- Judges will visualize a perfect 10/10 score for their obstacle and score you according to their ‘perfect performance’.
- You are being judged on your partnership with your horse.
- Horse and rider are awarded 0-10 points each for their obstacle. A plus for the horse and/or rider are awarded at the judge’s discretion and may be given to any score range. Pluses are used to break ties, they are not added to the score. Examples of pluses given would be for patience, finesse, or for an unusual circumstance during the obstacle.
- Judges award according to the scoring scale:
|ZERO / ONE
||0 Fall, Pass, Did not get past the start point
||1 Passed Go (no $$)
||2 Bless your heart
||3 Not "Purdy"
||4 Close but no Cigar
||7 Almost Good
|ABOVE AVG RESULTS
GENERAL JUDGING CRITERIA:
- Horse should proceed at rider's cue without hesitation.
- Any form of spooking, disobedience, stepping away, or refusal will incur a penalty.
- Horse may regard obstacle for a moment, but prolonged hesitation will incur a penalty.
- Rider should have a centered and balanced seat, straight posture and eyes forward. Heels, hips, and shoulders all in alignment. Heels down.
- Soft use of reins/bit will be rewarded.
- Subtle/refined cues will score higher than obvious cues or harsh use of bits/spurs.
- A calm, patient, willing horse will score higher than nervousness or rushing.
- A good attitude of the horse is most desirable including no excessive swishing of the tail, pinning ears, pawing, kicking, or bucking.
- Maintain cadence with all forward and backward movement.
- Unless otherwise specified, always stay centered when crossing over or through obstacles (jump, logs, vines, etc.).
- Rider is expected to exhibit behavior consistent with the ETS Participant Pledge.
SPECIFIC MANEUVER JUDGING CRITERIA (general judging criteria applies)
GATE: Maintain control of the gate at all times by keeping one hand on the gate.
MOUNT: Mane and saddle may be used as a point of contact for 'gentle' balance. The reins and saddle may not be used with any use of force or leverage. Rider is to land softly in the saddle.
UPHILL: A rider going uphill needs to stay balanced by maintaining an up and forward position parallel with the tree-line.
DOWNHILL: You will incur point deductions if your weight is forward in the saddle. You should display a balanced seat while going downhill.
SIDEPASS: Judges will be looking for crossing over of feet, shuffling will incur point deductions. The front and hind of the horse should stay in relative alignment during the movement.
USING ROPES: Wrapping a rope around your hand will incur point deductions. Always hold coiled rope in your hand. Keep ropes a distance from your horse so they avoid getting tied up in them. Never dally rope on the saddle horn. A half dally providing leverage is acceptable.
JUMP - Rider should have eyes forward, seat raised forward out of the saddle, heals down with feet under them (not swayed back), and hands forward giving the horse his head.
BACK - Horse should back with soft neck and poll. Points deducted if looking backward or to the side causes the rider to be off balance.
TURN ON HAUNCHES - Hind hooves should remain relatively in place as the front end of the equine maneuvers around.
TURN ON FOREHAND - Front hooves should remain relatively in place while the hind end maneuvers around the front end.
- Penalty for horse pushing into handler.
- Penalty for handler standing in front of horse or an unsafe position.
- Penalty for horse not going where handler is sending them.
- Horse should move freely on lead line and stop with ease, no pulling.
HANDS ON REINS:
- Soft use of reins/bit will be rewarded.
- Penalize use of reins/bit that cause horses to raise or throw head up, gaping mouths, hollowed out backs etc.
- Reward rider that allows horse full use of his head, neck, and eyesight to negotiate obstacles, especially on the trail; hills, ravines, down-fall etc.
- Reward rider for using one hand on a leverage/shank bit effectively with finesse.
ALWAYS PLAN YOUR OBSTACLE!
Examples: If you are required to pick up a an item, situate your horse to minimize leaning (causing unbalance and risk); If you are required to turn on the haunch in a box, pay attention to place your horse's hind feet towards the center of the box so the front feet can maneuver around the haunch without touching the box.