Western Equestrian Showing Explained

 

 For Western riders, the Show arena is the place where they can demonstrate their skill as riders, the training of their horse and the results achieved through endless hours of practice.  It is the place where they can assess their achievements against those of other riders.

Western Show competitions in Scotland are most often judged in accordance with the rules established by the Western Equestrian Society or the American Quarter Horse Association.

The Shows are run by members of these organisations and the Judges are approved international Western Judges.

To see an example of a Show Schedule click on this link http://www.blackfordglen.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/images/2011-Show-Schedule.pdf

Western Equestrian Society Western Show classes can be described as follows:-

1.    SHOWMANSHIP

Categories        Novice Youth – Amateur – Open

All exhibitors may enter the ring and then work individually or each exhibitor may be worked from the gate individually.  The following manoeuvres are considered acceptable: lead at walk, jog, trot or extended trot, or back in a straight line, a combination of straight and curved lines:  and turn ¼, ½, ¾, full turn or any combination or multiple of these turns.  The Judge must have exhibitors set up the horse squarely for inspection sometime during the class.

Exhibitors are to be scored from 0 to 20 with ½ point increments acceptable.  Ten points should be allocated towards the overall appearance of the exhibitor and horse and 10 points allocated towards the performance.

A.    OVERALL APPEARANCE OF EXHIBITOR AND HORSE (10 POINTS)

The exhibitor’s overall poise, confidence, appearance and position throughout the class and physical appearance of the horse will be evaluated.

  • Appearance and position of exhibitor

Appropriate Western attire must be worn.  Clothes and person are to be neat and clean.  The use of artificial aids is prohibited.  Exhibitors should be poised, confident, courteous and genuinely sportsmanlike at all times, quickly recognising and correcting faults in the positioning of the horse.  Leading, backing, turning and initiating the set up should be performed from the left side of the horse.  At no time should the exhibitor stand directly in front of the horse.  The exhibitor should not touch the horse in any way or cue the horse by the use of hands or feet at any time during the class.      

  • Appearance of the horse

The horse’s body condition and overall fitness should be assessed.  The coat should be clean, well brushed and in good condition.  The mane, tail, forelock and wither tuft must not contain ornaments (ribbons, bows, etc) but may be braided or banded.  The length of mane and tail may vary as long as they are neat, clean and free of tangles.  Hooves should be properly trimmed and, if shod, the shoes should fit correctly and clinches should be neat.  Hooves must be clean and may be painted black or with hoof dressings or shown naturally. Tack should fit properly and be neat, clean and in good repair. 

B.    PERFORMANCE (10 POINTS)

The exhibitor should perform the work accurately, precisely, smoothly and with a reasonable amount of speed.  Increasing speed of the work increases the degree of difficulty.  However, accuracy and precision should not be sacrificed for speed.  The horse should lead, stop, back, turn and set up willingly, briskly and readily with minimal visible or audible cueing.  A severe disobedience will not result in a disqualification but should be penalised severely and the exhibitor should not place above an exhibitor who completes the pattern correctly.  Excessive schooling or training, wilful abuse, loss of control of the horse by the exhibitor, failure to follow prescribed pattern, knocking over or working on the wrong side of the cones shall be cause for disqualification.

The horse should be led directly to and away from the Judge in a straight or curved line and track briskly and freely at the prescribed gait as instructed.  The horse’s head and neck should be straight and in line with the body.  The stop should be straight, prompt, smooth and responsive with the horse’s body remaining straight.  The horse should back up readily with the head, neck and body aligned in a straight or curved line as instructed.  On turns of greater than 90°, the ideal turn consists of the horse pivoting on the right hind leg while stepping across and in front of the right front leg with the left front leg.  The horse should be set up quickly with the feet squarely underneath the body.  The exhibitor does not have to reset a horse that stops square.

SUGGESTED FINAL SCORING shall be on a basis of 0 – 20 with an approximate breakdown as follows:-

20:        Excellent performance.  Completes the pattern accurately, quickly, smoothly and precisely  and demonstrates a high level of professionalism.  Horse is fit and groomed well.  Exhibitor is  neat, clean and appropriately dressed.

18-19:   Generally excellent performance with one minor fault in the execution of the pattern or in the appearance of the exhibitor or horse.  Overall execution of the pattern is excellent and exhibitor is highly professional.

