Girth : The ideal Walking Horse should possess an attractive head well….

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10.8 Falls A.

A rider is considered to have fallen if the rider is separated fro m his/her horse (who has not fallen) so that they must either remount or vault back into the saddle.


A horse is considered to have fallen when the shoulder and haunch on the same side have touched the ground.


The fall of a horse and/or rider shall not disqualify the entry, unless due to bad manners of the horse or unless the safety of the rider is threatened.

Exception: In Equitation Classes, the fall of either the horse or the rider disqualifies the entry. 24 10.9 Unruly Horse Horses being unruly, rearing up, balking, running off, or leaving the ring must be excused. 10.10 Conformation The composition and design of the Walking Horse should enable the horse to be a functional athlete that can perform the gaits specific to the breed.

Basic conformation is a must with balance, structural correctness, adequate muscling, breed and sex characteristics being key components to provide athleticism, desired movement, and image for the breed.

Added to those components is a distinct style of conformation which should include a neck that rises higher out of the shoulders than most breeds and more h ip and hock angulation than most breeds.

The ideal Walking Horse should possess an attractive head, well-shaped and pointed ears; large, kind, clear and alert eyes; a tapered mu zzle; long and graceful neck with a refined throat latch; long, sloping shoulders; deep heart girth; chest width neither too wide nor too narrow; short to med iu m length back with strong coupling at the loin; sloping croup with lower -set tail; the hip is sloped and long from point of hip to hip joint, shorter fro m hip joint to stifle, long fro m stifle to hock with muscular develop ment extending down toward the hocks.

The rear cannon bones are short.

The underline is longer than the topline.

Ext remes in any conformation co mponent are not desirable.

Soundness of limbs should be of utmost importance.

In all in-hand and model classes, all horses should be free of genetic abnormalities such as parrot mouth, under-bite or any other incorrect bite deviations.

Additionally, all stallions three years of age and older should have two testicles descended.

Entries with genetic abnormalit ies should be severely penalized. 10.11 Qualifying Gaits A.

Trail Walk : The Trail Walk is a true walk with a loose rein and no appearance of strain on the part of the horse or rider.

The appearance should be that of a pleasure riding horse that is relaxed, content and manageable.


Flat Walk: The flat walk should be bold and four-cornered with an evenly timed 1-2-3-4 beat.

In the flat walk the horse should break at the knees, reaching and pulling with the front legs with that movement originating fro m the shoulder.

The horse should have impulsion and exhib it stride and drive with the hind legs.

There should be no wring ing or twisting of the hocks, nor any excessive hock action.

The horse should demonstrate a loose way of going with plenty of motion.

Overstride is impo rtant but should be in accord with the conformation and length of the back and legs of the horse.

A horse with a good flat walk will naturally have a straight, up and down head motion t imed with the overall rhythm of the walk.

W ithin the flat walk lies the foundation for a good running walk and it should be judged equally as important as is the running walk.

The flat walk should be a distinctive FLAT walk, not a slow running walk, with each leg impacting the ground with distinction.

The flat walk is more bold or purposeful in movement than the running walk.

Form should never be sacrificed for speed.

Excessive “bumping or jerking” of the reins at the flat walk is not considered good form and shall be penalized.


Runni ng Walk: The running walk has the same beat or evenly timed footfall (1 -2-3-4) as the flat walk but is much s moother with greater stride, rhythm and natural motion.

The increased rear leg stride and increased reach in the shoulder create this smoother ride and propel the horse at a faster speed without changing the cadence of the leg motion.

As with the flat walk, the horse will naturally have a straight u p and down vertical head motion timed with the overall rhythm of the running walk.

A correctly performed running walk is truly a gait of ease, producing a clearly heard and easily counted 4-beat tempo.

It should be straight and loose, 4cornered and exhib it over-all balance, without any trace or degree of a rack, t rot, fo x trot, pace or stepping pace.

There should be no excessive winging, crossing or rope-walking.

Horses exhibit ing an exaggerated, hesitating way of going, with a tendency to point with the front hooves, are not in form.

The horse should reach and pull in the front with powerfu l shoulder movement and demonstrate obvious impulsion behind, pushing and striding, setting its feet firmly on the ground.

When correctly engaged the horse will naturally drop its hip.

Overstride is important but should be in accord with the conformation and length of the back and legs of the horse.

Speed at the runni ng walk while maintaining correct form is a positi ve attri bute; however, form shoul d NEV ER be sacrificed for speed.” Consistency of correct gait shall be rewarded.

