FOSH is the only international organization dedicated to the promotion of the sound-gaited horse emotionally, mentally, and physically.

We educate our members on how to treat, care for, and train gaited horses across the U.S. and Canada.
Friends of Sound Horses

Got Gait – Go FOSH

About FOSH

FOSH — All For Promoting Healthy and Naturally Gaited Horses

At FOSH, our mission is to promote all “sound,” naturally gaited horses, with a specific emphasis on Tennessee Walking Horses. We focus on educating horse owners about the humane treatment, care, and training of all gaited horses for their physical, emotional, and mental well-being. We only support barefoot or flat-shod horses and never favor any event that uses stacks and/or chains as action devices, nor any mechanical, chemical, or artificial means to modify the horses’ natural gaits.

We focus on three areas for gait horses, which are:
  • Supporting Sound Shows, Events, and Activities
  • Educating People on Sound Training Principles
  • Working To End Soring

Who We Are

This horse is Feather, 29 years old, and owned by Myra Toth in Ojai, CA. Twenty years after EPM, Feather is living a good life.

Horse Eating Grass

What Does FOSH Really Stand For?

FOSH is the acronym for Friends of Sound Horses. Our association was formed as a public benefit humane and education organization. Our purpose is to provide information to the public about the humane treatment, training, and care of gaited horses, with a particular emphasis on the Tennessee Walking Horse. We also promote the flat shod and barefoot Walking Horse exhibition at competitions designed to showcase the natural gaited pleasure walking horse. At FOSH, we also have the Versatility Program because we actively support versatility events.

A board of directors operates our organization. These people are selected from concerned owners and exhibitors across the country. We have no paid staffers, and all our work is done by volunteers. Our efforts are also funded through private contributions. On average, our directors have more than 20 years of involvement in the walking horse industry.

In addition to its sanctioned show circuit, we also operate a judging program called the Independent Judges Association (IJA). This program involves carefully selected and trained judges and professionals who have multi-breed licenses in addition to their gaited horses specialization. Please email for more information about IJA.

FOSH takes an activist role in fighting the soring of the Tennessee Walking Horse. We offer a USDA-certified inspection or DQP program to FOSH-sanctioned shows and other shows to ensure compliance with the Horse Protection Act. Please visit our Programs page to learn more or contact

FOSH’s Outreach Activities

  • Publishes an Electronic Quarterly Gaited Horse Magazine, the Sound Advocate.
  • Provides Humane Literature to Equine Fairs and Events
  • Operates a Website
  • Places Speakers for Horse-Related Events
  • Participates in Public Education and Outreach Programs
  • Acts as a Source for Journalists and Humane Groups Interested in the Enforcement of the Horse Protection Act
Over the years, FOSH’s program has grown, and the scope of our board has grown to encompass a broader geographic basis. However, our goals are still the same — advocate for “sound” horses, not “sored.” We implemented a non-voting membership program in 2004 with hopes that the schemes we develop and offer will be just what you are looking for. FOSH has no amateur cards to buy and only one plan for what’s best for the horses and the betterment of the breed. We consider you a friend of ours if you are a friend of the sound horse.
Woman Riding a Horse

Our Board of Directors and Executive Advisory Committee (EAC)

FOSH Board of Directors

Dianne LittleVice President IJA
Vice President Programs
Bill CoonDirector at
Anita DunhamDirector At
Gina VehigeSecretary/
Lisa HarrisHIO
Teresa Bippen
Dianne Little
Vice President IJA
Vice President Programs
Bill Coon
Director at Large
Anita Dunham
Director At Large
Gina Vehige
Lisa Harris
HIO Coordinator
FOSH Executive Advisory Committee
Pauline Stotsenberg
Keith Dane
Maggie MacAllister
Kirsten Kuzmanic
Patti Potts
Join FOSH and learn the best practices for keeping gaited horses healthy.
Fill out our Membership Application form to express your interest in joining our organization.