SHW764. Equestrians with Disabilities Supported Riders. Walk Jog Western Pleasure-Supported Rider; Walk Trot Trail-Supported Rider. The exhibitor in a supported class will have the presence of a leader. Leaders will have contact with the horse using a loose lead attached without a chain to a halter in a manner that does not interfere with reining of the horse. A lead line must be attached to the halter and not to the bridle. Chains may not be used over or under the nose but may be looped through the bottom halter ring. The supported rider may need the support of one or two side walkers. All supported riders must be able to hold reins. Once the class has started, unauthorized assistance from horse leaders, spotters and side walkers will result in penalties. Side walkers may not give verbal commands or extra physical prompting, except in case of emergency.
SHW764.1 Judging in the Equestrians with Disabilities Western Pleasure classes follows AQHA WESTERN PLEASURE RULES. Horses are judged following these guidelines, reversing only at the walk and omitting all extended gaits. Horses should be backed in the line-up, not on the rail. Horses should be worked on the rail for the amount of time necessary to evaluate each gait in each direction, being mindful of the stress on the rider and/or leader-side-walkers. If a judge is concerned that, for example, the amount of trotting is difficult for a rider (or side-walkers) but not sufficient to complete judging, the judge could chose to have the horses walk briefly before resuming the trot and completing the judging. The horses in the EWD supported classes are judged doing their jobs as a pleasure horse in spite of the challenges that may be presented due to the type of support or adaptive equipment that is required. Neither the amount of support and type of adaptive equipment nor the unique characteristics of a specific rider's disability should enter into the judging criteria.
SHW764.2 Classes may be split at the discretion of Show Management, consistent with other Equestrian with Disabilities Classes.