16-17:   Good pattern execution with one or two minor faults in performance or appearance of  exhibitor and horse.  Exhibitor is reasonably professional in presentation of the horse.

14-15:   Average pattern that lacks quickness and precision or commits two or more minor faults in performance or appearance of exhibitor and horse.  Horse is not presented to its best advantage.

12-13:   One major fault or several minor faults in the performance and/or appearance that prevents  an effective presentation of the horse.

10-11:   Two major faults or many minor faults in the performance and/or appearance of exhibitor and horse.

6-9:       Several major faults or one severe fault in the performance and/or appearance of exhibitor  and horse. Exhibitor demonstrates complete lack of professionalism in showing the horse.

1-5:       Exhibitor commits one or more severe faults but does complete the class and avoids disqualification.

2.    WESTERN HORSEMANSHIP

Categories        Novice Youth – Novice Rider – Intermediate Amateur – Amateur – Open

The Western Horsemanship class is designed to evaluate the rider’s ability to execute, in concert with the horse, a set of manoeuvres prescribed by the Judge with precision and smoothness while exhibiting poise and confidence and maintaining a balanced, functional and fundamentally correct body position.  The ideal Horsemanship pattern is extremely precise with the rider and horse working in complete unison, executing each manoeuvre with subtle aids and cues.  It is mandatory that the Judge post any pattern to be worked at least one hour prior to the commencement of the first class.

All exhibitors must work individually.  The following gaits are acceptable in a pattern; walk, jog, trot, extended trot, lope or extended lope in a straight line, curved line, serpentine, circle or figure 8 or combination of these gaits and manoeuvres; stop, back in a straight or curved line; turn or pivot, including sidepass, two track or leg yield; flying or simple change of lead; counter canter; or any other manoeuvre; or ride without stirrups.  A back up should be asked for at some time during the class.  Judges should not ask exhibitors to mount or dismount as part of a pattern.

Exhibitors are to be scored from 0 to 20 with ½ point increments acceptable.  Ten points should be allocated towards the overall appearance of the exhibitor and horse and 10 points allocated towards the performance.

A.    OVERALL APPEARANCE OF EXHIBITOR AND HORSE (10 POINTS)

The exhibitor’s overall poise, confidence, appearance and position throughout the class as well as the physical appearance of the horse will be evaluated.

  • Appearance and position of exhibitor

Appropriate Western attire must be worn.  Clothes and person are to be neat and clean.

Basic Position – Maximum credit should be given to the rider who appears natural in the seat and rides with a balanced, functional and correct position regardless of the manoeuvre or gait being performed.  During the rail work and pattern the exhibitor should have a strong, secure and proper position.  Exhibitors should sit and maintain an upright position with the upper body at all gaits.  The rider should sit in the centre of the saddle and the horse’s back with the legs hanging to form a straight line from the ear through the centre of the shoulder and hip, touching the back of the heel or through the ankle.  The heel should be lower than the toes, with a slight bend in the knee and the lower leg should be directly under the knee.  The rider’s back should be flat, relaxed and supple.  An overly stiff and/or overly arched lower back will be penalised.  The shoulders should be back, level and square.  The rider’s base of support should maintain secure contact with the saddle from the seat to inner thigh.  Light contact should be maintained with the saddle and the horse from the knee to midcalf.  The knee should point forward and remain close with no space between the rider’s knee and saddle.  The exhibitor will be penalised for positioning the legs excessively behind or forward of the vertical position.  Regardless of the type of stirrup, the feet may be placed home in the stirrup, with the boot heel touching the stirrup, or may be placed with the ball of the foot in the centre of the stirrup.  The rider’s toes should be pointing straight ahead or slightly turned out with the ankles straight or slightly broken in.  Riding with toes only in the stirrup will be penalised. Those exhibitors who can maintain the proper position throughout all manoeuvres should receive more credit.  When riding without stirrups, the exhibitor should maintain the same position as previously described.

