Western seat, reining seat equitation and Western horsemanship riders should give the impression of being in absolute control. Riders must have a very secure seat and leg with a quiet, guiding hand as the performance of the horse is also considered. The rider should have purpose, direction and follow through in all gaits and maneuvers.
The Western seat or reining seat rider should show adaptability and the ability to demonstrate how to properly ride a reining horse and perform a reining horse pattern. Riders are judged on seat, hands and performance of the horse. However, riders are being judged and the performance of the horse is not considered more important than the method used to obtain it.
Methods used, hand, leg and body position, must be considered as well as how the aids were applied and what results were achieved. Speed and flare should not be sacrificed for correct position, control or smoothness. Riders should, however, show authority and show to the best of their ability.
In Western horsemanship, emphasis should be placed on the horse and the rider working together. Rail work is optional at the discretion of the judge. Execution of required gaits, transitions, tests, and correct form of both horse and rider, while maintaining a pleasurable ride, are the important factors.
When performing the pattern in a Western horsemanship class, riders should show complete control, precision, accuracy and smoothness. Execution and correct form of both the horse and rider while maintaining a pleasurable ride are the main criteria for this class.
Information provided by the United States Equestrian Federation