For those who need help with tacking up with a western saddle
the following web-site gives clear instructions and photos.
The British Horse Society link below gives information about
the different western associations in the UK many of which
have interesting links as to clothing and western tack shops,
who are always happy to give advice.
If however, you would like to try western riding for the
first time in this country, why not visit below.
There has been a lot of spectator interest for these classes
at Malvern and as an increasing number of shows are including
them in their schedules, maybe this is the year for you
to make a start.
All of this information and details of shows and clinics
throughout the country can be found at the Western Equestrian
Society website http://www.wes-uk.com from which this was
In this class it is the handler that is being judged. Conformation
of the horse is not taken into account although grooming,
condition and turnout is. The majority of the points are
gained from leading the horse, posing the horse for inspection,
and the general manner in which the competitor presents
their charge for inspection.
This class requires horse and rider to negotiate a series
of obstacles placed on the arena surface. The horse is marked
on its attitude on approaching and dealing with each element
of the course. Obstacles include a gate, walking, jogging
or loping over poles and backing between poles or around
cones. Other obstacles can be four poles forming a square
of between 5 and 6ft in which the horse must turn 360 degrees,
sidepassing over, in front of, or between poles in both directions,
and carrying an object from one point to another.
Riders are judged on seat, hands, ability to control and
show the horse. Results as shown by the performance of
the horse are not to be considered more important than
the method used by the rider.
A good pleasure horse has a flowing stride of a reasonable
length in keeping with his conformation. He should cover
a reasonable amount of ground with little effort. He should
be shown on a reasonably loose rein, but still have light
contact and control. He should be responsive, yet smooth,
in transitions when called for. Maximum credit should be
given to the flowing, balanced and willing horse which
gives the appearance of being fit and a pleasure to ride.
This class will be judged on the performance, condition
and conformation of the horse, however, a minimum of 20
percent of the judging should be based on condition and
conformation. Entries will be penalized for excessive speeding
or being on wrong leads.
In an approved reining class, any one of the approved American
National Reining Horse Association reining patterns may
be used. One of these patterns is to be selected by the
judge of the class and used by all contestants in the class.
Each contestant will individually perform the required
pattern – containing spins, stops, roll backs, circles,
flying changes and a backup. To rein a horse is not only
to guide him, but to control his every movement. The best
reined horse should be willingly guided or controlled with
little or no apparent resistance and dictated to completely – any
movement on his own must be considered a lack of control.
All deviations from the exact written pattern must be considered
a lack of, or temporary loss of control and therefore faulted
according to the severity of deviation. Credit will be
given for smoothness, finesse, attitude, quickness, and
authority in performing the various manoeuvres while using
Competitors are required to ride one of the three patterns
set out in the Western Equestrian Society rule book. The
class is designed to show the calm, easy paces of the horse
and its ability to be correctly balanced at all times.
Western riding is neither a stunt nor a race, but it should
be performed with reasonable speed. The horse will be judged
on quality of gaits, changes of leads, response to the
rider, manners, disposition, and intelligence. Credit shall
be given for the emphasis placed on smoothness, even cadence
of gaits (i.e. starting and finishing the pattern with
the same cadence), and the horse’s ability to change
leads precisely and easily at the rear and the front at
the centre point between markers. The horse should have
a relaxed head carriage showing response to the rider’s
hands, with a moderate flexion at the poll.