.
The RHBAA has programs such as: Futurity Breeders' Association,
Pleasure Association, Professional Trainers' Association, Amateurs'
Association, Juvenile Auxiliary and Ladies Auxiliary. These
divisions are for the purpose of helping members experience the natural
abilities of the Racking Horse in its native environment in and outside
the show ring, keeping sharp the skill of both rider and horse under
saddle and in harness.
Registered Racking Horses are presently found throughout the United
States and in several foreign countries. Over 80,000 horses
are registered with the RHBAA at its headquarters in Decatur,