Ranch Riding cross entries

When you start a roundup, maybe to brand in the spring, to shape to ship in the fall, the whole group starts long trotting and at designated places the cowboss will drop riders here and there with instructions where to go to to form a driving line.
That may take some miles of trotting to set your circle, everyone on circle horses, the less fancy and well trained or young horses, generally some rank ones those and the ride may take miles.

During those long trots, many stand in the stirrups and hold onto the horn, “to save their horse’s back”.
There is no roping involved during long trotting.
I think ranch classes are supposed to represent that part of ranch work, the circle and it is in some associations explicitly permitted in their rules to hold onto the horn while trotting, to “stay off the horse’s back”, if posting or just standing on the stirrups.


Your comment shows you don’t get it.
Bluey explained.


Weird that endurance riders don’t seem to feel the need to cling to anything while long trotting many more miles…

Perhaps you’re right, that that’s what it’s supposed to represent. However, it looks sloppy, and it allows for riders (mind you that probably 99% of riders in these ranch classes have never actually worked cows, outside of what’s needed to not have the horse spook when they’re part of a pattern) to never develop an independent seat.

Ranch classes aren’t endurance.
If you don’t like the class don’t watch it, don’t show in it. I don’t like WP so I don’t show in it and I don’t bitch about it because I don’t like it.

Obviously you’re basing your opinions on the ranch classes from the videos you posted and your local area, wherever that may be.
Here, ranch horse shows are pretty competitive and most are true ranch horses. There are more associations for ranch horses other than AQHA, a lot of them and especially here, rope live cattle.

I get that AQHA found a way to make more money because it definitely has a draw. But if people are getting out and having fun with their reiner rejects and that’s the closest they’ll ever get to a “ranch horse”, who cares?


Because they’re specifically unincluding other horses who could cross over into the division because they don’t want “competition” from them. If a horse can do WP, then go into a ranch class and do all the required movements for the pattern, why are they cutting that horse out?

That’s what bothers me.

What does a ribbon even mean if the competition has been pared down in order for you to be competitive? Is that something to be proud of?

And, the videos I posted are from AQHA championships. I don’t even know the local area. I am looking to watch the best of the best, and that’s what comes up.

Just like racing, races and classes at shows are handicapped so it is fair to all.
Track secretaries put out races for all kinds of horses, nominated horses only, allowance, claiming, fillies only, same in horse shows, green as grass, non-pro, earners of less than xyz$.

There may also be rules how many classes horses may enter, a welfare concern, so no one rides their horse into the ground by having the horse competing all day long.

There are competitions where all compete in the same class, but placings are determined by how the entry signed in, like in reining and barrel racing.
Many horses go, but you don’t know where you placed in your division until everyone in the same division had their run.
Each horse competes to be judged in their category, but all there competing from different levels helps as you learn so much about how others have trained and are preparing and riding.

When associations have conventions and at any other time, any complains about how horse events are studied and evaluated, and old rules taken out that are not working and new ones added as needed, is how this works.

We really don’t want a Grand Prix horse with earnings in the $100,000’s to be entering some preliminary jumpers class as a warm up and beating everyone else there, discouraging and unfair as that would be?


That’s totally different from what they’re doing here.

They’re not separating it be amateur and pro. They’re not separating it by aged vs green. (though they do do both of those things).

They’re separating it by a whole different discipline! Where is it that a dressage horse can’t compete in the hunters? Or that an eventer can’t cross enter into the jumpers?

By comparing it that way, are you saying the WP horse is the 100,000 jumper? That’s not the case if the ranch horse is as specialized as they claim - the judges will pick up on the better horse, no?

I think WP and HUS at AQHA has proven that the judges pick things that many people do not call a better horse.
The ranch riding classes are what WP used to be and I think they do not allow cross entry because they have a long history of the judges rewarding that thing that is not this, so to make this a success they have to make it such that a horse that moves like a sound horse has a place to show.

Disclaimer, I do not do any of these classes, I do not even own a QH.


The ones in charge of the show go by the rules of each group putting the show and those go by what their competition demands, as they see it.
There are plenty of ways to ask them and complain if you don’t like it, or become a member and part of the ones deciding.

I am not familiar with any such rule excluding WP horses and under which associations, so can’t answer that specific situation.
Generally such rules are put in after there was found to be a problem and that was to solve it.

This I can agree with, when it’s all WP horses in a pen.

What I don’t agree with is instead of holding the judges accountable to judging the “ranch horse class” to “ranch horse class standards” they instead just dis-include a whole subset of horses. Why? Do the ranch horse people not want the WP snobs around? Is this a “be in our club or get out” sort of clique? I’m sure most people realize that the WP horses do in fact know how to move out and actually canter/gallop, or “extended trot”.

