NAWD Midsummer Celebration welcomes Gaited Horses

Gaited horses invited to participate in NAWD Midsummer Celebration Virtual Show


North American Western Dressage has exciting news for gaited horse owners: gaited tests will be offered as separate Western and traditional dressage classes in NAWD’s Midsummer Celebration virtual show, which takes place July 2–10 nationwide.


Gaited tests are offered by Friends of Sound Horses, a NAWD partner. Both Western and traditional dressage tests for gaited horses are available online at


“We have seen a steady increase in participation of gaited horses in our virtual shows and are thrilled to partner with Friends of Sound Horses to offer these tests designed specifically for these breeds,” NAWD Executive Director Jen Johnson said. “Special thanks to Dianne Little, Alece Ellis, Jennie Jackson and Coeli Netsky for the work that they have done to support our efforts in this area.”


Both gaited-horse specialty classes in the NAWD Midsummer Celebration will be judged by Michelle Binder-Zolezzi; learn more about her at Gaited horses performing USEF or NAWD tests will be judged according to training scale principles and placed with the trotting horses.


In addition to Western and traditional dressage tests and gaited tests, the NAWD Midsummer Celebration virtual show offers classes for NAWD Six Feet on the Ground and NAWD Trail (in-hand or mounted). Artisan ribbons are awarded in each class through sixth place, and special versatility awards will be presented to exhibitors with the highest test score averages in at least three tests, one of which being an in-hand test.


NAWD offers virtual shows throughout the year, bringing the opportunity for friendly competition to everyone, no matter where they live. Learn more at



About North American Western Dressage

North American Western Dressage (NAWD) is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating horse enthusiasts about the universal benefits of Western dressage and providing fun, affordable ways to participate in this popular new sport. NAWD offers a variety of programs—Six Feet on the Ground groundwork tests, traditional Western Dressage, Western Dressage Trail and Ranch Horse Western Dressage, and Pre-Intro Western Dressage for even the youngest exhibitors—as well as virtual coaching and showing opportunities, achievement awards and more. Learn more at and at


Independent Judges Association 2016 Annual Judges Clinic

Independent Judges Association

2016 Annual Judges Clinic

 May 19 to 22, 2016

Los Angeles Equestrian Centre – Burbank, California

 The Independent Judges Association (IJA), a subset of The Friends of Sound Horses, Inc. (FOSH) announces the annual Judges Training Seminar May 19 to 22, 2016.  This intense and comprehensive clinic consists of classroom instruction, detailed information on IJA standards for judging all gaited horses, active discussion and live judging.

The clinic is held in conjunction with a horse show hosted by the National Plantation Walking Horse Association.  The Spring Fling and Futurity is an all Gaited Breed Show comprising breed specific and Open Gaited Breed classes held at the Los Angeles Equestrian Centre in Burbank, California.  Founded in 1979, NPWHA is one of the oldest organizations to recognize and promote the natural Tennessee Walking Horse.  To quote from the NPWHA Mission statement: NPWHA is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the sound and natural Tennessee Walking Horse. No chains, pads, stacks or artificial training devices allowed. We are FOSH compliant and promote the NATURAL GAITED TWH! 

Education at IJA clinics is focused on judging gaited breeds through a combination of classroom instruction and practical application.  Thursday is spent in the classroom devoted to: the philosophy, values and ethics of the IJA program; class procedure; penalties; and Open Gaited Breed etc.  The guest breed for 2016 is the Tennessee Walking Horse.  The TWH standards will be presented by IJA Judges with over 100 years of experience with sound and natural Tennessee Walking Horses.  The show provides Judges, apprentices and auditors the opportunity to turn theory into practice during a scheduled show.

FOSH/IJA focuses on the whole horse – emotionally, mentally and physically.  As stated in the FOSH Mission statement, “Importance is placed on education regarding the humane care for the emotional, mental and physical well being, training and treatment of all gaited horses.”  As knowledge of the horse expands, the education of judges and owners and trainers must expand to include the new knowledge.  The better our understanding of the horse, the better horsemen and judges we become.

In addition to judges and prospective judges, the Annual IJA Training Seminar welcomes anyone with an interest in expanding their knowledge of the horse. Registration is limited and is required for all attendees.

