CEF Rules




The Tennessee Walking Horse should move freely in each gait and proceed forward in a smooth, fluid, rhythmic manner. At all gaits, the horse should be flexed at the poll with nose on the vertical or slightly in front of the vertical. Stiff front or rear lag motion, lack of rhythmic timing, or any tendency to rack, pace, stepping pace, trot, fox-trot, or other deviation from the true walk are not considered good form and shall be penalized in judging. Form is of paramount importance.


The Flatfoot Walk is a bold four cornered movement. An even 1-2-3-4 beat with each of the horse’s feat hitting the ground separately, (the left fore, then the right hind, the right fore, then the left hind). The hind foot will follow through, close to the ground over the track left by the fore foot of the same side. The action of the hind foot sliding over the front track is known as overstride. A Tennessee Walking Horse should nod his head from the shoulder NOT THE POLL in rhythm with the cadence of his feet. This head nod, along with the overstride, and the even 4 beat gait are things the judge should take into consideration.


This smooth, natural gait is what made the Tennessee Walking Horse famous. The Running Walk should be the same general motion as the Flatfoot Walk, (even 4 beat gait, head nod, and overstride) but with additional speed. It is executed with loose ease of movement: pushing and driving from the rear, reaching and pulling with the forelegs through a rolling shoulder motion. There should be a noticeable difference in the rata of spread between the Flatfoot Walk and the Running Walk, BUT a good Running Walk never allows proper form to be sacrificed for excessive speed. The head MUST nod. Judging should not be influenced by spread, but rather by the true form exhibited.


The canter should be a smooth and rolling three beat movement, correct and straight on both leads. Excessive speed is to be penalized. The canter is not to be enhanced by the rider “pumping the reins” and is to be penalized in judging.


(1) A suitable headstall equipped with a throatlatch is mandatory.
(ii) Weanlings and Yearlings to be shown in halter, but snaffle bit may be attached to halter on yearlings.
(iii) Two year olds and over may be shown in bridle or show halter.
(iv) Braids and ribbons at top of mane and forelock are optional with Saddle Suit appointments.
(v) Attire is to be appropriate to the manner in which the horse is shown. i.e. English attire with English appointments (see PART IV, Section 2, Rule a, OR PART IV, Section 3, rule a) or Western attire with Western appointments (see PART IV, Section rule a). Hats are optional during daytime performances.
(vi) Whip up to 4′ 1″ may be carried by exhibitors 15 years of age and over.


Horses to enter ring at a Flatfoot Walk and be shown at a Flatfoot Walk only. The speed of the Flatfoot Walk may be accelerated to more closely examine the natural ability of the entries, but NEVER will the entries be required to perform the Running Walk. Horses proceed counterclockwise on the rail until instructed by the Ring Master to line up in an approved manner. Horses must stand squarely on all four feat, or parked with both front and rear feat even. The horse must never be STRETCHED. The judge may ask handler to move hind legs under the horse for inspection. Horses must stand quietly. Unruly or ill- mannered horses will be dismissed from the ring.

c. TO BE JUDGED: 40%. way of going, 30%. conformation and appearance, 30%, manners.


a. Horses must be serviceably sound. Transmissible weaknesses to be counted strongly against breeding stock. Blemishes which are not transmissible such as scars, splints, or spavins are to be considered according to their affect, on the soundness of the horse. Colts and stallions 2 years of age and over must have both testicles descended.


FUTURITY CLASSES HALTER. WEANLING FILLY or WEANLING COLT or YEARLING FILLY or YEARLING COLT or YEARLING GELDING or TWO YEAR OLD FILLY or TWO YEAR OLD COLT or TWO YEAR OLD GELDING: These classes shall be Light Shod or Barefoot only. In their way of moving, TWH weanlings, yearlings, and two year olds should reflect a natural looseness with free-moving shoulders and an ample overstride. In judging strong emphasis should be placed on naturalness and these characteristics that are passed on through breeding. To be judged and shown in the manner described in Part III, Section 1, Rule c above.

FUTURITY CLASSES — PERFORMANCE: THREE YEAR OLD FILLY or GELDING or STALLION, or FOUR or FIVE YEAR OLD MARE or GELDING or STALLION: These classes shall be Light Shod or Barefoot only. The Three Year Old class will be shown at the Flatfoot Walk and the Running Walk both ways of the ring. The Four and Five year Old class will be shown at the Flatfoot Walk, Running Walk, and Canter both ways of the ring. Will be required to back individually or in a group. The horses will be stripped for conformation judging in the line-up. TO BE JUDGED: 60%. manners and way of going, 30% conformation, 10%. appointments.

BREEDING STALLIONS, BREEDENG MARES – may be further divided into age categories. To be shown and judged in the manner described in Part. III, Section 1, Rule c above. GET OF SIRE and PRODUCE OF DAM

Get of Sire and Produce of Dam classes shall have at least two entries entered under the name of the Sire or Dam, with one handler par entry. To be shown and judged under Part III, Section 1, Rule c. above. Emphasis shall be placed on reproductive likeness, uniformity and quality of breed characteristics, movement, conformation and similarity. More than one set of entries per sire or dam may be entered in the same class.