Excessive “bumping or jerking” of the reins at the running walk is not considered good form and shall be penalized.


Canter: The canter should be consistent, smooth and straight on both leads, not walking behind, but cantering on both ends with a rolling or rocking chair motion, co mfo rtably collected, neck slightly arched, head slightly tucked, giving the appearance of ease and grace.

The horse should be relaxed, performing in rhythm, with head motion in perfect harmony with leg movement.

The canter is not too fast, with speed somewhat dependent upon the individual horse’s conformation and size; this shall be considered in judging.

While in the canter, the horse 25 should cover some ground; it should not rock up and down and go nowhere.

A horse that is on the wrong lead or cross-cantering must be penalized. “Pu mp ing” or bump ing of the reins at the canter is not considered good form and shall be penalized.


General: The Walking Horse should move freely in each gait and proceed in a s mooth fluid, rhythmic manner.

Form is not to be sacrificed for speed.

At all gaits, the horse should be flexed at the poll with mu zzle slightly tucked.

Any tendency to rack, pace, step-pace, trot, fo x trot or otherwise deviate fro m the true walking gaits is not typical of the breed and shall be penalized in judging.

All 3 gaits should have equal value when being judged.

A horse which is the most all-around ideal indiv idual should be the winner rather than a horse which is outstanding in only one gait.

Horses shall be judged for their present performance and not on reputation or past performances.

Nosing out, over collection, bad manners or excessive speed without form should be properly penalized in any placing.

Refusal to back, balking, mouth gaping, head tossed upwards, or fighting the rider while backing, shall be penalized in the final judging.

Excessive bumping or jerking of the reins wh ile backing shall be penalized.

It is important to remember that gait and overstride are what set the Walking Horse apart fro m other breeds and the goal is to reward the best gaited horse in the class.

Therefore, a horse may not necessarily be discounted on the basis of mistakes made when overall quality of that horse’s gaits is exceptional. 10.12 Bad Image: Any horse exh ibiting a * bad i mage in the show ring, even though it may not be in v iolation of the HPA, must be excused fro m the ring by the Judge. *Bad i mage includes, but is not limited to: • stiff front leg • crampy rear leg motion • excessive winging • wobbling • wringing of hocks • laboring • stumbling • buckling knees • lack of rhyth mic timing • pointing • favoring a particu lar leg • horse in poor flesh Note: The judge must denote on his/her judge’s card horses excused from the ring for any rule vi olation. 10.13 Presentation All entries should be presented clean, neatly trimmed, braided (for English presentation,) and in good flesh presenting a healthy appearance.

Each entry should be outfitted in clean and appropriate tack.

The exh ib itor of each entry should be neat in appearance, correctly dressed in properly fitting riding attire and shall demonstrate sportsmanlike behavior at all times. 10.14 Trail Pleasure Classes — 12.19 Decisions Not Subject To Protest A.

The soundness of a horse, or horse deemed representative of bad image per NW HA Rules, when determined by an official veterinarian or DQP of the show or by a Judge, is not subject to Protest.


A Judge’s decision, representing his individual preference, is not subject to Protest unless it is alleged to be in violation of the Rules.


A Protest with respect to the height of a horse or the length of a horse’s foot may be made only to the Show Co mmittee.

Re-measurement shall take place immediately, to the end that there shall be no change in height by re shoeing.

The decision of Show Officials shall not be overturned by the NWHA.


Plea Agreements agreed upon and signed by the Hearing Panel and Accused are final and not subject to Protest. 55 13.

PARTS OF THE HORSE 1) Poll 2) Crest 3) Forehead 4) Nostrils 5) Muzzle 6) Point of Shoulder 7) Breast 8) Chest 9) Forearm 10) Knee 11) Coronet 12) Hoof 13) Pastern 14) Sesamoid 15) Flexor Tendons 16) Fetlock 17) Cannon 18) Underline 19) Hock 20) Gaskin 21) Stifle 22) Flank 23) Loin 24) Croup 25) Back 26) Withers 27) Throat Latch 28) Neck 29) Shoulder 30) Barrel 31) Girth 32) Elbow 33) Hindquarters 56 14.

Illustrations (These illustrations are “samples” and not necessarily the only legal bits.

Be sure to check the text of the rule book to ensure your bit is legal for the class for w hich you are participating.) Illustration #1 (8.2.b) Measurement of Shank Illustration #2 (8.2.b) Bits Snaffle Bits Kimberwick Bits Pelham Bits

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