For further information contact Dianne Little at

New WDDA show Recignition Program

From: American Horse Publications via AHP-LIST <>
Date: February 1, 2016 at 9:40:42 AM CST
To: <>
Subject: AHP NEWSGROUP: A Closer Look at the New WDAA Show Recognition Program
Reply-To: American Horse Publications <>


January 31, 2016




A Closer Look at the New WDAA Show Recognition Program


Parker, Colorado – The Western Dressage Association of America has developed a new Show Recognition Program, allowing local horse shows with Western Dressage classes to be recognized under the WDAA. Approved shows allow competitors to earn points towards the WDAA Lifetime Achievement & Award program while competing locally. There is significant and growing demand for recognized shows on local circuits. In turn, show recognition assists show managers by providing competitor incentives and advertising to a larger demographic.


Each approved show is assigned a unique show identification number and is granted exclusive WDAA branded logos for advertising and promotion (provided electronically upon approval of application). In order for a show to be approved it must adhere to WDAA/USEF Rules for all tests and rail classes; must use only the WDAA tests; and all tests and rail classes must be judged by WDAA/USEF qualified judges that are WDAA members in good standing. Applications must be submitted at least thirty (30) days prior to the show start date. Applications (one per show) must include the show bill or prize/class list, Judge’s credentials and the $35 recognized show fee. Approved shows will be highlighted on the WDAA Events Calendar with a link to show details. The WDAA retains the right of final approval for recognition of all events.


WDAA Recognized Shows will allow all WDAA-member competitors to submit points toward the WDAA Horse Lifetime Award Programs following the show. Information on the Lifetime Awards Program can be found here: Show management must appoint a knowledgeable designated individual to check and inspect tack, bits, nosebands, etc. outside of the ring immediately following the completion of the test. A horse must be eliminated from the test just completed if tack is in violation of the rules. All WDAA Recognized Show results must be submitted to the WDAA within fourteen (14) days of the closing of event. Following the show, riders are eligible to submit class scores toward their horse’s Lifetime points.


Further information about the Show Recognition Program can be found here:


About the Western Dressage Association® of America: The Western Dressage Association® of America is a 501(c)3 educational non-profit organization focused on providing a model of horsemanship which optimizes the partnership of horse and rider for their mutual benefit.  The mission of the Western Dressage Association® is “to honor the horse, to value the partnership between horse and rider and to celebrate the legacy of the American West” which it focuses on through its offerings of educational opportunities and events to the equestrian community.  Please visit our website at for more information.


Scholarships from NAWD

From: American Horse Publications via AHP-LIST <>
Sent: Wednesday, January 13, 2016 4:57 PM
Subject: AHP NEWSGROUP: 3 Scholarships Available from North American Western Dressage
3 Scholarships Available from North American Western Dressage
Great education shouldn’t be reserved for the wealthy, and North American Western Dressage (NAWD) wholeheartedly believes anyone with a desire to learn should be given the opportunity to do so. It’s with that vision that NAWD is pleased to announce three exciting new scholarship program in 2016.
NAWD Judges Exam Scholarship
$250 applicable to NAWD judge’s exam fee
Sponsored by NAWD Pro Coeli Netsky
Deadline: January 31
Applicant must be a NAWD member in good standing and at least 18 years old; the winner will be announced February 16. Please complete the application and submit a short essay that explains how competition is linked to education, and how the dressage judge facilitates learning.
The NAWD Thousand
Two $1,000 scholarships for continuing education at the 2016 NAWD Western Dressage Symposium
Sponsored by NAWD
Deadline: February 15
NAWD will be sending two members to the 2016 NAWD Western Dressage Symposium in Wakefield, Virginia, May 6–9. To qualify, applicant must be a NAWD member in good standing with a household income less than $36,000. Winners will be announced Feb. 29. To apply, please complete the application and submit a short essay explaining how Western dressage improves your horse’s performance for other disciplines.
NAWD Youth Scholarship
$100 scholarships (3 awarded)
Sponsored by NAWD Pros Cassie Sprenger, Patrick King and Coeli Netsky
Deadline: May 1
Three Youth educational scholarships are available to NAWD Youth members in good standing. To apply, fill out the application online.
About North American Western Dressage
North American Western Dressage (NAWD) is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating horse enthusiasts about the universal benefits of Western dressage and providing fun, affordable ways to participate in this popular new sport. NAWD offers a variety of programs—Six Feet on the Ground groundwork tests, traditional Western Dressage, Western Dressage Trail and Ranch Horse Western Dressage, and Pre-Intro Western Dressage for even the youngest exhibitors—as well as virtual coaching and showing opportunities, achievement awards and more. Learn more about NAWD at and at

