This event evaluates the ability of the hunter rider to perform various maneuvers on his or her horse which provides a base for natural progression to over-fence classes.
Tests an amateur or youth’s ability to ride, not solely the performance of the horse.
Contestants may work a predetermined pattern and/or perform rail work.
Emphasizes the ability to sit correctly, hold the correct riding posture, and control the horse precisely with subtle cues.
Judging is based on performance of patterns, posting trot, two-point position, and hand gallop.
Patterns may consist of maneuvers such as:
Travel in a figure-8 pattern
Posting on correct diagonal
The Posting Trot
Evaluated at the trot
Rider must rise and fall (post) with the leg on the wall
A three-beat, lengthened canter ridden in a two-point position
This event is scored from 0 to 100, with 70 as an average performance.
90-100: Excellent equitation, including body position and use of aids. Completes pattern accurately, quickly, smoothly, and precisely; demonstrates a high level of professionalism
80-89: Very good rider who executes the pattern as well as correct equitation and use of aids. Excellent rider who commits a minor fault, or an excellent rider who commits a major fault.
70-79: Good pattern execution and average equitation but lacking the adequate style and professional presentation to merit elevating to the next scoring range. A very good rider who commits a minor fault.
60-69: Fair pattern that lacks quickness or precision. Rider has obvious position and/or appearance faults that prevent effective equitation. A good rider who commits one minor fault, or a very good rider who commits a major fault in the performance of the pattern.
50-59: One major fault or multiple minor faults in the performance. A rider who demonstrates a lack of riding ability and knowledge of correct body position.
40-49: Severe fault, two or more major faults, or multiple minor faults in the performance that demonstrate a lack of riding ability and knowledge of correct body position.
10-39: Exhibitor commits more than one severe fault or multiple major faults in the performance, exhibits poor riding skills but completes the class and avoids disqualification.
Break of gait at walk or trot up to two strides
Over- or under-turn of 1/8 of the prescribed turn
Break of gait, out of lead, missing lead or diagonal for one to two strides
Not stopping within 10 feet of designated area
Incorrect gait or break of gait at walk or trot for more than two strides
Obvious looking for lead or diagonal
Over- or under-turn more than 1/8 of prescribed turn, but not more than 1/4 turn
Head carried too high or too low
Over-flexing or straining the neck in head carriage so the nose is carried behind the vertical
Excessive nosing out
Loss of iron or rein
Break of gait at canter, out of lead, or missing lead or diagonal for more than two strides
Lack of contact between rider's hand and bit
Touching horse or any part of the saddle
Cropping or spurring in front of the shoulder
Head carried too high or too low
Kicking other horses, exhibitors, or judges, or other disobedience
Excessive nosing out, over-flexing, or straining the neck
Fall by horse or rider
Failure to wear correct number in visible manner
Illegal use of hands on reins
Knocking over cone
Excessive schooling or training
Working on the wrong side of the cone
Never performing the specified gait
Turning more than ¼ turn beyond specified number of turns