Hands – Both hands and arms should be held in a relaxed, easy manner with the upper arm(s) in a straight line with the body.  The arm(s) holding the reins should be bent at the elbow forming a line from the elbow to the horse’s mouth.  It is acceptable that the free hand and arm may be carried bent at the elbow in a similar position as the hand holding the reins or carried straight down at the rider’s side.  Some movement of the free arm is permissible but excessive pumping as well as excessive stiffness will be penalised.  When riding one-handed with a curb bit, the rider’s wrist is to be kept straight and relaxed with the hand held at about 30° to 45° inside the vertical.  The rein hand should be carried immediately above or slightly in front of the saddle horn.  The reins should be adjusted so as to have subtle control of the horse and at no time shall reins require more than a slight hand movement to control the horse.  Reins may be adjusted so that the rider has light contact with the horse’s mouth.  Excessively tight or loose reins will be penalised.

Head – The rider’s head should be held with the chin level and the eyes forward.  When circling, the rider should look slightly to the inside of the circle.  Never, at any time, should the rider’s chin be pointing dramatically over his or her inside shoulder looking excessively to the inside of the circle, nor should the rider look down at the horse’s head or shoulder.  Before the start, and upon completion of the pattern work, the exhibitor should glance at the Judge as a courtesy.  The exhibitor should not crowd the exhibitor next to or in front of him or her while working on the rail and should pass to the inside of the arena.  When reversing on the rail, the exhibitor should always reverse to the inside of the arena.

  • Appearance of Horse

The horse’s body condition and overall health and fitness should be assessed.  The horse should appear fit and carry weight appropriate for the body size.  A horse which appears sullen, dull, lethargic, emaciated, drawn or overly tired should be penalised according to severity. Tack should fit properly and be neat, clean and in good repair.   

B.    PERFORMANCE (10 POINTS)

The exhibitor should perform the work accurately, precisely, smoothly and with a reasonable amount of promptness.  Increasing speed of the manoeuvres performed increases the degree of difficulty.  However, accuracy and precision should not be sacrificed for speed.  Exhibitors who perform the pattern sluggishly and allow the horse to move without adequate impulsion, collection or cadence will be penalised.

The horse should perform all manoeuvres in the pattern willingly, briskly and readily with minimal visible or audible cueing.  Severe disobedience will not result in a disqualification but should be penalised severely and the exhibitor should not place above an exhibitor who completes the pattern correctly.  Failure to follow prescribed pattern, knocking over or working on the wrong side of the cones, excessive schooling or training or wilful abuse by the exhibitor is cause for disqualification.

The horse should tack straight, freely and at the proper cadence for the prescribed gait.  Transitions should be smooth and prompt in the pattern and on the rail and should be performed when called for on the rail.  The horse’s head and neck should be straight and in line with its body while performing straight lines and slightly arched to the inside on curved lines or circles.  Circles should be round and performed at the appropriate speed, size and location as requested in the pattern.  The counter canter should be performed smoothly with no changes in cadence or stride unless specified in the pattern.

The stop should be straight, square, prompt, smooth and responsive with the horse maintaining a straight body position throughout the manoeuvre.  The back should be smooth and responsive.

Turns should be smooth and continuous.  When performing a turn on the haunches, the horse should pivot on the inside hind leg and step across with the front legs.  A rollback is a stop and 180° turn over the hocks with no hesitation.  Backing during turns will be penalised severely.  The horse should step across with the front and hind legs when performing the sidepass, leg-yield and two-track.  The sidepass should be performed with the horse keeping the body straight while moving directly laterally in the specified direction.  When performing a leg-yield, the horse should move forward and laterally in a diagonal direction with the horse’s body arced opposite to the direction in which the horse is moving.  In the two-track, the horse should move forward and laterally in a diagonal direction with the horse’s body held straight or bent in the direction in which the horse is moving.

A simple or flying change of lead should be executed precisely in the specified number of strides and/or at the designated location.  A simple change of lead is performed by breaking to a walk or trot for one to three strides.  Flying changes should be simultaneous front and rear.  All changes should be smooth and timely.

Position of the exhibitor and performance of the horse and rider on the rail must be considered in the final placing.

SUGGESTED FINAL SCORING shall be on a basis of 0 – 20 with an approximate breakdown as follows:-

20:        Excellent equitation including body position and use of aids.  Pattern is performed promptly, precisely and smoothly.

18-19:   Generally excellent performance with one minor fault in appearance and position of exhibitor  or execution of the pattern (performance).

16-17:   Generally good pattern execution with one minor fault in precision or execution of pattern (performance) or appearance and position of exhibitor.

