The McCurdy Plantation Horse
The McCurdy Plantation Horse Breed was developed by the McCurdy family of Lowndesboro, Lowndes County, Alabama, in the late 1800's and the early 1900's. The McCurdy family were plantation owners, and needed well-gaited, durable horses to oversee and work the land. When the Tennessee Walking Horse Registry was established in the early 1930's, the McCurdy family registered their own horses as Tennessee Walking Horses (indeed, several McCurdy-bred horses are in the original Foundation registry of the Tennessee Walking Horse). Over time, as their reputation and prominence grew, others began breeding their stock to McCurdy family horses. Thus developed in Lowndes County and throughout Central Alabama, a breed known simply as the McCurdys, or McCurdy Walkers.
Plantation-era people needed a horse that was versatile in use, comfortable to ride, of calm disposition, and dependable. The early McCurdy horses filled this need in every respect - they were often ridden 20 - 30 miles a day to oversee the plantation work or into town, hitched to a wagon, plow, or buggy, herd livestock, foxhunt, bird hunt and transport children safely to school. McCurdy Plantation Horses have a very calm, easy-going temperament that makes them unequaled as personal and family horses. They excel at many tasks such as trail riding, field trialing, driving and working livestock. Back in the days when horses were the primary mode of transportation, McCurdy's were especially noted for their endurance and stamina.
Many McCurdy Horses are known to have natural "cow-savvy" or cow herding instincts. Many have excellent dispositions for children to begin their riding experience. Their calm dispositions, combined with an easy, comfortable gait produces enjoyment and confidence in novice or young riders that results in life-long love affairs with horses.
The McCurdy Horse ranges in height from 14.2 to 16 hands, averaging 15 hands. Generally refined in appearance with a rounded hip and broad chest, short back, heavy manes and tails, and good bone describe the conformation. The color gray is prevalent among the breed. There are also many bay roans and red roans. Solid colors of chestnut, sorrel, bay and black complete the palette of colors. White markings below the knee and on the face are common.
McCurdy Plantation Horses are naturally gaited. Their natural saddle gait is commonly referred to as "the McCurdy lick." It is a straight forward, lateral, four-beat, single-footing gait that is extremely smooth. They also perform the flat walk and running walk, the natural rack, and an ambling stepping pace. All these gaits are very smooth & comfortable to ride and literally can be ridden all day without rider fatigue. The McCurdy is noted for giving a safe, secure, smooth ride in any terrain or condition.
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