Frequently asked questions

Q. I bought a certified stallion, with a gold seal 'gait certified' on his paper but he is fox trotting most of the times. Why was he certified?
A. The owner of your stallion sent a video of his performance in the flat walk and running walk to three independent judges, who passed him. If he is foxtrotting now, it is possible that he is out of condition, and that you, the rider, are asking for speed to early in his training program. Also, if you are accustomed to riding trotting horses, your seat and hands may be telling him to round his back too much. The flat walk and running walk are performed in a neutral frame. In short: a certified Heritage Walking Horse means that at a certain point in its life the horse has proven to poses the signature gaits of the original Tennessee Walking Horse.                            

Q. Which bloodlines are considered “older”?
A. Anything pre-1950 still showing up on the Registration Certificate is considered old.
Even the common bloodlines of Midnight Sun (non Pride of Midnight) and Merry Go Boy are relatively rare in 2015.

Q.  Why is the date 1976 used as the cutoff for World Grand Champions?
A.  At some point in the late seventies/eighties, the training methods changed to those of today. These sad “training” techniques resulted in a preference for fired up bloodlines to carry the big stacks and also in horses whose genetics may have been altered by the new chemicals in use to create the big lick.

Q. How do I color trace my horse?
A. Color traces are done by line by line through the pedigree to see if the color line stays true or if some impossible colors or patterns pop out of nowhere. This is done by suing a combination of genetics materials (the latest Sponenberg color books) and the old TWHBAA Stud Books, which describe the color and markings of the horses.

Q. Why do I need to make a video of my horse for certification if my horses already met all criteria by pedigree and color?
A. You should have your horse gait certified even though it is registered because it completes the process. Having a gait certified horse will be of higher value compared to a horse that is not gait certified. Gait certified horses will have a stamped gold seal on their registration certificate so buyers will know whether or not the horse is certified. Certification tells people that your horse meets our stringent criteria and is a quality animal.

Q. My horse is smooth and fast. Why does he/she have to show a flat walk and running walk on a video to receive Heritage papers?
A. Smooth and fast are great for trail riding but Heritage is about preserving the signature gait of the Walking Horse. Smooth and fast could be a racking gait or a stepping pace, not the true evenly timed up four beat, head nodding walking gait. The original Walking Horse was a running walk gaited horse, and we are trying to preserve that old-timey horse.

Q. My horse is has give different World Grand Champions on the papers. Can he/she be registered as a Heritage Horse?
A. Not unless the World Grand Champion’s were pre-1977 and the horse meets the rest of the criteria to be a Heritage Horse.

Q. My horse has eight old numbers from the forties on its papers. Why does it have to color trace as well?
A. The horses have to color trace because in years prior to DNA testing to parent verify foals, papers were sometimes switched and put on foals who really were not what their papers say they are. Also some colors and patterns started to appear that would not be genetically possible given the colors and patterns of the named sire and dam.               

Q. How is this registry different from all the others out there for Walking Horses?
A. We require gait certification, the other registries do not. Also we are targeting older bloodlines so this is not a general registry for everything.

Q. If my foal is registered with IHWHA as a baby, will I need to submit a video of its gaits under saddle when it is three?

A. Yes and No. If your foal was just registered and not certified as a foal then yes, you will need to submit a video of its gaits to certify it BUT you don’t have to wait until it is under saddle, however, if you DO make the video of the horse under saddle then it will have to be at least three years old or we will not accept it.  
If you submitted a video of your horse as a foal and certified it at that time, then no, you do not need to send us another video.

Q. I registered my 6 year old Walking Horse with IHWHA but I never received a set of papers. Why?

A. Your registration of an adult horse is completed once your horse passed the certification process.You have to send in a video of your horses either gaiting in hand or under saddle following the certification guidelines. Only horses registered under the age of 3 will receive a termporary set of papers, awaiting their certification.



By registering your horse with IHWHA you help establishing the breed by preserving old bloodlines to ensure Walking Horses with proven natural gaits for the future.

​Your IHWHA registered horse is the only registered Walking Horse that is certified with proven signature gaits. 

​Join IHWHA and receive our bi-monthly electronic newsletter with the latest news about Heritage Walking Horses. As a member you receive one free foal registration or transfer per year. 

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