14-15:   Average pattern that lacks quickness and precision or rider has obvious equitation flaws which prevent effective horsemanship or commits two or more minor faults in performance  and position of exhibitor.

12-13:   One major fault or several minor faults in the performance and/or appearance that precludes effective communication with the horse.

10-11:   Two major faults or many minor faults in the performance and/or appearance and position of exhibitor.

6-9:       Several major faults or one severe fault in the performance and/or appearance of exhibitor.  Exhibitor demonstrates complete lack of riding ability or commits a severe fault in the  performance or appearance and position of exhibitor.

1-5:       Exhibitor commits one or more severe faults in the performance or appearance and position of exhibitor but does complete the class and avoids disqualification.

3.    WESTERN PLEASURE

Categories        Walk/Jog – Preliminary – Novice Youth – Youth – Novice Rider -Intermediate Amateur – Novice Horse – Amateur – Open

This class will be judged on the performance, condition and conformation of the horse.  However, a minimum of 20% of the judging shall be based on condition and conformation.  Entries will be penalised for excessive speed or being on wrong leads.

Horses to be shown at a walk, jog and lope on a reasonable loose rein without undue restraint.

  1. Horses must work both ways of the ring at all three gaits to demonstrate their ability with different leads.  At the option of the Judge, horses may be asked to extend the walk, jog or lope, one or both ways of the ring.  The Judge may ask all or just the top 15 horses to extend at the jog. However, never more than the top 15 horses may be asked to extend at the lope.  Riders should sit at the extended jog.  Horses are required to back easily and stand quietly.  Passing on the inside is permissible and should not be penalised so long as horses being passed are not interfered with and the horse maintains a proper, even cadence and rhythm.
  2. Horses are to be reversed to the inside (away from the rail).  They may be required to reverse at the walk or jog at the discretion of the Judge but shall not be asked to reverse at the lope.  On completion of the “reverse”, competitors should continue at the same pace being performed when asked to reverse.
  3. The Judge may ask for additional work of the same nature from any horse.  The Judge is not to ask for work other than that listed above.
  4. The rider shall not be required to dismount except in the event that the Judge wishes to check equipment.
  5. In the event of a large entry to this class, the Judge may ask for go-rounds to ensure the safety of the competitors.  In the event of go-rounds, the Judge must select the top 10 horses overall for the final to be worked on the rail together.

A good pleasure horse has a flowing stride of reasonable length in keeping with his conformation.  He should cover a reasonable amount of ground with little effort.  Ideally, he should have a balanced, flowing motion.  He should carry his head and neck in a relaxed, natural position.  He should not carry his head behind the vertical, giving the appearance of intimidation, or be excessively nosed out, giving a resistant appearance.  His head should be level, with his nose slightly in front of the vertical, having a bright expression with his ears alert.  He should be shown on a reasonably loose rein but with light contact and control.  He should be responsive, yet smooth in transitions when called for.  When asked to extend, he should move out with the same flowing motion.  Maximum credit should be given to the flowing, balanced and willing horse which gives the appearance of being fit and a pleasure to ride.

4.    WESTERN TRAIL

Categories        Novice Youth – Youth – Novice Rider – Intermediate Amateur – Novice Horse –  Amateur – Open

This class will be judged on the performance of the horse while negotiating the obstacles, with emphasis on manners, response to the rider and quality of movement.

Credit will be given to horses negotiating the obstacles with style, authority and some degree of speed, providing correctness is not sacrificed.  Horses should receive credit for showing attentiveness to the obstacles and the capability of picking their own way through the course when obstacles warrant it and willingly responding to the rider’s cues on more difficult obstacles.

Except for the novice rider section and junior or novice horses shown with hackamore or snaffle bit, only one hand may be used on reins, except that it is permissible to change hands to work an obstacle.

  • While a horse is in motion, the rider’s hands shall be clear of the horse and saddle.
  • Spurs or romal shall not be used forward of the cinch.

Horses must not be required to work on the rail.  However, the course must be designed to require each horse to show the three gaits (walk, jog and lope) somewhere between obstacles as part of its work.  Quality of movement and cadence should be considered as part of the manoeuvre score.

The course to be used must be posted at least one hour before the scheduled start time of the class.

Suggested scoring will be on the basis of zero to infinity, with 70 denoting an average performance.  Each obstacle will receive an obstacle score that should be added or subtracted from 70 and is subject to a penalty that should be subtracted.