Cowboy Dressage Announces World Gathering 2016

From: American Horse Publications via AHP-LIST <>
Sent: Tuesday, January 12, 2016 11:58 AM
Subject: AHP NEWSGROUP: Cowboy Dressage World, Cowboy Dressage and Eitan Beth-Halachmy Announce New Cowboy Dressage World Gathering and Finals Dates for 2016
Cowboy Dressage World, Cowboy Dressage and Eitan Beth-Halachmy Announce New Cowboy Dressage World Gathering and Finals Dates for 2016
Famed horseman and visionary of Cowboy Dressage, Eitan Beth-Halachmy announces that Cowboy Dressage World has moved its 2016 Gathering and Finals Horse Show dates to Sept 811. Eitan feels this is a good move that will allow for better travel conditions, longer day light and warmer weather. It also allows for the continued growth of this event.
In 2015, this Gathering and Finals was truly an international event. Riders and guests joined Cowboy Dressage World from Australia, Germany, Canada, Poland and Hungary.  There were a record setting 980 rides over 4 days and 4 arena.
In 2015, Cowboy Dressage World introduced the Top Hand Division. Each rider is required to ride a preliminary test that is known to them ahead of time. The top 5 must then ride an unknown test and then switch horses and ride the same test. Both the preliminary and Top 5 are judged by 3 judges.  In 2016 the Amateur Rider will have their own Top Hand Competition, but will not be required to switch horses. Same tests for both open and amateur will apply.
The 2016 Gathering and Finals will open with a day of education and clinics and then on to the competitions. This annual event will continue to be held at Murieta Equestrian Center, Rancho Murieta, CA.
For more information on Eitan and his Cowboy Dressage visit:

Charlotte a Special TWH


By Cris Van Horn and Lt. Randall Wallace


Tribute to Charlotte, Houston Police Department Patrol Horse and Tennessee Walking Horse Ambassador

03/15/2009 – 12/03/2015


Gen’s Shaking Ice (aka “Charlotte”) out of Michelle Marble’s Tennessee Walking Horse (TWH) stud, It’s My Destiny, and Cris Van Horn’s TWH mare, Gen’s Ice Capade, was born in South Carolina on March 15, 2009, then raised in Oklahoma by Cris at the Two Clouds Dancing Ranch.  Charlotte was a stunning, deep copper Chestnut with flaxen main and tail, standing all of 16.3 hands high and a shining example of the Tennessee Walking Horse temperament that people all over the world love.


After much research on mounted patrol programs, Cris donated Charlotte in December 2012 to the Houston Mounted Patrol program to become a police horse (  Charlotte was formally accepted into the program when she turned five (5) in March 2013.  Charlotte was initially assigned to Lt. Randall Wallace for training, which was very comprehensive, considering she had never been under saddle.  Lieutenant Wallace started her from the ground up, literally, using Parelli Natural Horsemanship methodology to build a relationship with Charlotte.  Using love, language, and leadership in equal parts, Lt. Wallace and Charlotte built a bond that only horsemen and women understand.  All of his efforts to build a relationship paid off in gaining her trust and building her confidence.  Charlotte went from green, to patrolling in 6 months, as her first day on patrol in a neighborhood with Lt. Randall Wallace occurred on June 27, 2013.  She then went on to Memorial Park in Houston on July 4th, where she demonstrated her courage crossing a bridge and separating from her Mentor horse.  On July 5th, Wallace reported that Charlotte was “simply awesome” on her first trip to downtown Houston.  On a scale of 1 to 10, he gave her a 10 for her first day in the city.  Wallace said she was extremely curious, and showed no fear of anything he exposed her to, including vehicular traffic, the light rail train, buses, 18-wheelers, steps (both up and down), narrow passages, bicyclists, fountains, etc…  Wallace said Charlotte is a VERY left brained horse, meaning she is very calm and confident, and thinks things through, instead of going right brained, snorting, turning, and bolting away.  July 9th was Day #2 in downtown Houston for Charlotte and Wallace said she did awesome again.  She wrote her first ticket that day to an ex-con, vagrant for sitting on the sidewalk on Main Street.


