Ranch Riding

The purpose of the ranch riding class is to measure the ability of the horse to be a pleasure to ride while being used as a means of conveyance from performing one ranch task to another. The horse should reflect the versatility, attitude and movement of a working ranch horse riding outside the confines of an arena. The horse should be well-trained, relaxed, quiet, soft and cadenced at all gaits. The ideal ranch riding horse will travel with forward movement and demonstrate an obvious lengthening of stride at extended gaits. The horse can be ridden with light contact or on a relatively loose rein without requiring undue restraint, but not shown on a full drape of reins. The overall manners and responsiveness of the ranch riding horse to make timely transitions in a smooth and correct manner, as well as the quality of the movement are primary considerations. The ideal ranch riding horse should have a natural ranch horse appearance from head to tail in each maneuver.

Horses shall be shown individually and the class may be conducted inside or outside of an arena. The pattern may be started either to the right or left direction. Show management has the option to set the markers to designate gait changes. If the class is held inside the arena, the course shall be set up to make approximately one pass of the arena in each direction. The optional ranch riding pattern may be used or another pattern may be used as long as all elements of the class are fulfilled as follows:

·      Horses will be shown individually at three gaits; walk, trot, and lope in each direction of the arena.

·      Horses will also be asked to reverse, stop and back.

·      The judge must ask for an extended trot and extended lope at least one direction of the ring.

For more information see Rule Book.

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