Extra Credit Should Be Given If...

If split reins are used, the rein should fall on the same side as the rein hand.

If a romal rein is used; romal should fall on the opposite side from the rein hand (romal is usually held in the rider's other hand.

Entry Number is shown on saddle blanket or on rider's back.

Points Should be Deducted If...

Model exhibits excessive speed for gait assigned.

Model is on the wrong lead.

Model's head is carried too high.

Model's head carried too low tip of ear below the withers.

Model is overflexed or has a strained neck in head carriage so the nose is carried behind the vertical.

Model displays Excessive nosing out.

Model displays an opening mouth excessively.

Rider uses spurs forward of the heartgirth.

Model appears sullen, dull, lethargic, emaciated, drawn or overly tired.

Model appears agitated has ears back, tail twirled, etc.

Model displays quick, choppy or pony strides.

Reins are draped to the point that light contact is not maintained.

Model is overly canted at the lope. *When the outside hind foot is further to the inside of the arena than the inside front foot.

Set-Up Options

Arena Fencing Required:
Indoor or Outdoor Arena
Types of Fencing Allowed
Painted or Natural

Post and Rail

Post and Plank

Chain Link

Solid Plyboard

Plyboard with Top Rail

Post with Drape Rope

Stock Tube Pipe Rail

Interior Arena Wall

Footing Required:


No grass base

No rock base

Backboard or Natural Setting:


Western Pleasure Youth Classes
Leadline 6 Years and under
Walk Jog 10 Years Old and Under

These classes are seen in the doll rider shows and are judged on manners and performance of the horse and the rider's ability to handle the horse. For the Leadline class an adult doll handler on the ground is required. Person leading horse is to be dressed in accordance with the exhibitor. The Western Pleasure Leadline and Walk Jog horse regardless of breed performs with a lower head than a natural one, relaxed gaits, slow jog, slow lope and smooth loose or light rein. The head and neck should be carried appropriately for a relaxed performance in accordance to the horses's breed type and conformation. A National Show Horse for example would carry it's muzzle above the point of it's shoulder, while a Morgan will be lower and an Arabian lower still but with it's poll well above the withers. Stock breeds carry a flat or level neck and in all cases the horse's face is vertical or near vertical. Over bridling and over extension of any horse (nose before the vertical) is undersirable. Non stock horses will tend to demonstrate greater contact on the bit, in keeping with a more elevated head set. Morgans are ridden western in a "California" style, which better suits an upheaded horse. The California style horse is more on the bit and on a fairly loose rein but not the slack rein seen in the stock breeds. Gaits are a true four beat walk, straight and relaxed and a slow easy jog. Gaited horses such as Tennessee Walkers, Missouri Fox Trotters, Rocky Mountain Horses, etc perform their gait instead of the jog. The degree of action in either the trot or whatever pacing gait of the breed, should be consistant with a relaxed performance and the horse's individual conformation.

The correct fit of the headstall, bit and reins also play a large part of the judging of this class. Please read the Western Pleasure Arena Section for more information. For Leadline class an additional leather show type halter is seen placed under the bridle headstall with a leather chain show lead attached and held by the adult doll.

The western leadline class is for 6 year old and under children and the horse may only walk. The western walk jog class is for 10 year old and under children and horse is required to walk and jog. Both classes are designed to evaluate the riderís ability to execute with subtle aids and cues, in concert with their horse, a set of maneuvers prescribed by the judge with precision and smoothness while exhibiting poise and confidence, and maintaining a balanced, functional and fundamentally correct body position. The horseís head and neck should be carried in a relaxed and natural position. The head should not be carried behind the vertical, giving the appearance of intimidation, or be excessively nosed out, giving a resistant appearance. Leadline has the horse with the rider and a handler leading the rider. Rider must have a hand hold of the rein. Horse normally walks both ways of the arena rail a short distance. Horse and riders come to center of ring and rider is asked to back the horse. The adult should not aid the exhibitor. The adult should only keep the horse under control. Some judges may ask the child a question concerning their horse. Walk Jog class routine has the horse and rider enter the arena and walk then jog both ways of the arena. Rider and horse come to center of arena and back the horse, usually at least 6 full steps. Judge may ask a question of rider concerning the horse's care or horsemanship.

For additional helpful hints for a correct fit of the Western Bridle please check out Susan Hargrove's site at: Oh Joy Farms - Western Bridle Basics 101

Examples of Youth Class Entries:
Photo Credit:

Leadline Entry

Lovely Leorita, Grulla and Blanket Appaloosa Mare, Lisa Rivera Western Pleasure Horse Resin owned and shown by Cynthia Jameson.

Photo Credit:

Placement of Halter Before Bridle Added

Photo Credit:

Placement of bridle over the top of halter and lead.

Photo Credit:

Walk Jog 10 and Under Entry

Price on Application, shown as a POA, Owned by Joanna Richardson. Bette Thatcher made the saddle and painted the little boy

Required Tack:
A youth 'seat sized' western saddle on a full sized tree. Silver should not be counted over a good working ridle and reins. A western style bridle (browband, one ear, two ear, with or without throatlatch) with a curb bit including a curb strap or curb chain. Standard snaffle bit and bosal hackamores are permitted on horses 4 and under (5 and under for Arabians and Appaloosas). Romal reins and split reins are both legal; Romal reins are usually seen on Arabians, Morgans, and NSH. Missouri Fox Trotters usually wear a noseband.

Nosebands or cavessons (except: Missouri Fox Trotter and National Spotted Saddlebred/Walking Horse). any type of martingale or tiedown, tapaderos, roping reins, any kind of boots or bandages, crops or whips, mechanical hackamores are also prohibited. Split reins may not be knotted or attached to each other (stickwax is of course permitted in model horses) Rider may not have more than one finger between split reins or any fingers between the reins of a rein and romal.

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Updated: January 14, 2013