judging the performance horse n.
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  2. Possible Classes • Western Pleasure • Hunter Under Saddle • Hunter Hack • Reining • Western Riding • Hunt Seat Equitation • Western Horsemanship • Trail

  3. Western Pleasure • Western Pleasure is one of the most popular show events. • A top western pleasure horse should be as the name implies: • a pleasure to ride

  4. Western Pleasure • Contestants compete simultaneously (all at once) • Travel around the perimeter of the arena • Walk, jog and lope • Both directions of the arena.

  5. Criteria used to evaluate performance horses • Functional correctness • Attitude and Manners • Willingness • Broke ness • Quality of movement • Head set and head carriage

  6. Functional correctness • Follows all the rules! • Horse picks up and maintains proper gait • Each gait is correct and true • Proper upward and downward transitions • Maintaining a proper rate of speed • Soundness

  7. Quality of Movement • Gaits must be performed with proper cadence and balance • Softness • Horse maintains a level top line • Horse maintains a collected frame

  8. Attitude and Manners • Ask the question: Which horse is the steadies, brokest, most consistent horse in the class? • Willingness/Broke-ness • Attitude and temperament • Prompt response with no resistance

  9. Head set and head carriage • Head Carriage: how the neck is carried in relationship to the body. • The poll must be level or above the withers. • Head set: how the head hangs off the neck. • The face must be at or in front of the vertical.

  10. Head Set Head Carriage

  11. A good pleasure horse… • has a free-flowing stride of reasonable length • in keeping with his conformation • should cover a reasonable amount of ground with little effort

  12. A good pleasure horse… • should have a balanced, flowing motion • will exhibit correct gaits that are of proper cadence

  13. A good pleasure horse… • should carry his head and neck in a relaxed, natural position • poll level with or slightly above the level of the withers • face should be level with his nose slightly in front of the vertical • has a bright expression with his ears alert

  14. A good pleasure horse… • should be shown on a loose rein • should be responsive and smooth in transitions • should extend in the same flowing motion

  15. Terminology: the Walk • The walk is a natural, flat footed, four beat gait. • The horse must move straight and true at the walk. • The walk must be alert • The stride must be of a reasonable length in keeping with the size of the horse

  16. Terminology: the Jog • A smooth, ground covering two beat diagonal gait • Horse works from one pair of diagonals to the other pair • Square, balanced, straight forward movement of feet • Extended jog shows same smoothness

  17. Terminology: the Lope • The lope is an easy rhythmical three beat gait • Horses moving to left should be on left lead • Horses moving to right should be on right lead • Natural stride should appear relaxed and smooth • Ridden at a speed that is a natural way of going

  18. Disqualification • Changing hands on reins • More than index finger between reins • Head too low for more than five strides

  19. Faults to be scored according to severity • Excessive speed • Wrong lead • Breaking gait

  20. Faults to be scored according to severity • Excessive slowness, loss of forward momentum • Failure to take the appropriate gait when called for • Touching horse or saddle with free hand

  21. Faults to be scored according to severity • Head carried too high • Head carried too low • Over flexing or straining neck in head carriage so the nose is carried behind the vertical

  22. Faults to be scored according to severity • Excessive nosing out • Opening mouth excessively • Stumbling • Use of spurs forward of the cinch

  23. Faults to be scored according to severity • Sullen, dull, lethargic, emaciated, drawn or overly tired • Quick, choppy or pony strided • Reins draped to the point that light contact is not maintained • Tail: excessive movement/ “dead” tail