Each obstacle will be scored on the following basis, ranging from minus 1½ to plus 1½:

  • – 1½ extremely poor
  • – 1 very poor
  • – ½ poor
  • 0  correct
  • + ½ good
  • + 1 very good
  • + 1½ excellent

Obstacle scores are to be determined and assessed independently of penalty points.

Penalties should be assessed per occurrence as follows:

½ point                       

  1. Each tick of a log, pole, cone or obstacle.

1 point            

  1. Each hit or stepping on a log, pole, cone or obstacle.
  2. Incorrect gait at walk or jog for two strides or less.
  3. Both front or hind feet in a single-strided slot or space.
  4. Skipping over or failing to step into required space.
  5. Split pole in lope-over.
  6. Failure to meet the correct strides on trot over and lope over obstacles.

3 points                       

  1. Break of gait at walk or jog for more than two strides.
  2. Out of lead or break of gait at lope (except when correcting an incorrect lead).
  3. Knocking down an elevated pole, cone, barrel, plant, obstacle, or severely disturbing obstacles.
  4. Stepping outside the confines of, falling or jumping off or out of, an obstacle with one foot.

5 points                       

  1. Dropping slicker or object required to be carried on the course.
  2. First refusal, baulk or attempting to evade an obstacle by shying or backing more than two strides away.
  3. Use of either hand to instil fear or praise.
  4. Letting go of gate or dropping rope gate.
  5. Blatant disobedience (kicking out, bucking, rearing, striking).
  6. Touching horse or saddle with free hand.
  7. Stepping outside the confines of, falling or jumping off or out of, an obstacle with more than one foot.
  8. Second refusal, baulk or attempting to evade an obstacle by shying or backing away.
  9. Failure to complete an obstacle.
  10. Failure to take correct line within or between obstacles.

Faults  which occur on the line of travel between obstacles  scored according to severity:

  1. 1.     Head carried too high.
  2. 2.     Head carried too low (tip of ear below the withers).
  3. 3.     Over-flexing or straining neck in head carriage so that the nose is carried behind the vertical.

A.    Mandatory obstacles are:

  1. Opening, passing through and closing a gate.  The design of the gate must not endanger horse or rider.
  2. Ride over at least four logs or poles.  These can be in a straight line, curved, zig-zag or raised.  The space between the logs is to be measured and the path the horse is to take should be the measuring point. The space for walk-overs shall be 20-24” (40-60cm); jog-overs  3’ to 3’6” (90 to 105cm): lope-overs 6’ to 7’ (1.8 to 2.1m).  Walk-overs may be elevated to 12” (30cm) and should be a minimum of 22” (55cm) apart. The height should be measured from the ground to the top of the element.  Jog-overs and lope-overs cannot be elevated but the spacing can be double or tripled.
  3. Backing obstacle:
  • Back horse through L, V, U, straight or similar shaped course, 28” (70cm) minimum space between poles; if elevated, the maximum height will be 24” (60cm), with 30” (75cm) minimum space between poles.
  • Back through and around three markers set either in a triangle or a line.
  • Wine glass. Beginning on either the right or the left of the centre cone, each rider will back across the starting line, proceed through the centre cones, turn without touching the base line, back through the centre cones and across the finish line on the side opposite to the side of entry.

B.    Optional obstacles are: (but not limited to)

  1. Water hazard (ditch or small pond).  No metal, concrete or slick bottom boxes will be used.
  2. Serpentine obstacle at walk or jog.  Spacing to be a minimum of 6’ for jog.
  3. Carry an object from one part of the arena to another. (Only objects which might be reasonably carried on a trail may be used.)
  4. Ride over wooden bridge, negotiated at walk only.  (Suggested minimum width shall be 36” (90cm) and at least 6’ (1.8m) long). Bridge should be sturdy and safe.
  5. Put on and remove slicker.
  6. Remove and replace materials from mailbox.
  7. Side pass (may be elevated to 12” maximum).  Over obstacle is optional.
  8. An obstacle consisting of four logs or rails, each 5’ to 7’ (1.5 to 2m) long, laid in a square.  Each contestant will enter the square by riding over a log or rail as designated.  When all four feet are inside the square, the rider will execute a turn as indicated by the pattern and depart.

