What is Western Horsemanship?
This event evaluates the rider’s skill in performing a set of stipulated maneuvers. Judging is based on the degree of precision and smoothness in executing seven to nine maneuvers and requires the horse and rider to work in precise and complete unison. Riders are assessed on their ability to maintain a balanced and correct body position while directing the horse with subtle aids and cues, and the horse’s ability to respond to the rider and follow the intended pattern of moves.
In IHSA competition there are five levels of Western Horsemanship: Beginner, Intermediate, Novice, Advanced and Open.
In NCAA/NCEA competition there is one level of Western Horsemanship: Open
The event is judged both on the rider’s skill as well as how the horse performs for the rider. The judge:
- evaluates the rider’s position
- tests the rider’s ability and the horse’s execution to perform a prescribed pattern