A. Contestants will be judged 75% on costume, 25% on the
pony. Class to be judged at the walk only, both ways of the
B. Exhibitors may be allowed a maximum of 2 minutes of
individual working time or explanation of costume, at the
discretion of the Show Committee.
C. The exhibitor must remain mounted in all costume classes.
Failure to do so is a disqualification.
D. The exhibitor is the only person allowed in the ring with
the pony except in Leadline Costume. If other people or
other animals (ponies, dogs, cats, etc.) accompany the
entrant, he shall be disqualified.
E. Leadline Costume
1. This class is for riders 6 years and under. Ponies are
shown at a walk only. The person leading the pony
must be 14 years of age or older.
2. The Show Committee may allow, at their discretion,
stallions 2 years and older to be shown in Leadline
3. If this class is not offered at a show, Leadline
contestants shall show in the other type costume
4. Any type of costume may be worn.
F. Open Costume
1. Any type costume may be worn, unless the Native
American Costume class is offered. If Native
American Costume is offered, that costume cannot
be worn in Open Costume.
G. Native American Costume
1. Consideration should be given to the material used
and the design of the costume. Period costume is
required to maintain the historical or traditional
nature of the class.
2. Material used in an authentic Native American
costume may include buckskin, suede cloth, flannel
wool, velvet or cotton, but no plastic. Some
authentic costumes are plain (as Navajo) and should
not be discriminated against in favor of one that is
3. Quill work and real beading (loom beading, lazy
stitch and appliqué stitch beading) should be given
consideration over plastic beading and imitation
beaded strips, although the latter is permissible.
Articles beaded are ceremonial shirts, dresses,
aprons, leggings, vests, moccasins, etc.
a. The Plains Native American designs are
geometric triangles, hourglasses, crosses,
oblongs, diamonds and terraces. Background
color usually denotes actual tribe, so the
background of all beading on one costume
should be the same.
b. The Navajos wore velvet, with cowry shells
and other clothing made of handwoven cloth.
Their blankets are famous for their geometric
c. The Woodland Native Americans are from the
Great Lakes, Eastern and Southeastern Coastal
areas. The beading designs represented
flowers, trees or leaves and were more
rounded and curved. Appliquéd beading
(single outline) of floral designs was also done
on buckskin. Background colors are navy blue,
black and red on wool and broadcloth.
4. War Bonnets and Headgear
a. The Plains Native Americans bonnets should
be made of imitation eagle feathers, have a
beaded, quilled or fur brow band, be full and
wide brimmed and may have trailers. The
roach was also used by the Plains Native
Americans, usually by dancers, and was
decorated with their designs. Some tribes used
beaded hand bands to hold their roaches in
place. Warriors wore feathers and other
decorations woven into their scalp locks
(pieces of hair at the crown of their heads) and
skins and cloth were also often woven into
their braided hair. Headbands were never
b. Navajos and Southwestern Native Americans
wore cloth headbands, some with feathers
and decorations tied in to the knots in the
c. Woodland bonnets should be made of barred
turkey feathers and should be narrow and high
with a fur brow band. The roach is used and
usually decorated with fur and woodland
designs. These warriors also wore decorations
and feathers in their hair, and braids but did
not wear headbands.
d. Feather caps, fur turbans and turbans made of
animal heads and skins were worn by Plains
and Woodland Native Americans.
a. The Plains moccasins are usually plain‐toed
and decorated with colorful quillwork and
sometimes a beaded border.
b. The Woodland moccasins have puckered toes
with the center beaded or have velvet or
flannel beaded insert. Sides of moccasins are
6. Women of all nations worn plain clothes for
everyday dress, but on special occasions, wore
beaded and painted garments. Women wore hats in
some tribes, but never wore feathers or headbands.
They often braided skins and ornaments into their
7. Trappings and Accessories
a. Appropriate imitation feathers used for
trappings or backgrounds are permissible.
b. Bells are to be permitted unless the Show
Committee advertises in advance that bells are
c. Tapaderos are allowed.
d. A travois shall not be permitted.
8. A bridle that has been beaded or painted with Native
American designs should be considered over a plain
bridle. The judge should not discriminate against the
use of a bridle over a rawhide bit (which is rawhide
encircling lower jaw).
9. If there are separate classes offered for Boys/Girls
Native American Costume, then the males (Chiefs
and Braves) shall show in the boys’ class and the
females (Princess or Squaw) shall show in the girls’
class. Cross‐dressing of sexes shall not be allowed.
(Girls shall not dress as chief and braves, etc.) Show
Committees are urged to offer separate Native
American Costume classes for boys and girls.