Hello everyone!

I am a dressage rider who is going to be dabbling in some AQHA and pleasure shows with my old man. My friend who does Western Pleasure says I have to trim his whiskers to have the “look” that is preferred. I have never in his 23 years trimmed them and really don’t want to.

This is mostly a personal preference but after the FEI banned it for international events, I decided to keep them even though we are not nearly that good.

Anyway, they are fairly short naturally and mostly white. Will we be that out of place unshaven?

I guess it depends on you. Yes, they will all be shaved and groomed to the nines. If you are doing it just for fun, who cares! If you want to be competitive, it may hurt you some. However, depending on how he moves, try the ranch riding classes. They are a bit more forgiving on the whiskers! Also, ranch horse shows will definitely allow for a more rugged look! LOL!

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Please do the right thing by your horse and leave his whiskers. I figure if a sport thinks the whiskers (or lack thereof) are more important than how a horse/rider actually preforms, then it’s just a fashion show


Oh, I was never going to trim them :laughing:

I want us to be competitive in so far as we don’t get laughed out of the ring. If we actually do well it’s just a bonus.

Based on y’alls replies I feel safe in my choice to keep his whiskers. Although the goat beard definitely has to go! :yum:


I hate whiskers so I clip all my horses. I showed eons ago and it was just the accepted practice and especially when you showed in any halter/ showmanship classes ( i did) .

I just prefer the look of a well clipped horse and it definitely makes a difference and see no reason to let them get all hairy. I do not clip out the ears fully, just the long outside hair, but I do everything else.

If you are just showing in riding classes I don’t know if a judge would even notice. Maybe now it is just up to the individuals preference. Do what you want would be my advice.

If you are going to AQHA shows and entering in pleasure with whiskers, yes, you will be absolutely out of place.

But if that doesn’t bother you, go ahead and go for it.

Long manes are popping up here and there in showmanship and WP. You can start a trend with whiskers…

Two years ago, I took my barrel horse and we went to AQHA together for the first time. He earned points in English (Hunter Seat Equi) and qualified for the AQHA world show in Ranch Riding. We looked the part for the ranch riding but I felt like we stuck out like a sore thumb for English. Oh well, clearly the judges thought we did alright! And we had a good time.

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Leave the whiskers. The only way for things to change is to flood the show pens with what’s right for the horse, and for the judges to STOP rewarding it.

I am pretty sure the judge cannot discriminate on whiskers anyways, as they’re not mentioned specifically ANYWHERE in the current AQHA rule book.


I hate to say this…it’s AQHA. The association and the members are the kind that are soooo set in their ways and don’t reward change. Exhibitors will not go against the norm either when you have ribbons and points at stake. People are still doing tail blocks which is illegal, yet it still continues. The judges will rarely reward an unclipped horse in showmanship, nor the horse that is actually doing a free flowing lope around the pen in western pleasure. Trust me, I’m just as angered and frustrated watching the pleasure as a lot of other people are.

The only classes that might be a deal breaker for whiskers is halter and showmanship. The judge expects a clean, crisp look. If you want to leave the whiskers, I would just trim and shorten them a bit.

I won’t ever step in the pen without my horse being clipped, banded and the tail extension put in…but that’s just me and my choice. Personally, I don’t see the big deal with clipping whiskers…let’s focus on the abuse that goes on in ALL disciplines first.

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