This class measures the ability of the western stock horse to perform many basic handling maneuvers. The American Stock Horse Association has five recognized regular patterns plus two Novice & Youth patterns. The patterns are broken down into either 7 or 8 maneuvers to be scored 10 points each.
Stops are the act of slowing the horse from a lope to a stop position by bringing the hind legs under the horse in a locked position sliding on the hind feet. The horse should enter the stop position by bending the back, bringing the hind legs further under the body while maintaining forward motion and ground contact and cadence with the front legs. Throughout the stop, the horse should continue in a straight line while maintaining ground contact with the hind feet.
Spins are a series of 360-degree turns, executed over a stationary (inside) hind leg. Propulsion for the spin is supplied by the outside rear leg and front legs and contact should be made with the ground and a front leg. The location of the hindquarters should be fixed at the start of the spin and maintained throughout the spins.
Rollbacks are the 180 degree reversal of forward motion completed by running to a stop, rolling (turning) the shoulders back to the opposite direction over the hocks and departing in a canter, as one continuous motion. There should be no hesitation; however a slight pause to regain footing or balance should not be deemed hesitation. The horse should not step ahead or backup prior to rolling back.
Circles are maneuvers at the lope, of designated size and speed, which demonstrate control, willingness to guide and the degree of difficulty in speed and speed changes. Circles must at all times be run in the geographical area of the arena specified in the pattern description and must have a common center point. There must be a clearly defined difference in the speed and size of a small, slow circle and a large, fast circle and the speeds to the left and right should be consistent.
A backup is a maneuver requiring the horse to be moved inn a reverse motion in a straight line a required distance, at least 10 feet.
To hesitate is the act of demonstrating the horse’s ability to stand in a relaxed manner at a designated time in a pattern. In a hesitation, the horse is required to remain motionless and relaxed. Reining patterns require hesitation at the end of the pattern to demonstrate to the judge(s) the completion of the pattern.
Lead changes are the act of changing the leading legs of the front and rear pair of legs, at a lope, when changing the direction traveled. The lead change must be executed at a lope with no change of gait or speed and be performed in the exact geographical position in the arena specified in the pattern description. The change of the front and rear leads must take place within the same stride to avoid deductions.
Run Downs and Run-arounds
Run downs are runs through the middle of the arena, and runs along the side and ends of the arena. Run downs and run-arounds should demonstrate control and gradual increase in speed to the stop.
+ Overall smoothness of the pattern
+ Degree of difficulty exhibited by stops, spins, and rollbacks and speed inn circles and run-outs
+ Horse should guide willingly without undue resistance
+ Lack of set-ups or anticipations in the execution of any of the maneuvers
+ Exhibiting finesse, attitude, quickness, authority and controlled speed while completing a correct maneuver
Five Point Deductions
1. Blatant disobedience’s, including kicking, bucking or rearing
2. Spurring in front of cinch or the use of either hand to instill fear or praise
Two Point Deductions
1. Break of gait
2. Freeze up in spins or rollbacks. A freeze up is any time the lateral movement of the horse’s shoulders is completely stopped and has to be restarted to complete the maneuver.
3. In trot patterns, failure to stop or walk before executing a canter departure.
4. In run patterns, failure to be at a canter before the first marker.
5. Failure to completely pass a specified marker before initiating a stop.
6. Using two hands on a curb bit or using more than one finger between split reins or any finger between romal reins will result in a two point run content deduction each time there is a violation. the free hand may be used to straighten excess rein at any place a horse is allowed to be completely stopped during a pattern.
7. Over or under spinning of more than one-fourth turn.
8 . Jogging more than two strides to start circles or exit rollbacks.
One Point Deduction
1. Each time a horse is out of lead. Penalties are cumulative for each occurrence and each one-fourth circle.
One-half Point Deduction
1. Jogging less than two strides to start circles or exit rollbacks.
2. Failure to maintain a minimum of twenty feet from wall or fence for stops or rollbacks on standard patterns with the exception of Novice & Youth Pattern #1.
3. For one stride delayed lead change.