Competitive Horse Judging Manual

Develop a keen eye and a talent for judging horses.

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This manual is designed as a guide for developing a successful horse judging team as well as a keen eye for evaluating horses in performance and halter events. 

Whether you're competing in 4-H horse judging, FFA horse evaluation or collegiate horse judging events, you'll find the Competitive Horse Judging Manual to be a handy resource for horse judging 101. 

While this horse judging manual was developed by the American Quarter Horse Association, terms, suggestions and drawings that are listed can be used to describe any individual, no matter the type of style established by a breed organization. The body parts and structural diagrams, as well as structural deviations, are the same for all breeds. 

As a coach, the Competitive Horse Judging Manual will teach you how to:

  • Successfully coach a competitive horse judging team
  • Orally defend placings
  • Separate your team from the rest of the pack

As a competitor, you'll learn how to:

  • Develop a set of reasons
  • Take notes on a class
  • Present oral reasons

In addition to covering conformation, structure, structural deviations, unsoundness and blemishes, the Competitive Horse Judging Manual also explains how to judge:

  • Western pleasure
  • Hunter under saddle
  • Reining
  • Western riding
  • Trail
  • Hunter hack
  • Horsemanship
  • Hunt seat equitation