Promoting the sound and natural walking horse


The National Walking Horse Association is an USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) certified Horse Industry Organization (HIO).  As an HIO, the NWHA provides Designated Qualified Personnel (DQP) services for affiliated horse shows, sales and events for the Tennessee Walking Horse and other gaited breeds. The purpose of NWHA HIO is to protect the integrity of the naturally gaited Walking horse and prevent soring tactics in accordance with the Horse Protection Act (HPA).  NWHA ensures fair, fun and compliant events throughout the United States.

The benefits of affiliating with The National Walking Horse Association are:

Annual Awards Program:  Annual Awards program for all owners and horses participating in NWHA affiliated events.

Certified Inspection Program: Our inspectors are USDA certified and take pride in providing thorough and fair inspections. And, our judges are committed to fair judging with an understanding of the true gaits of the Walking Horse.

Free Publicity: The National Walking Horse Association provides multiple advertising platforms including the NWHA calendar and Facebook page events

Honest and Fair Judging:  NWHA Judges go through one of the most rigorous apprentice programs of any organization and they are all committed to fair judging with an understanding of the true gaits of the walking horse.  

Limited liability: for horse show management for enforcement of the HPA. When a show sponsor affiliates with the NWHA, we accept responsibility for enforcement of the Horse Protection Act and other animal cruelty laws. We take our job seriously, so you can go on to the work of putting on a successful horse event.

Rules and Regulations: Our rules and regulations are structured to protect the welfare of the horse and provide an equitable horse-show affiliation program in which they may be exhibited, judged, and showcased in full compliance with the Federal Horse Protection Act of 1970.

Sanction vs Affiliation:  The National Walking Horse Association offers non-rail event sanctioning for those events/shows that do not require a DQP. 

  • Affiliation:  A show affiliation is required for any event that must have a DQP present and checking horses as defined by the NWHA Rules and Regulations. 
  • Sanction:  An event sanction is required when that event  is not required to have a DQP present and checking horses as defined by the NWHA Rules and regulations.  These events could be dressage shows, gymkhana-only events, or any other non-rail type of event. 

Versatility Program:  A strong and in-depth versatility program that celebrates and awards the true versatility of this great breed. 

Zero tolerance for sore horses: The NWHA is committed to stopping the abuse of Walking Horses and is your best ally for a good, clean show.

Affiliating your event with the NWHA provides much more than just awards, fair judging and ensuring HPA compliance.  Affiliating with the NWHA gives peace of mind, connection with other people around the country who support the NWHA Mission, and most of all, it is giving this great gaited horse the platform to showcase its sound and natural abilities.