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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

National Walking Horse Association

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Services, Animals

Mission: Promoting the naturally-gaited walking horse and its humane treatment.

Community Stories

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Rating: 5

The National Walking Horse Association is a prime of example of how things can be changed for the positive. That change came courage of a few dedicated people. Those few sacrificed their time, effort and own resources to start this organization. Because of those few, our organization has come a long way in a short time. Those few have multiplied and continue to grow.

The NWHA is an organization that promotes the sound practices of training and exhibiting the Tennessee Walking horse. It is also an organization that is just fun to be a part of. People encourage their fellow exhibitor and are more than willing to lend a helping hand. This organization looks for the positive.

Thanks to the founding members for their forsight and courage to establish a change in the world of the Tennessess Walking Horse.

Review from Guidestar


Rating: 5

Before I delve into positive impacts, influences, mission, vision of the NWHA, I believe the reader needs a quick synopsis of why the NWHA exists today.
Since the 1940's the inhumane training practices of the Tennessee Walking Horse(TWH) became widespread and prevalent. The practice of soring the front ankles to enhance their gait for national competition became the norm and IS heavily ingrained in the culture of the padded performance TWH industry . Although the Federal Horse Protection Act of 1977 was meant to protect the horse and prohibit such hideous acts, these practices are STILL prevalent in 2011.
The NWHA was formed for breeders, owners, and exhibitors who love the breed and realize there IS a better way. With a strong mission statement and a vision to promote the naturally gaited Walking Horse, it offers a wonderful alternative to showcase and promote the flat-shod TWH. Since I have been involved with this organization I have witnessed this organization change the hearts and minds of persons who have participated on the "inhumane" side of the TWH industry. The NWHA continues to promote positively, maintain their integrity, and allows the membership to drive the organization.

In summary, the NWHA offers a three (3) important aspects. 1) It offers a culture and vision for members to be involved in and organization who supports the HUMANE treatment and training of such a wonderful breed. 2) It offers stringent enforcement of the Horse Protection Act, to ensure the horse is protected 3) Offers an alternative for those who EVENTUALLY realize inhumane treatment of the TWH is ethically and morally wrong.

Review from Guidestar


Rating: 5

NWHA is an organization that promotes the "chemical-free" Tennessee Walking Horse.

This is NWHA's 11th year of promoting "sound" horses and giving those that love them an opportunity to show and compete fairly.

I started showing Tennessee Walking Horses about 20 years ago. I knew going into the show ring that the best ribbon I could ever hope to win was a 5th or 6th, if any, due to the fact that all of the competition was "chemically" soring their horses. (chemicals are placed around the horse's front feet, wrapped in plastic to burn the flesh & next chains are applied to the "sore" area. The horse hurts too badly to put weight on the front feet resulting in an exageratedly "big" front end.) The pain is excrutiating.

NWHA was started at great personal expense to a few brave & humane individuals who no longer wanted to show against "sore" horses. They received death threats and the lives of their horses were threatened by those who didn't see a problem with the abusive training methods. IF they were successful in starting an organization that did not believe in hurting horses, then that would mean that soring must be WRONG.

Now, over a decade later, NWHA is going strong & increasing in members while the "other" Walking Horse organizations are imploding. Heartfelt thanks goes to the USDA for policing the horse shows through strict inspections that penalize soring. And great admiration to NWHA for providing the Tennessee Walking Horse with a "pain-free" arena to show & their owners a "non-abusive" family with which to belong.

Review from Guidestar