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.
Beginning in 2019, new scoring recommendations will be implemented for showmanship, horsemanship, and equitation.
The scoring range will be from 0 to infinity with an average score being 70
Manuever scores will range from +3 to -3
Scoring range: extremely poor -3, very poor -2, poor -1, average 0, good +1, very good +2, excellent +3
Recommended for patterns to have 6 to 10 maneuvers to score
Rider Form and Effectiveness (F&E) will be scored on a range of 0 to +5
Penalty range: minor penalty -3, major penalty -5, severe penalty -10
Minor faults (-3)
Break of gait at walk or trot up to two strides
Over- or under-turn of 1/8 to 1/4
Tick or hit of cone
Obviously looking down to check leads or diagonals
Major faults (-5)
Not performing the specific gait or not stopping when called for in the pattern within 10 feet of the designated location
Missing a diagonal up to 2 strides in the pattern or on the rail
Incorrect gait or break of gait (except when correcting an incorrect lead) at the canter
Complete loss of contact between rider's hand and the horse's mouth
Break of gait at walk or trot for more than two strides
Loss of iron
Head carried too low and/or clearly behind the vertical while the horse is in motion, showing the appearance of intimidation
Severe faults (-10)
Loss of rein
Missing a diagonal for more than two strides
Use of either hand to instill fear or praise while on pattern or during rail work
Holding saddle with either hand
Spurring or use of crop in front of girth
Blatant disobedience including kicking, pawing, bucking, and rearing