We are adding the Ranch Horse Pleasure class to our show bill this year! Below you will find the rules for Ranch Horse Pleasure as well as a couple of helpful links to help you get the best ride.
The exhibitor cannot show the same horse in Ranch Horse Pleasure and Western Pleasure at the same show.
Appointments are the same as for western horsemanship (except no leg protection is allowed on the horse).
The horse should be shown as naturally as possible. Banded or braided manes, braided tails, tie-in tails, and or/extensions are not allowed.
Ranch horse pleasure classes are judged on manners, quality of movement and responsiveness to the rider.
A ranch pleasure horse should have a free-flowing stride of reasonable length in keeping with his confirmation and covering a reasonable amount of ground with little effort. Ideally, he should have a balanced, flowing motion while exhibiting correct gaits with proper cadence and rhythm. The quality of the movement and consistency of the gaits is a major consideration. An exhibitor should not be penalized for picking up the reins or moving the horse's body if the horse is soft, willing, and free of resistance, but should receive credit. Horse should be credited for softness when picking up through transitions, departures, stops and backs. (This should not be confused with constant pulling and jerking around the arena as this shall be faulted according to severity.) A willing horse will not wring their tail, or be blatantly disobedient to the rider's cues or demands. The horse should drive off his hind quarters using it as the driving force for his body. Horse should not carry his head behind the vertical, giving the appearance of intimidation, or be excessively nosed out, giving the appearance of resistance. He should have a bright expression with his ears alert. He should be shown on a reasonable 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. Horse's expression should be alert, mannerly without the appearance of a dull, sullen, lethargic, drawn or overly tired attitude. Maximum credit should be to a flowing, balanced and willing horse that gives the appearance of being fit, alert and a pleasure to ride and a horse that possesses great athletic ability and being agile.
All entries must be worked at a walk, jog and lope, both directions of the ring. All gaits should be performed at a working speed. Passing is permissible and should not be penalized as long as the horse maintains a proper and even cadence and rhythm. Entries are to reverse to the inside (away from the rail) at either the walk or the jog at the judge's discretion. Horses are required to back easily and stand quietly.
Finalists must be asked to back. Any other entries in a class may be backed at the judge's discretion.
The judge may ask for an extended walk or jog. The extended jog may be ridden by sitting in the saddle, posting, or standing in the stirrups.
The Walk (10%) is a flowing, four-beat gait. The horse should be relaxed yet bright and attentive, with a level top line. There should be an obvious lengthening in stride with the extended walk.
The Jog (30%) is a definite, consistent two-beat diagonal gait. The horse should have a bright and alert expression and exhibit more lift and self-carriage while being soft with its motion. The extended jog has obviously lengthening of stride with a slight increase in pace while exerting less effort. Cadence and balance with smoothness are more essential than speed.
The Lope (40%) is a three-beat gait in which the horse rounds its back and has a strong, deep stride and a flat swing with its front legs. It is relaxed, yet alert and confident in appearance.
Manners (10%) The horse should be quiet on the bit, under control and work willingly without being sour.
Responsiveness (10%) The horse should be quiet on the bit, under control and work willingly. The horse should back, showing submission to the rider and in a straight line.
Penalties for ranch pleasure are cumulative and are subtracted from the overall score:
Wrong lead up to five strides...................1 to 5 points Wrong lead after five strides................10 to 20 points Failure to get a true gait.................................10 points Failure to get a gait.........................................20 points
Causes for Elimination
Improper attire or equipment Two hands or changing hands on the reins