Any other safe and negotiable obstacle which could reasonably be expected to be encountered on a trail ride, and meets the approval of the Judge, may be used.  A combination of two or more of any of the obstacles is acceptable.

C.    Unacceptable obstacles:

  1. Ground tie.
  2. Tyres.
  3. Animals
  4. Hides.
  5. PVC pipe.
  6. Dismounting.
  7. Jumps.
  8. Rocking or moving the bridges.
  9. Water box with floating or moving parts.
  10. Flames, dry ice, fire extinguisher, etc.
  11. Logs or poles elevated in a manner that permits such to roll.
  12. Metal, concrete and slick bottom water hazards.

The Judge has the right and duty to alter the course in any manner or to remove any obstacle he/she deems to be unsafe.

5.    WESTERN REINING

Categories        Novice Youth – Youth – Novice Rider – Intermediate Amateur – Novice Horse – Amateur – Open

In an approved Reining class, any approved NRHA pattern may be used.  One of these patterns is to be selected by the Judge of the class and used by all contestants in the class.  In addition, the WES Novice Rider pattern will be used for the Novice Rider class.

Each contestant will perform the required pattern individually and separately.  All horses will be judged immediately upon entering the arena and judging will cease after the last manoeuvre.  Any fault incurred prior to the commencement of a pattern will be scored accordingly.

To rein a horse is not only to guide him but to control his every movement.  The best reined horse should be willingly guided or controlled with little or no apparent resistance and dictated to completely.  Any movement on his own must be considered a lack of control.  All deviations from the exact written pattern must be considered a lack of/or temporary loss of control and, therefore, a fault that must be marked down according to severity of deviation.  After deducting all faults set here within, against execution of the pattern and the horse’s overall performance, credit will be given for smoothness, finesse, attitude, quickness and authority in performing the various manoeuvres, while using controlled speed which raises the difficulty level and makes him more exciting and pleasing to watch to an audience.

Scoring will be on the basis of zero to infinity, with 70 denoting an average performance.  The individual manoeuvres are scored in ½ point increments from a low of -1½ to a high of +1½ with a score of 0 denoting a manoeuvre that is correct with no degree of difficulty.

A.    The following will result in a no-score:

  1. Abuse of an animal in the show arena and/or evidence that an act of abuse has occurred prior to or during the exhibition of the horse in competition.
  2. Use of illegal equipment including wire on bits, bosals or curb chains.
  3. Use of illegal bits, bosals or curb chains.
  4. Use of tack collars, tie downs or nose bands.
  5. Use of whips or bats.
  6. Use of any attachment which alters the movement of or circulation to the tail.
  7. Failure to dismount and/or present horse and equipment to the appropriate Judge for inspection.
  8. Disrespect or misconduct by exhibitor.
  9. The Judge(s) may excuse a horse at any time while in the arena for unsafe conditions or improper exhibition pertaining to both the horse and/or rider.

B.    The following will result in a score of zero:

  1. Use of more than index or first finger between reins.
  2. Use of two hands (except where a snaffle bit or hackamore is allowed) or changing hands.
  3. Use of free hand while holding the romal to alter the tension or length of the reins from the bridle to the reining hands, other than where the pattern allows for a complete stop.
  4. Failure to complete pattern as written.
  5. Performing the manoeuvres other than in the specified order.
  6. The inclusion of manoeuvres not specified, including but not limited to:-
  • Backing more than two strides.
  • Turning more than 90°.

(Exception:  a complete stop in the first quarter of a circle after a canter departure is not to be considered an inclusion of a manoeuvre; a 2 point break of gait penalty will apply.)

  1. Equipment failure that delays completion of the pattern including dropping a rein that comes in contact with the ground while the horse is in motion.
  2. Baulking or refusal of command where pattern is delayed.
  3. Running away or failing to guide where it becomes impossible to discern whether the entry is on pattern.
  4. Jogging in excess of ½ circle or ½ the length of the arena.
  5. Over spins of more than ¼ turn.
  6. Fall to ground by horse or rider.
  7. Kicking at other horses, exhibitors or Judge.

C.    The following will result in a penalty of five points:

  1. Spurring in front of the cinch.
  2. Use of the free hand to instil fear or praise.
  3. Holding saddle or touching horse with either hand.
  4. Blatant disobedience including, but not limited to, rearing, bucking or pawing.