On August 15, Lt. Wallace said, “Oh my gosh!  I wish I would have kept a journal!  She is doing amazing.  I took her downtown Tuesday and patrolled alone, and she did fabulous.  She ran up three steep flights of stairs like she’s been doing it all her life.  She backed up a flight of stairs on her first try.  She wrote 8 tickets and never broke a sweat in 100 degree weather.  She isn’t scared of anything.”



In September 2013, Charlotte participated in her first parade downtown, and acted like she had done a hundred of them.  She worked her first protest the following October and was in the Houston Thanksgiving Day parade in November.  With her unflappable “horsenality,” willingness to please and overall awesomeness, Charlotte was used as a mount for dignitaries at various functions.  Because of her high confidence level, she was also used as a Mentor horse on first trips to downtown for new horses coming into the Houston Mounted Patrol program.  All of these accomplishments were within the first year of her being under saddle—absolutely amazing!!!



Charlotte’s influence spread across the nation.  She was the impetus behind a myriad of relationships that were forged with the Houston Mounted Patrol.  Because of Charlotte, the Houston Mounted Patrol received other equine donations:  Virginia Wagoner of War Bonnett Equine Rescue in Oklahoma donated Smash; Linda Hinrichs of Oklahoma donate her Missouri Fox Trotter gelding; Lori Northrup of New York donated two gaited John mules; and Bobbie Jo Lieberman, former editor of Trail Blazer magazine, donated the very talented Tennessee Walking Horse mare, Illusion.


Charlotte was also the inspiration behind many educational endowments to the Houston Mounted Patrol program.  Allen Pogue and Sue De Laurentis, Master Trick Trainers at Imagine a Horse, donated training and a student slot for Officer Greg Sokoloski to a residential trick training course at the Red Horse Ranch.  Also through Charlotte, the Friends of Sound Horses (FOSH), and Jeannette Wright at Firehawk Ranch facilitated Sgt. Leslie Wills attending a Jillian Kreinbring Equine Biomechanics clinic.  The crowning event was an equine and rider biomechanics clinic in November 2014 at the Mounted Patrol headquarters made possible by a liaison among FOSH; the Houston Mounted Patrol; Peggy Cumming’s Connected Riding® and its senior instructors Deb Davies of Equine Self Expression and Jillian Kreinbring of JK Inspired; and the “Now That’s A Walking Horse” grant program of the Humane Society of the United States.  The officers learned the importance of developing their horses’ postural muscles and becoming active riders for the health and longevity of their patrol horses.  Very few horses have had the far reaching impact that Charlotte achieved in her few short years with the Houston Mounted Patrol.


Charlotte continued to fight crime in the streets of Houston with her last partner, Officer D. Herrejon through all of 2015, until December 3rd, when she had a very unfortunate and untimely mishap with a concrete truck.  As the truck was coming to a stop, Charlotte backed into one of the wheel wells and sustained a broken leg.  Officer Herrejon received three broken ribs, and a possible torn rotator cuff and possible torn ligament in his left knee.  While Officer Herrejon was being transported by ambulance, his human partner that day, Officer Ronald Curry, laid her down and covered her face, staying with her through her last breaths when she was euthanized on the scene.


Even though Charlotte’s time on earth was very short, she served bravely and willingly for the three years.  She patrolled the streets of Houston and fought crime with her human partners.  She touched the lives of many all over the world who followed her accomplishments.  She was a wonderful addition to the Houston Mounted Patrol and an absolutely stellar ambassador to the Tennessee Walking Horse breed.  While her life was like a shooting star, she will always shine brightly in the hearts of all who loved and knew her.  Godspeed over the rainbow bridge, precious Charlotte.  We will meet again.



