Horse Training

Ranch Horse Versatility

June 23, 2009

Learn the basics of Ranch Horse Versatility.

It sprouted from the desire to display the versatility and usability of ranch horses in a show setting. After tweaking and fine-tuning the original plans, AQHA introduced the versatility ranch horse classes. Multiple classes are offered: riding, ranch trail, ranch cutting, working ranch horse and ranch conformation. And, a horse and rider team must exhibit in all five classes.

The versatility ranch horse competition promotes the athletic ability and versatility of the horse. Now, the approved show list spans the United States with some shows so popular that entries are limited.

Ranch Horse Versatility is popular with many competitors. Order the Versatility Ranch Horse DVD to learn more about this exciting event.

Ranch Riding

This class shows the horse’s ability to move at a working speed with a rider. Horses will be shown at the walk, trot and lope. A horse will be given credit if his head is in a normal position, his ears are alert, and moving at a natural speed for the gait requested.

Ranch Trail

A ranch trail course has a minimum of six obstacles and is designed to show a horse’s ability and willingness to perform several tasks that might be asked of him during the course of a normal day’s ranch work. Ideally, this class takes place outside of an arena and uses the natural terrain whenever possible.

Ranch Cutting

This class is judged on the ability of the horse to work a cow by separating it from the herd, driving it to the middle of the arena, holding it to demonstrate the horse’s ability to work the cow and, finally, to pen the cow. A single numbered cow is cut from the herd, and the horse must demonstrate its ability to work the cow. The horse and rider must then pen the cow at the far end of the arena.

Working Ranch Horse

This class combines the reining ability, cow sense and roping ability of the horse. Each part is judged separately, with the scores then added together to determine the final score. Each exhibitor is allowed six minutes to complete the class.

Ranch Horse Versatility is sweeping the nation. If you want to get in on the action, learn more about the event with the Versatility Ranch Horse DVD.

Ranch Conformation

Unlike traditional halter classes, all horses, regardless of sex, are shown together in ranch conformation. Horses must be shown in a good working halter, either rope, braided, nylon or plain leather. Horses are placed in relation to breed ideal, relative to balance, structural correctness and movement with appropriate breed and sex characteristics and adequate muscling. This class is only to be conducted after the other four classes have finished.

The class guidelines have been taken from the 2009 AQHA rulebook, however they are by no means considered to be comprehensive. You should consult the rulebookfor details on these and other classes.