The U.S. Equestrian Federation board voted unanimously on Monday to accept the National Walking Horse Association as a national affiliate.
NWHA, which promotes naturally gaited horses, becomes the only Tennessee Walking Horse group to partner with the USEF on any level.
The national affiliation means members can participate in programs such as group purchasing plans, but the USEF will not govern NWHA horse shows.
"NWHA is proud to partner with USEF, which leads in the industry as the national governing body for equestrian sport," the group said in a news release.
Carrie Mortensen, the NWHA executive director, said the walking horse group also is exploring the possibility of using USEF drug testing.