Ask an Expert

Halter Insight

June 27, 2011

Have you been wondering how performance halter differs from traditional AQHA halter classes? AQHA Senior Director of Judges Alex Ross clarifies what judges look for in halter.


I’ve been wondering what the difference is between traditional halter and performance halter classes. What is the judge ideally looking for in a performance halter horse?


In all conformation classes, AQHA judges are instructed to evaluate balance, structural correctness, breed and sex characteristics (head and throatlatch) and degree of muscling. These traits are listed in their order of importance, with balance being the single most important.

Manners and movement are also taken into consideration, especially in performance halter classes. However, new guidelines have recently been drafted to penalize or disqualify halter horses who are displaying poor mannerisms.

Alex Ross
AQHA Senior Director of Judges

In AQHA’s FREE Halter Horse Expression report, you’ll learn the secrets to completing your horse’s “total look” in the halter arena. Download your copy today!