WP is not my jam. Ring/rail classes in general are not my favorite. I think the ranch horse patterns are super awesome, and look like a fun thing to try. I just want to be able to take my horse, show in HUS, then change gear and go in a ranch class. What is the rub with the ranch people that I should be prohibited from doing that?

It feels very cliquey.

You ever been to any judge’s seminars?

Think about what judges may be learning in those and required to become and stay certified, does it make sense to say they are placing horses according to whims?


Well yes, since WP dove down a deep rabbit hole due to judges placing according to what they saw as best.

I thought the intention was to basically present to the judges only horses that hadn’t had success in the classical pleasure classes-- i.e. prevent regression of the gaits to prototypical pleasure classes.

I do not have a pleasure horse. Well, I do, in that he’s a joy and a pleasure to work with, but we’re a dressage pair despite his cowhorse breeding. We’ve shown in one open ranch show and got absolutely destroyed by the competition-- they’re evidently not looking for the dressage lengthened gaits (or I didn’t show them well… could go either way). Just another case of playing in the wrong sandbox, I guess.

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They are excluding the WP horses because of politics. If WP was judged according to what is written in the rulebook, no one would place in the class. Judges have to place people, & WP is where a lot of the big money is. Mummy gets upset if little suzy doesn’t win on her 6/7 figure horse they bought to get her a globe.

WP morphed from what the rules ask for into the horror that it is today. They don’t want RR to do the same. The concern is that if the WP w/ big $ horses start doing the class it will go that direction instead of looking for a horse that can go work. Same w/ the HUS. Can’t ride to hounds or jump a fence w/ your nose in the ground & all your weight on your forehand, but that’s what gets placed.
Trying to keep those politics out of the RR class. BTW, for whomever said you could cross enter the other way, no, you can’t.

Competition has absolutely not been pared down - at least in my area the little weekend local shows tend to have 30+ riders in the ranch classes (and some of them are on WP/all around horses that can acutally move. They just show RR one show, & their all around stuff at the next). The world show usually has close to 100 entries in those classes.


I wish the Ranch Riding shows were that big here. Basically we have one or two APHC shows a year, so the cross entry rule really cuts down on the classes you can enter.

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I just don’t understand why it has to be a game of exclusion, instead of keeping the judges honest - the judges are the problem, not Suzy and her 6 figure horse. If the WP horse can move both well enough to place in a WP class, then move out with some purpose for the RR class - why not reward that horse instead of saying “nope, don’t want you here”. (EDIT: The WP moving “well” is in context of their competition. Again, that’s not my cup of tea personally)

Even true hunters, fences and all, is a far cry from what it would take to keep up with hounds. They too reward a daisy cutter movement that wouldn’t do well with any actual terrain to deal with.

All “ring” showing is a bastardization from what the “actual thing” entails. What would be best is to allow all horses in, so that the true “best” one wins. Not cut a large chunk of them out because they showed in a WP class earlier that day.

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of course it is, but some of the classes have gotten too extreme.
And I have to disagree about the judges, while there may be some, if they don’t place Suzy & her 6 figure horse, then well connected mummy has a fit & the judges don’t get hired.

I have multiple friends that judge & when I ask them about these classes the response is they get called on the carpet if they don’t place a class. I had one that got called in because he was the only one that didn’t place a RR who was showing on a draped rein (loose encouraged, draped discouraged) as high as the all around judges. He refused to change his card, but not all of them would.


I was referring to your local area. I realize those are AQHA videos.

I took a lesson from someone who is a pretty big AQHA judge a couple years ago. He basically told me to get in on the Ranch Horses classes before AQHA ruins it like they have ruined WP. And I agree. AQHA judges are supposed to be penalizing peanut-rolling WP’ers and it just doesn’t get done. I see horses in my area with their head WAY below the withers and they’re still placing and/or winning. They’re supposed to be DQ’ed…

He was also telling me stories of other judges that didn’t even know what some of the gaits are supposed to be in Ranch horse. What?? That concerned me that there are judges out there that don’t even know what they are supposed to be judging.

In my area, the ranch horse draws 30+ entries in each class.
WP? Maybe 15.

And you know what, when you are out on a real ranch, checking cattle, you’d never get anything done if you travel at a WP pace. And this exactly why WP should stay out of ranch horse. The horse needs to move freely and move out. WP horses do not do that.

The classes should absolutely be separate. There is nothing similar about them.

Yes there is. If you enter ranch horse, you cannot enter WP. It goes both ways.

No, it’s because I don’t have 5 hours to travel 1 mile when I am headed out to check cows. Because that’s about how fast you’d get there on a WP horse. I need to be covering some ground to get the job done.

The events are DIFFERENT. You are right a ranch horse is not going to have a WP gait. And a WP horse is not going to have ranch horse gaits.

The tone on some of these post is apalling. Wow. Just wow. The condescending comments about it being a catch-all class because the horses can’t do anything else… really?