Ranch horse events are a relatively new division offered by different stock horse clubs. The emphasis is on presenting working horses that move freely and perform without the exaggerated gaits and constraints that have soured some exhibitors from show ring competitions. Ranch horse classes may include ranch riding or pleasure, roping, reining, cutting, cow work, trail, conformation, and versatility events that judge a horse in a variety of skills. Ranch horse classes are more traditional in turnout than pleasure show events. Bling is discouraged in favor of solid working equipment
. Many riders wear simple tailored shirts, jeans, and chinks
(short chaps) or batwing chaps with scarves
at their neck. Hats are sometimes quirky with a bit of personalized character such as an unusual band or contrast stitching. Clean work tack is perfectly adequate to compete, and many exhibitors enjoy using high quality traditional tack including romal reins. Although there might be less silver on ranch horse tack, chances are good that the tack is custom made and of a very high quality, meant to last a lifetime. Be sure to read the rules and understand the guidelines of the club you intend to show with, because there are several groups and their rules differ. If you’re unsure, ask the show organizers what is acceptable. Do your homework, and have fun!