The International Heritage Walking Horse Association Inc (IHWHA) was founded in 2015 and is an initiative of the Tennessee Walking Horse Heritage Society (TWHHS).  When people complained about old bloodlines of the true natural Walking Horse vanishing, 6 like minded breeders got the idea to organize a marketing group in order to protect those bloodlines and to show the world these lines still exist. In 2003 the TWHHS was founded to preserve and promote old bloodlines in the breed with natural gaits barefooted or keg shod. Soon after the TWHHS started promoting the Heritage horses, a number of people got excited and wanted to know if their horses would qualify. Pushed by the demand the TWHHS started a certification program in 2006 to certify registered Tennessee Walking horses from individuals or other farms qualifying the 5 certifications PLUS showing a video of the horses gaiting and its gentle disposition. Because of the ever growing demand TWHHS started their own registry: the International Heritage Walking Horse Association, Inc.

The IHWHA is a non-profit association dedicated to the promotion of the Heritage Walking Horse on an international level. This association is for Heritage Walking Horses and their owners who show them in a sound and humane manner, use them for trail riding, field trials, endurance riding, and many other equine sports, as well as breed them to produce correct running walk gaited examples of the breed that do not have to be manipulated into a false exaggerated gait.        

IHWHA accepts the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders & Exhibitors Association and the Canadian Registry of Tennessee Walking Horse certificates and DNA testing of any registered Walking Horse. IHWHA will provide registration certificates for Walking Horses, as well as access to DNA testing and the registration of foals. It will record ownership transfers on these horses.       

The IHWHA is a BREED ASSOCIATION and as such has the following unique and exclusive requirements for registration. Performance show horses that have dominated the ring since the mid-seventies are now responsible for the genetics of most of today’s registered walking horses, which has resulted in Walking horses exhibiting lateral gaits, high headed and hot temperaments. The goal of the International Heritage Walking Horse Association is promoting and preserving the old bloodlines of the true natural gaited Walking Horse.

In order to obtain a certified Heritage Walking Horse registration paper, either 100% or in one of the categories, your horse needs to comply to the IHWHA criteria AND show the signature gaits and disposition in a video.


The Tennessee Walking Horse Heritage Society name, as well as the term Heritage Walking Horse(s), are protected by laws governing intellectual property rights or rights of ownership, and are either the property of, or under the direction of, the Founders of the TWHHS.


IHWHA prepared a list of forms for its members ready to download in pdf format.  

Certification process

IHWHA is the first breed association for Walking Horses that uses a certification process in order to achieve a permanent registration paper for breeding purposes. This certification proves the gait ability of your Heritage Walking Horse. However it does not imply that a certificated horse will perform the signature gaits at all times with any rider. 


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