Monarch National Championship 

Ranch Riding

The ranch riding horse should simulate a horse riding outside the confines of an arena and reflect the versatility, attitude and movement of a working horse. The class is judged on the horse's ability to work at a forward, working speed while performing the required and optional maneuvers. The required maneuvers are the walk, jog and lope (both directions), the extended trot and extended lope at least one direction as well as stops, back and one change of direction. The optional maneuvers are sidepass, turns of 360 degrees or more; change of lead (simple or flying); walk, jog or lope over poles or other reasonable maneuvers a ranch horse could perform. Scoring is on a 0-100 point scale with 70 denoting an average performance. 

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 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 of primary considerations. The ideal ranch riding horse should have a natural head carriage at each gait

Showmanship At Halter


Correct attire consists of jods or neat dark slacks, long sleeve shirt, tie, boots and vest (no coat) or proper western attire. Hats and gloves are optional. Clothes and person should be neat and clean.



A riding crop is permitted but no appendages may be used (such as plastic or ribbon). No aids, such as noisemakers, clumps of grass, clickers, etc. are permitted. Demonstrate your ability to properly handle and show your horse. Do not try to show a horse at halter until you are sure you can control him. Show your animal to the best advantage - recognize the conformation faults of your animal and show it to overcome these faults. Handle your horse with authority, but do not excite him. Never be rough or strike your horse in the ring. Be natural. Over-showing, undue fussing and maneuvering are objectionable.


Class Procedure

Enter the ring at the gait requested by the judge and lead in the direction indicated by the ring steward until the judge requests that the horses line up for inspection. Leave at least 10 feet (approximately 2 horse lengths) between your horse and the nearest other horse both in circling the ring and in the line-up.


When showing in line, hold the lead shank or rein in your right hand about 12 to 24 inches from the halter or bit. The other end of the lead strap or rein should be doubled in the left hand. You may change hands if it is more convenient to put your horse in position or in showing to the judge. Try to attract the horse's attention to the front so he puts his ears forward.


Your body position should be balanced over your legs to permit free movement to stay out of the judge's way and to properly present the horse. Freedom of movement and a flexible position to work the horse is essential. Any movement should look fluid, not stiff or rigid. The judge should penalize awkward or exaggerated position.


Move the horse's feet by pulling or pushing on the lead or rein as necessary along with putting your hand on his shoulder exerting pressure as needed. Never use your feet or crop to move your horse's feet.


Stand facing the horse or in front of him and face him in such a way as to be able to see the animal and present a full view of the horse to the judge. Do not be distracted by persons or objects outside the ring.


Stand the horse as straight as possible with weight distributed equally on all four feet. When standing, the horse's hooves should point straight ahead. Be careful not to stand the horse in a low place.


The standing position of the horse is with his front legs straight under him and hind legs back slightly, the park position. Do not over-stretch your horse. His head should be up; neck arched and ears forward, looking at the crop or you.


The exhibitor must look both at the horse and keep an eye on the judge, being careful to stay out of the judge's way. The exhibitor should always be on the opposite side of the horse from the judge, even when the judge is down the line or looking at another horse. Watch the judge carefully for instructions and follow promptly and sharply. Do not be afraid to adjust or mildly correct the horse even when the judge is checking your horse.


In moving the horse, stand to the horse's left and move off on a loose rein if possible. You may lightly touch the horse with your crop to start him, if needed. Move out briskly and try not to let the horse move out of a straight line. When moving away from the judge, keep the horse in line with the judge so that he may see the horse's movement without moving himself. Walk or trot your horse from the horse's left side. Bring your horse to a complete stop at either end of the line before turning him. When turning at the end of the line, turn him to the right, or away from you. When the judge is observing other horses, let your horse stand, if posed reasonably well.


Respond rapidly to requests from the judge and officials. Be courteous and sportsmanlike at all time. Keep showing until the entire class has been placed and the judge has submitted his card.

A basic showmanship pattern will be asked for.

JUDGES SHOULD CREDIT: Following instructions promptly Sharpness of presentation Awareness of what horse is doing Control Appropriate attire A well-groomed, well-presented horse - i.e. keepers out, twisted cheek pieces, etc. Correct equipment


JUDGES SHOULD PENALIZE: Incorrect or dirty attire Poorly groomed & trimmed horse Incorrect equipment Dirty equipment Improperly adjusted equipment Overuse of crop or reins Interfering with other exhibitors Over coaching from outside the ring


© 2020 Monarch National Championship

Website Design By Horseminded, LLC