D.    The following will result in a penalty of two points:

  1. Freeze up in spins or rollbacks.
  2. On walk in patterns, failure to stop or walk before executing a canter departure.
  3. On run in patterns, failure to be in a canter prior to the first marker.
  4. If a horse does not completely pass the specified marker before initiating a stop.

Starting or performing circles or eights out of lead will be judged as follows:

Each time a horse is out of lead, a Judge is required to apply a one point penalty.  The penalty for being out of lead is accumulative and the Judge will deduct one penalty point for each quarter of the circumference of a circle or any part thereof that a horse is out lead.  A Judge is required to penalise a horse ½ point for a delayed change of lead by one stride.

  1. Deduct ½ point for starting circle at a jog or exiting rollbacks at a jog up to two strides.  Jogging beyond two strides but less than ½ circle or ½ the length of the arena, deduct two points.
  2. Deduct ½ point for over or under spinning up to one eighth of a turn; deduct 1 point for over or under spinning from one eighth to one quarter turn.
  3. A ½ point penalty deduction will be given for failure to maintain a minimum of 20 feet from the wall or fence when approaching a stop and/or rollback.
  4. Where a change of lead is specified immediately prior to a run to the end of the arena, failure to change lead, will be penalised as follows:
  •  Failure to change leads by one stride – ½ point.
  • Failure to change leads beyond one stride but where lead change is completed prior to next manoeuvre – 1 point.
  • Lead is not changed prior to the next manoeuvre – 2 points.
In patterns requiring a run-around, failure to be on the correct lead when rounding the end of the arena will be penalised as follows:
  • For half the turn or less – 1 point.
  • For more than half the turn – 2 points.

The following is a description of a Reining pattern (Novice Rider Reining Pattern)

Ride pattern as follows:

Horses must walk or stop prior to starting pattern.

  1. Starting at the centre marker, make a large fast circle to right on the right lead.
  2. Draw the circle down to a small slow circle until you reach the centre marker; stop.
  3. Perform two spins to the right at the centre marker; at the end of the spins the horse should be facing the left wall; slight hesitation.
  4. Begin on left lead and make a large fast circle.
  5. Then a small slow circle, again drawing it down to the centre of the arena; stop; no hesitation on these stops.
  6. Perform two spins to the left; slight hesitation. The horse should be facing the left wall.
  7. Take a right lead and make a fast figure eight over the large circles, close the eight and change leads.
  8. Begin a large fast circle to the right but do not close this circle.  Run down the right side of the arena past the marker and do a left roll back at least 20 feet (6 meters) from the wall or fence – no hesitation.
  9. Continue back around the previous circle but do not close this circle.  Run down the left side of the arena past the centre and do a right roll back at least 20 feet (6 meters) from the wall or fence – no hesitation.
  10. Continue back around the previous circle but do not close this circle.  Run down the right side of the arena past the centre marker and do a sliding stop least 20 feet (6 meters) from the wall or fence. Back up at least 10 feet (3 meters). Hesitate to show completion of pattern.

6.    FREESTYLE  REINING

Reining manoeuvres originated from moves that a cow horse must use in performing its duties and have been refined to the high level of competition existing today.  Freestyle Reining not only provides an opportunity to use these manoeuvres creatively but also to expand them to music by means of choreography.  Riders are encouraged to use musical scores which permit them to show the athletic ability of the horse in a crowd-appealing way.

WES rules will apply except where the following rules pre-empt same.

Required manoeuvres will be defined as follows:

  1. A minimum of four consecutive spins to the right.
  2. A minimum of four consecutive spins to the left.
  3. A minimum of three stops.
  4. A minimum of one lead change at the canter from right to left.
  5. A minimum of one lead change at the canter from left to right.

Exhibitors will only be judged astride.

Exhibitors are allowed to use two hands (as well as one or no hands) and any bit approved by the WES rulebook, including snaffle bits and bosals.

Time Limit:  A maximum of four minutes including any introductions.  The time limit will be from the beginning of the music or from the beginning of the introduction (whichever is first) and will end with the music.

Costumes:  Permitted but not required.  Emphasis is placed on performing the reining manoeuvres to music.

Props:  Permitted but at no time may they hinder the Judge’s view of the horse.  The use of props will not add to the score.

