General Western or English wear is requested for all classes except Costume. Western shirts with short or no sleeves is acceptable. Show judge has final say on appropriate attire. Riders must wear heeled footwear when saddled in all events except Costume Classes. Blouses and short sleeved business shirts with ties are also acceptable. Jeans with holes, shorts, t-shirts, or sleeveless shirts such as "wife beaters" could result in your entry being disqualified at the judge's or show runner's discretion.
Helmets are not required while mounted, but are strongly encouraged.
Horses are expected to be well groomed. In case of Halter or Color classes, bathing is suggested but not required so long as the horse is clean and show no obvious stains or marks. Small injuries and scars, such as bites, scratches, etc. are should be pointed out to the judge on the video so that they are not mistaken as markings. Mane and tail should be well groomed and flowing. Loose braids are allowed but not recommended, nor is clipping. Judging includes the horse's natural hair growth. If a bridle or saddle path is needed to be clipped for other activities, or for health reasons, PLEASE EXPLAIN IN THE VIDEO TO AVOID BEING DOCKED. Painting your horse, or decorating the mane or tail with feathers or beads, is allowed as long as it does not interfere with the judge viewing your horse.
Horses may be shown in any humane tack up to and including English, Western, Endurance, or Australian stock saddle. This includes most bit and bitless bridle set-ups. As long as the horse is in control, responsive, and not in pain, then the rig is most likely allowed. At this time, the only set-ups not allowed are riding with a halter, bareback pads of any kind, or bareback. Any exhibitor who submits any video of a horse in distress or in pain will be disqualified.
Each class will include recommendations on camera placement. Most will require a fair amount of either camera or horse movement (sometimes both). It's recommended you have a second person film for you, but if you can't, use a stand or whatever is available to you - you won't be penalized. Just do your best, and have fun!
That said, please remember the judges MUST see the horse and exhibitor in their entirety at ALL TIMES. This means no cutting off hooves, ears, heads, or tails. All of these events can be filmed in a arena or a pasture - however, please make sure there is no fence between the camera and the subject. All videos should be taken inside the arena/pen/pasture, not outside. Grass should be low enough that hooves can be seen both standing still and while in motion.
NO VIDEO EDITING IS ALLOWED. No splicing, no voiceovers, no transitions. The preference is to have one take consisting of your entire entry, from beginning to end. However, things do happen, so up to 2 breaks in the same video is allowed, so long as recording picks back up quickly. You can't start recording one afternoon, then resume recording the next morning. Because of no editing, please be sure to speak LOUDLY and CLEARLY so that your information is picked up. Take as many practice videos as you like before submitting your final product as your entry. All videos are to be uploaded to YouTube or Dropbox and the link sent to the show email address. The email address will be provided with your invoice after entry.
Because exhibitors are expected to be able to trot along side their horse, shoes - including tennis shoes, sneakers, and running shoes - are allowed in this class. The show does need to remain closed toe and, if it includes laces, properly laced with nothing unsafely dragging the ground. Judges want to see lots of horse movement and extension - wear something you feel comfortable running in!
Note: For those who cannot run well, options are available. See below.
See above for grooming requirements. Tack should consist only of a halter and lead rope, or the bare minimum it takes to safely control your horse. Rope halters and bronco halters are allowed. As long as the halter is humane, safe, and does not stop the judge from viewing the horse's head, it is allowed. An "old" halter will not be looked down on, but it is recommended that clean tack be used. You may carry a whip to encourage trotting in hand, not not to be used for excessive discipline.
For the first part of the video, you will introduce yourself and your horse. Please use the same names you entered the show under. You will give a full view of your horse starting from the left side, and then moving clockwise a view of the front, right side, and then rear. Your horse must be standing square and level as well as relatively still for this process, as judges will be looking for conformation. Do NOT cut off hooves, head, or tail during filming.
For the second part of the video, trot your horse in hand directly away from the camera approx. 15 feet, stop, calmly turn, and then trot your horse directly back towards the camera. An extended trot is encouraged, but do not break gait into a lope. The judge is looking for movement and extension.
If you cannot run quickly enough to keep with your horse, you may 1) ask another individual to trot out your horse or, 2) lunge your horse once in each direction. If choosing to lunge, please make LARGE circles so as to not cause your horse to short stride.
For the conformation portion, the camera should either be held by an individual and then moved clockwise around the horse, starting with the left side. Each area (left, front, right, and rear) should get a few seconds in frame minimum before moving on. If the camera is to remain stationary, the horse can be moved and squared up for each of the four areas in frame.
For the movement portion, rather the camera is held or stationary, simply place on a flat, level area where you have room to trot away and back. The full horse must be in frame, from hoof to ear, during the trot. If needing to lunge, move camera back enough so that the entire circle is in frame.
These classes are judged primarily on authenticity. For Frontier Period, the range stretches from Colonial Spanish times in the New World 1492 to the 1920s. Common costumes for this class have been cowboys, mountain men, gamblers, poor town children, ladies of the evening, and Civil War soldiers. Uncommon costumes have been pirates, gypsies, carpet baggers, Conquistadors, and rodeo vaqueros. For Native American costume, any North American tribe which utilized the horse is eligible up until the1920s. Plains tribes of the United States are common, particularly Crow and Blackfoot.
