Show Rules:

The purpose of the ranch riding class is to measure the ability of the horse to be a pleasure to ride while being used as a means of conveyance from performing one ranch task to another. The horse should reflect the versatility, attitude and movement of a working ranch horse riding outside the confines of an arena. The horse should be well-trained, relaxed, quiet, soft and cadenced at all gaits. The ideal ranch horse will travel with forward movement and demonstrate an obvious lengthening of stride at extended gaits. The horse can be ridden with light contact or on a relatively loose rein without requiring undue restraint, but not shown on a full drape of reins. The overall manners and responsiveness of the ranch riding horse to make timely transitions in a smooth and correct manner, as well as the quality of the movement are of primary considerations. The ideal ranch riding horse should have a natural ranch horse appearance from head to tail in each maneuver. 
 Each horse will work individually, performing the required gait maneuvers. 


Horses will be scored on the basis of 0 to 100, with 70 denoting an average performance. Each maneuver will receive a score that should be added or subtracted from 70 and is subject to a penalty that should be subtracted. Each maneuver will be scored on the following basis, ranging from plus 1 1/2 to minus 1 1/2.: -1 1/2 extremely poor, -1 very poor,-1/2 poor, 0 correct, +1/2 good, + 1 very good, + 1 1/2 excellent. Maneuver scores are to be determined and assessed independently of penalty points.

Posting at the extended trot is acceptable.

Touching or holding the saddle horn is acceptable.  

It is suggested competitors use a breast collar and a back cinch. 


Equipment: Horses may be shown in a snaffle bit, hackamore or a bridle.  If showing in a bridle they must be shown one-handed.  Horses may be shown in split reins or romals.  No cavison, tie-downs, draw reins or martingales are permitted.


Upon the completion of each run all bridles will be dropped to ensure the humane treatment of our horses.  If equipment is determined to be unacceptable by the judge a zero score will be applied.

When exhibiting in a snaffle bit or hackamore, an exhibitor may switch between two hands and one hand on the reins at any time. 

Attire: A Long-sleeve  shirt and boots are strongly suggested.  Chaps and western hats are optional.  

Ranch Riding Penalties. A contestant shall be penalized each time the following occur: 

One (1) point penalties 

  1. Too slow (per gait) 

  2. Over-bridled (per maneuver)

  3. Out of frame (per maneuver)

  4. Break of gait at walk or trot for 2 strides or less

  5. Out of lead or cross-cantering for 2 strides or less

Three (3) point penalties 

  1. Break of gait at walk or trot for more than 2 strides

  2. Break of gait at lope, except when correcting an incorrect lead Wrong lead or out of lead

  3. Draped reins (per maneuver) 

  4. Out of lead or cross-cantering 3 strides or more.

  5. Out of lead or cross-cantering more than two strides when changing leads 

  6. Trotting more than three strides when making a simple lead change 

Five (5) point penalties 

  1. Blatant disobedience (kick, bite, buck, rear, etc.) for each occurrence

  2. Instill praise or fear with the off-hand anywhere in the pattern.

Zero Scores will be given for the following:

  1. Willful abuse

  2. Going off pattern including but not limited to adding or excluding maneuvers

  3. Use of inhumane equipment

  4. The use of two-hands when using a shank bit anywhere in the pattern

  5. Using more than one finger between split reins or any fingers between romal reins (except in the two rein)

  6. Edited videos of the run or the bit check 

Classes may be offered in the following divisions:

Open:  This division is open to all horses and all riders.


Non-Pro:  This division is limited to exhibitor’s who have not judged, coached, shown, trained or assisted in the training of a horse for remuneration, monetary exchange or otherwise compensated for such services.  

Novice Non-Pro: This division is for Non-Pro riders that are new to showing, who have never won 3 Ranch Riding classes. Once riders win 3 Ranch Riding classes, online or in-person, they will no longer be eligible to show in the Novice.

Youth: This division is limited to exhibitors under the age of 18 (as of January 1).  

Walk Trot (Youth and 18 & over classes): Youth Walk Trot is for exhibitors aged 18 and under as of January 1st, 18 & Over Walk Trot is for all other exhibitors. Exhibitors who enter either walk trot class are not eligible to cross enter a loping class at the same show. Horses may cross enter any classes.

Para: Open to riders with mental or physical disabilities to provide the opportunity to safely and effectively show in Ranch Riding. Must be able to provide doctor’s note of disability if required. Riders must wear a helmet. Rider may hold the horn. Rider can have someone lead the horse.

Green: This class is based on the horse, and is for horses new to Ranch Riding. This is considered an Open class, so you may be competing against riders of all skill levels. If you are showing in another class (Open, Non-Pro, Novice, or Youth), as well as the Green, you may submit just one video for both classes (you don't need to do the pattern twice).

RRO Year End Awards Program Rules:

To be a part of the Year End Awards program, you can purchase a membership for this year for $30 when you enter any Ranch Riding Online Show. There will be awards in December of 2021 for both the Champion and Reserve Champion in Youth Walk Trot, 18 & Over Walk Trot, Novice Non Pro, Non Pro, Youth, Green and Open.

Points will be awarded at each show according to placings. The point system will work as follows:

1st = 10 points

2nd = 9 points

3rd = 8 points

4th = 7 points

5th = 6 points

6th = 5 points

7th= 4 points

8th= 3 points

9th = 2 points

10th =  1 point

Point standings will be posted and updated throughout the year on the website for each division.