Charlotte was nominated by the Houston Mounted Patrol to have her portrait painted by Artist Loreen Pantaleone under the Hero Portrait Project.  If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to this worthwhile cause, please contact The K9/Equine Hero Portrait Project, PO Box 327, Benton, PA   17814-0327 or donate electronically at


Great American Trail Horse Festival


Aug 14, 2015


The American Competitive Trail Horse Association

637 Soda Creek Road

Spicewood, TX 78669

(877) 992-ACTHA


Inquiries welcome at

All Star Lineup of Clinicians Announced for the Great American Trail Horse Festival

ACTHA has announced that the Great American Trail Horse Festival being held November 5-8, 2015 at the Von Holten Ranch in Mora, Missouri will feature some of the equestrian world’s best known clinicians.  The largest trail horse celebration in U.S. history is open to all trail horses, all breeds, all trail organizations and all disciplines.  The clinicians featured come from as equally diverse background as the riders themselves, allowing for countless educational opportunities for all who will be attending.


Clinicians headlining the Great American Trail Horse Festival include equine performer Guy McLean, Byron Hogan of the Mustang Heritage Foundation and competitive member of the Extreme Mustang Makeover, Michael Lyons of Michael Lyons Horsemanship, dedicated to the study of horsemanship and a certified equine massage therapist, Colleen Kelly of Colleen Kelly Rider Biomechanics, who scored a remarkable 100% in the Official Dressage Judge’s Examination and has coached at the Olympic, Para Olympic and World Equestrian Games level in Dressage, Scott Purdum of Advantage Horsemanship whose expertise in the area of horsemanship can be viewed on RFD TV every week,  John Lyons, one of our nation’s best known horse trainers in the field of natural horsemanship for over thirty five years, Rupert Issacson and Iliane Lorenz from Horse Boy Horsemanship whose foundation works in part to bring the healing effects of horses to autism families and others with neuro-psychiatric conditions, Lee Hart, EXCA World Champion and Annie Chance EXCA and Calgary Stampede Champion, Diane Sept, Gaited Horse Clinician and Connected Riding Instructor, hunter/ jumper trainer Phil May, Laverne Schmidt, Equine Canada Coach and Mentor and CHA instructor, natural horse trainer Evon Montgomery of Horses 1,2,3 Riding System, and Jeff Wilson of Jeff Wilson Cowboy Dressage.


Registration for the Great American Trail Horse Festival is open.  The first 100 riders to sign up will have first choice of which clinic to attend.  “Riders do not have to be an ACTHA member to participate in the event, this is a festival, an educational opportunity and fun filled weekend for all trail riders as we gather together to celebrate America’s trail horse,” states Robin Tilghman ACTHA President.  For more information or to register for the Great American Trail Horse Festival please visit



The American Competitive Trail Horse Association’s mission, duty and purpose is to address, educate, coordinate, and provide aid and relief to unwanted, unused, abandoned and abused equines on a national level. ACTHA’s mission to provide a venue for the trail rider to participate in the sport of competitive trail riding, focuses on educating participants on all aspects of the equine, care, training, as well as the importance of being a good steward of our natural resources (land, water, and the animals entrusted in our care). To create an enjoyable venue to showcase the wonderful attributes of the great American trail horse and granting the recognition they so richly deserve.  Leading by example, ACTHA donates 20% of its member rider proceeds from each event to registered 501(c)3 organizations (usually equine charities providing care for horses in need), and provides a vehicle for organizations to raise funds to support their cause.  Our mission focuses on creating and enabling humane treatment and employment options for every able bodied equine, reducing the burden on local, state, and federal programs to support the ever growing problem of unwanted, unused, abandoned, and abused equines. To further our mission, ACTHA will create and maintain a registry open to all breeds and a point designation system which will stay with each horse for its lifetime, thereby adding to their value and distinction.


Ted Yoho Looks to Crack Down on Horse Soring

July 30, 2015 – 9:00am
Kelly Ayotte, Ted Yoho, and Mark WarnerKelly Ayotte, Ted Yoho, and Mark Warner

U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., relied on his background as a large-animal veterinarian as he brought out a bill to protect horses.

Yoho is the House sponsor of the “Prevent All Soring Tactics” (PAST) Act. The bill amends the federal Horse Protection Act of 1970 by ending horse soring attempts to change the animal’s natural gait through painful processes often involving chemicals and devices.