7.    WESTERN RIDING

Categories        Novice Youth – Youth – Novice Rider – Intermediate Amateur – Novice Horse – Amateur – Open

Western Riding is an event where the horse is judged on quality of gaits, lead changes at the lope, response to the rider, manners and disposition.  The horse should perform with reasonable speed and be sensible, well-mannered, free and easy moving.

Credit shall be given for the emphasis placed on smoothness, even cadence of gaits (i.e. starting and finishing pattern with the same cadence) and the horse’s ability to change leads precisely, easily and simultaneously, both hind and front, at the centre point between markers.  The horse should have a relaxed head carriage showing response to the rider’s hands with a moderate flexion at the poll.  He should not carry his head behind the vertical, giving the appearance of intimidation, or be excessively nosed out, giving a resistant appearance.  Horses may be ridden with light contact or on a reasonably loose rein.  The horse should cross the log both at the jog and the lope without breaking gait or radically changing stride.

Scoring will be on a basis of 0 to 70 with 70 denoting an average performance.

Scoring guidelines to be considered: Points will be added or subtracted from the manoeuvres on the following basis, ranging from plus 1½ to minus 1½:

  1. + 1½ excellent
  2. + 1 very good
  3. + ½ good
  4. 0  average
  5. – ½ poor
  6. – 1 very poor
  7. – 1½ extremely poor

Manoeuvre points are to be determined independently of penalty points.

A contestant shall be penalised each time the following occurs:

Five points                  

  1. Out of lead beyond the next designated change area. (note: failure to change, including cross-cantering.  Two consecutive failures to change would result in two five (5) point penalties.)
  2. Blatant disobedience including kicking out, biting, bucking and rearing.
  3. Holding saddle or touching horse with either hand.

Three points                

  1. Not performing the specific gait (jog or lope) or stopping when called for in the pattern, within 10 feet (3m) of the designated area.
  2. Incorrect change of lead.
  3. Out of lead at or before the marker prior to the designated change area or out of lead at or after the marker after the designated change area.
  4. Additional lead changes anywhere in pattern (except when correcting an extra lead change or incorrect lead).
  5. In patterns 1 and 3, failure to start the lope within 30 feet (9m) after crossing the log at the jog.
  6. Break of gait at walk or jog for two or more strides.
  7. Break of gait at the lope.

One point                    

  1. Hitting or rolling log.
  2. Out of lead more than one stride either side of the centre point and between markers.
  3. Splitting the log (log between the two front or two hind feet) at the lope.
  4. Break of gait at the walk or jog up to two strides.

Half a point                 

  1. Tick or light touch of log.
  2. Hind legs skipping or coming together during lead change.
  3. Non simultaneous lead change. (Front to hind or hind to front).

Credits

  1. Changes of leads, hind and front simultaneously.
  2. Changes at designated point.
  3. Accurate and smooth pattern.
  4. Even pace throughout.
  5. Easy to guide and control with rein and leg.
  6. Manners and disposition.
  7. Conformation and fitness.

8.  VERSATILE HORSE

Categories        Novice Youth – Youth – Novice Rider – Intermediate Amateur – Novice Horse –                             Amateur – Open

Horses any age ridden one-handed with a curb bit.  Flying changes mandatory.  Junior horses (aged 3 to 5 years inclusive) may be ridden two-handed in a snaffle or hackamore.

The following is a description of a Versatile Horse pattern

  1. Open and pass through gate.
  2. Jog over four logs.
  3. Back through L, side pass L shape (either way).
  4. Lope on left lead
  5. Perform a serpentine through the cone changing leads.
  6. Extend jog from A to B.
  7. Jog from B to C.
  8. Extend jog from C to D.
  9. Lope ½ large circle right then small slow circle.
  10. Stop; perform two right spins at E.
  11. Lope on left lead one small circle.
  12. Stop; perform two left spins at F.
  13. Lope on right lead with speed ¾ circle and run to end cone and stop.
  14. Back up a minimum of 10 feet.

Leave the arena.

Scoring will be on a basis of 0 to 100 with 70 denoting an average performance.

Scoring will be as follows:

Manoeuvres

1 – 3     as Trail

4 – 5     as Western Riding

4 – 5     as Pleasure

9 – 14   as Reining

That gives you the low down on what the Show Rules are and now if you want to see an example of a Show Schedule then click this link  http://www.blackfordglen.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/images/2011-Show-Schedule.pdf