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Jean-Marie D.

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NATIONAL WALKING HORSE ASSOCIATION
February 7, 2011

I have been involved in the Tennessee Walking Horse Industry for over 20 years now. As a child I enjoyed trail riding and showing in youth classes at local shows. My father and I seemed to collect horses over the years, for both the trails and the "rail" and I was very blessed to have owned and own some truly wonderful horses that have become forever friends. The Tennessee Walking Horse Industry is very complex you see. It is comprised of such a wide variety of individuals that each have their own agendas and wish to promote that agenda entirely. My father and I have always and ever been advocates for the SOUND horse and we beleive that horses should be treated and respected and given an environment as close to their natural one as possible to flourish. For an individual like myself who loves to show and wants to educate and network with other SOUND horse people, the NWHA provides a wonderful place to do this. It is truly the only Horse Industry Organization that stands by their word with fair inspections and honest judging. It is a wonderful tapestry of individuals that beleives in the naturally gaited horse and how to go about showcasing their abilities the best way for the horse and the rider. The NWHA also provides an outlet for trail riders, youth and versatility, which are all areas where the Tennessee Walking Horse excels and should be in the public spotlight. The NWHA is the only Tennessee Walking Horse HIO that was invited to preform at the World Equestrian Games that was held in Kentucky this past year (2010) and I can tell you that this came to be becasue of the amazing volunteers, the organization members and the fact that we as gaited horse lovers police ourselves and want good genuine people to promote our breed and not be a deterrent to our wonderful breed. The NWHA does what no other HIO does, it provides unity among it's members and gives us a safe place to exhibit and promote our horses with like-minded individuals. I can honestly say that from showing for over 20 years that this is the first time I have actually felt like I am a part of a family, a show family that appreciates my dedication, my love and my obvious sincerity to the Tennessee Walking Horse and the NWHA not only rewards those that they feel are exceptional they stand by those individuals ideas and contributions. I have been welcomed to the NWHA with warm welcome arms, unlike other organizations I have belonged to in the past and I feel that the NWHA has high standards for it's members yet each and everyone of us want to be a part of this organization because of that. This is an organization with integrity, character and morals and for that I am grateful because I have not been able to find that or the comraderie in other organizations like I have found in this one. A+ to the NWHA and what they provide, their mission sells itself.

Photos

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The unity and the promotion of the Healthy and Sound horse and the comraderie among it's members. I have seen a growth in numbers of people who attend the horse shows and an overwhelming number of these individuals that return to these shows and events. There is also a growth in those wanting to not only participate in the events associated witht he NWHA but they would also like to host them which is a difficult task to request of volunteers.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

My changes to this organization would be very minimal. I would love to see an active forum where those involved could chat easily about upcoming events, horse issues, stories, artwork and obviously a classifieds section. Forums are a great tool and I think many sound folks would really enjoy the opportunity to mingle wth one another.

MY ROLE:
Board Member & I serve on several of the National level committees and help to recruit new members. I also help to host a horse show in April.

Review from Guidestar