When putting your costume together, remember that synthetic materials are not period correct. Materials that are safe to stick with include (but are not limited to) cotton, linen, satin, silk, and leather. Metal should be brass, bronze, tin, iron, or carbon steel - stainless steel did not exist yet (the only exception to this rule are swords and guns, so long as they are the correct model or design for the character and time period.)
It's suggested you look up the styles of the time your character is from for best accuracy. However, if you don't have much, you don't need much - this class has been won by very ornate costumes, as well as simple costumes such as "a poor barefoot child in a cotton shirt and torn jeans riding their horse in a rope halter to the fishing hole." The rope halter was made out of hemp bailing rope and the fishing pole a stick they found outside the arena and untwined bailing rope. So use what you have!
Exhibitors are expected to present their costumes. At bare minimum, they will need to introduce themselves, their horse, and what year (and possibly tribe) their costume is from, as well as the inspiration for the costume. (Please use the same names you entered the show under.) However, the more details provided, the better. Is this a historic person? What were they known for? Some people enjoy becoming the character and "acting out" a brief synopsis of their life story, fact or fiction. Providing as much detail about who - and when - you are representing in the costume matters and can help a judge split a tie.
Exhibitors will be expected to present themselves and their horses in full costume. Please use the same names you entered the show under. Costumes may be ridden or presented in hand, though it is highly recommended that if presented in hand a reason be given. (IE: You are a mountain man and your horse is merely packing your supplies and furs; or you are trainer but your horse took a fall and now your saddle is broken and unable to be ridden, etc.) First present yourself and your horse to the camera and, speaking loudly and clearly, present your story in 5 minutes or less. Show all four sides of your and your horse’s costume in clockwise order beginning with the left side (left, front, right, rear), taking time to show any details that help reinforce the story you’ve presented. This could be anything from maker’s marks on saddles, family Bibles, detail on clothing or tack, what is being carried in pouches, etc.
After the detail of the costume has been shown, you will need to walk one circle no smaller than 50 ft in circumference (about 15.25 m). Do not pick up anything that may fall. After walking, reverse and trot the same size circle in the opposite direction. This may be filmed in an arena, pasture, or round pen so long as it is level.
For the presentation portion, the camera should either be held by an individual and then moved clockwise around the horse, starting with the left side. Each area (left, front, right, and rear) should get a several seconds in frame minimum before moving on. Feel free to linger while showing specific details. If the camera is to remain stationary, the horse can be moved and squared up for each of the four areas in frame.
For the movement portion, rather the camera is held or stationary, simply place on a flat, level area. The full horse must be in the video, from hoof to ear, during initial story presentation and while walking and trotting.
See above for grooming requirements. Tack should consist only of a halter and lead rope, or the bare minimum it takes to safely control your horse. Rope halters and bronco halters are allowed. As long as the halter is humane, safe, and does not stop the judge from viewing the horse's head, it is allowed. An "old" halter will not be looked down on, but it is recommended that clean tack be used.
You will introduce yourself and your horse. Please use the same names you entered the show under. Explain to the camera in a loud, clear voice what color your horse is. You will give a full view of your horse starting from the left side, and then moving clockwise a view of the front, right side, and then rear. While showing your horse, be sure to show any unique markings your horse has. Your horse must be standing square and level as well as relatively still for this process. Do NOT cut off hooves, head, or tail during filming.
Please bear in mind that this is a Judge's Preference class. The horse color the judge likes best wins - so make the judge see how awesome your horse is!
For the conformation portion, the camera should either be held by an individual and then moved clockwise around the horse, starting with the left side. Each area (left, front, right, and rear) should get a few seconds in the frame minimum before moving on. If the camera is to remain stationary, the horse can be moved and squared up for each of the four areas in frame.
All humane forms of riding tack and preferred riding styles are allowed, as long as the pattern is completed safely. Unlike other reining classes, you are allowed to use two hands to control your horse, and sliding stops are not preferred over a controlled, smooth slowing. Tie downs are not allowed. Any exhibitor who submits any video of a horse in distress or in pain will be disqualified.
Helmets are not required but are strongly encouraged, especially for riders under 18.
Judges will be looking for the horse and rider team that can complete the pattern for their class with the least number of faults. For gaited horses, slow gait and road gait are acceptable substitutes for working trot and extended trot, respectively, and will not be faulted for performing a gait instead of a trot. Breaking gait from a trot/gait into a lope or walk, however, when the pattern does not call for it, would be considered a fault. Patterns will often call for flying lead changes, stops, and backing. This class is designed to show the responsiveness and athletic ability of the team based on a designated pattern established by the judge.
Begin by introducing yourself and your horse loudly and clearly to the camera. Please use the same names you entered under. Then begin the pattern. The pattern for each class will be different. These patterns can be downloaded as PDFs below. Each pattern will include suggested camera placement. However, it is up to you to be able to get the best view of you and your horse given the terrain you have to work with. Patterns are drawn with the assumption of an arena – however, exhibitors can create makeshift arenas in available pastures. A common arena size in the US is 80 ft (24.384 m) wide x 200 ft (60.96 m) long. Work with what is available to you, but be sure that you can capture the entirety of your performance with as little to no other distractions (such as fence) between your team and the camera.
Youth riders under 8 may be lead.
Each pattern will have a suggested camera placement. Depending on where and when you film your pattern, you may find a different placement will work better. It is STRONGLY recommended that this be filmed by a second person so that adjustments can be made continuously to keep you both in frame while your team is in motion.