Bringing out the bill on Tuesday, Yoho explained why it was needed on Wednesday.

“The unethical treatment of animals is wrong and should be stopped wherever it exists,” Yoho said. “Horse soring – the intentional inflicting of pain to horses’ feet to achieve a high-stepping gait — has been illegal for well over 30 years. Unfortunately, soring is still practiced to this day in clear violation of the Horse Protection Act (HPA) of 1970.

“As a veterinarian and lover of animals, I feel the time is now to stop the practice of horse soring for good. I am not the only one who feels this way,” Yoho added. “Roughly 280-plus organizations, associations, veterinary and animal health advocates, horse industry professionals, and various other groups, support the ending of this unnecessary practice. Also the Senate companion bill, introduced by Senator Kelly Ayotte, currently has the support of 41 senators.

“The walking horse industry has had since 1970 to reform their ways and come up with a more ethical means to achieve their desired goal,” Yoho concluded. “They have failed to take advantage of this opportunity and now is the time for horse soring to end.”

Yoho’s bill has already garnered more than 100 co-sponsors, including Florida Republicans U.S. Reps. Vern Buchanan, Ander Crenshaw, Mario Diaz-Balart, David Jolly, John Mica, Rich Nugent and Bill Posey, and Florida Democrats U.S. Reps. Ted Deutch, Lois Frankel, Alan Grayson and Frederica Wilson.

As Yoho noted, U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., is pushing the bill in the Senate with the help of U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.

“Soring is inhumane, and this bipartisan legislation takes an important step toward stopping this abusive training tactic that intentionally inflicts pain on horses,” said Ayotte when she brought out the bill back in April. “I will continue to work across the aisle to protect horses from this cruel practice.”

“Whether riding, racing, hunting or training, horses have been a part of Virginia’s culture for 400 years,” said Warner in April. “However, owners and breeders from across the commonwealth agree that the deliberate act of inflicting pain on horses has no place in modern equestrian competition. Sen. Ayotte and I are proud to reintroduce the Prevent All Soring Tactics act to give USDA the tools it needs to crack down on horse soring and end this cruel practice once and for all.”


– See more at:



Press Release


April 6,   2015


Friends of Sound Horse (FOSH) is pleased to announce the Award winners for the inaugural year of the FOSH Gaited Dressage Program.  A division of FOSH Gaited Sport Horse initiative, FOSH Dressage for Gaited Horses is a recognition and reward program for gaited horses competing in the discipline of Dressage.  This unique program honors any gaited horse participating in the art and discipline of dressage.  Open to all gaited breeds, the inaugural program included entries from Spotted Saddle Horse, Tennessee Walking Horse, Missouri Fox Trotting Horse and Rocky Mountain Horse.

Recognition is given to horses at each level of Test – Two Gait, Introductory Level, Training Level, First Level and Second Level.  Tests may be English or Western.  To be eligible for awards, three scores of 60% and over must be recorded in any level.  Scores must be from Dressage competitions with a recognized judge and tests that are specifically developed and written for gaited horses.  Recognized tests include IJA, NWHA, WDAA and Cowboy Dressage.

In the inaugural year submitted scores ranged from 70.53% to 63.97%.   At First Level, the differential between the average scores for the winner and the average scores for the runner-up was a miniscule 0.62%.  The eligibility requirements were not satisfied in the Two Gait and Training Level and no Awards were given.

Gift of Freedom, a Tennessee Walking Horse owned by Jennifer Klitzke of St. Francis MN was a multiple award recipient.  This duo received the highest average scores in Training level and First Level.  Gift of Freedom also submitted the highest score for 2014.

Prince Jester’s Request, a Missouri Fox Trotting Horse, owned by Julie Dillon of Goffstown, NH was the Award recipient at Second Level.  Also the reserve at First Level, the difference in average scores was only 0.62%.

FOSH thanks all gaited horse owners who supported the GOSH Gaited Dressage Program in 2014.  We look forward to the 2015 competitive year and the opportunity to recognize and reward gaited horses who compete in the discipline of Gaited Dressage.

Since 1998, FOSH is the only national organization dedicated to the promotion of the sound gaited horse emotionally, mentally and physically; fair competition; and humane training and education regardless of breed or discipline.