Horse Judging

Join the educational and fun experience of judging horses with AQHYA.

competitive horse judging contestants judge a halter horse class

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Competitive horse judging teams are offered through senior and junior colleges, as well as through 4-H, FFA and AQHA state affiliate youth associations. Participants evaluate a variety of four-horse halter and performance classes and give four to six sets of memorized oral reasons depicting their placings. At contests, professional judges determine an official placing for each class. Participants' scores are calculated based on how close their placings are to the officials' placings. Each class and set of reasons is worth 50 points. The competitor who drops the fewest points wins the contest.

Horse Judging Resources

AQHA Horse Judging Manual

The AQHA Horse Judging Manual is a guide for developing a successful horse judging team. This manual includes the following chapters:

  • Coaching the Team
  • Developing a Set of Reasons
  • Conformation
  • Halter
  • Western Pleasure, Hunter Under Saddle
  • Reining
  • Western Riding
  • Trail
  • Hunter Hack
  • Horsemanship, Equitation
  • Connective Terms

AQHA Horse Judging Contests