A. Any one of the nine POAC‐approved patterns may be used
and is to be selected by the judge or Show Committee and
used by all contestants in the class. Exception: 9 & Under
must use Pattern 1, 4 or 5 unless entering a 13 & Under or
18 & Under class.
B. A contestant will perform the required pattern individually
and separately. To rein a pony is not only to guide him, but
also to control his every movement. The best reined pony
should be willingly guided or controlled with little or no
apparent resistance and dictated to completely.
1. Any movement on his own must be considered a
lack of control.
2. All deviations from the exact written pattern must
be considered a lack of or temporary loss of control
and therefore a fault that must be marked down
according to severity of deviation.
3. Credit should be given for smoothness, finesse,
attitude, quickness and authority of performing
various maneuvers, while using controlled speed.
C. Scoring will be on the basis of 0 to Infinity, with 70
denoting an average performance.
D. Scoresheets should be made available for the judge’s use
and may be downloaded from the POAC website.
E. The following will result in a no score (disqualification):
1. Abuse of an animal in the show arena and/or
evidence that an act of abuse has occurred prior to
or during the exhibition of a pony in competition.
2. Use of illegal equipment, including wire on bits,
bosal or curb chains.
3. Use of illegal bits, bosals or curb chains.
4. Use of tack collars, tie downs or nose bands.
5. Use of whips or bats.
6. Use of any attachment which alters the movement
of or circulation to the tail.
7. Failure to present pony and equipment to the
appropriate judge for inspection.
8. Disrespect or misconduct by the exhibitor.
9. The judge(s) may excuse a pony at any time while in
the arena for unsafe conditions or improper
exhibition pertaining to the pony and/or rider.
F. Excess rein may be straightened at any place a pony is
allowed to be completely stopped during a pattern. When
using a romal, use of the free hand while holding the romal
to alter the tension or length of the reins is considered to
be the use of two hands, and a score of 0 will be applied.
G. The following will result in a score of 0:
1. Use of more than index or first finger between reins.
2. Use of two hands (exception snaffle bit or
hackamore classes designated for two hands) or
3. Use of romal other than as outlined in Rule 102.
4. Failure to complete pattern as written.
5. Performing maneuvers other than in specified order.
6. The inclusion of maneuvers not specified, including,
but not limited to:
a. Backing more than two strides.
b. Turning more than 90 degrees.
Exception: a complete stop in the first quarter of a
circle after a canter departure is not to be
considered an inclusion of a maneuver; a 2 point
break of gait penalty will apply.
7. Equipment failure that delays completion of pattern.
8. Balking or refusal of command where pattern is
9. Running away or failing to guide where it becomes
impossible to discern if the entry is on pattern.
10. Jogging in excess of 1/2 circle or half the length of
11. Overspins of more than 1/4 turn.
12. Fall to the ground by pony or rider.
NOTE: Neither a no score nor a 0 are eligible to place in a goround
or class, but a 0 may advance in a multi‐go event while a
no score may not.
H. The following will result in a reduction of 5 points:
1. Spurring in front of cinch.
2. Use of either hand to instill fear or praise.
3. Holding saddle with free hand.
4. Blatant disobedience including kicking, biting,
bucking, rearing and striking.
I. The following will result in a reduction of 2 points:
1. Break of gait.
2. Freezing up in spins or rollbacks.
3. On walk‐in patterns, failure to stop or walk before
executing a canter departure.
4. On run‐in patterns, failure to be in a canter prior to
reaching the first marker.
5. If a pony does not completely pass the specified
marker before initiating a stop position.
J. Starting or performing circles or eights out of lead will be
judged as follows:
1. Each time a pony is out of lead, a judge is required to
deduct 1 point. The penalty for being out of lead is
accumulative and the judge will deduct 1 penalty
point for each quarter of the circumference of a
circle or any part thereof that a pony is out of lead. A
judge is required to penalize a pony 1/2 point for a
delayed change of lead by one stride.
K. Deduct a 1/2 point for starting circle at a jog or exiting
rollbacks at a jog up to 2 strides. Jogging beyond 2 strides
but less than 1/2 circle or 1/2 the length of the arena,
deduct 2 points.
L. Deduct 1/2 point for over or under spinning up to 1/2 turn;
deduct 1 point for over or under spinning up to 1/4 turn.
M. In patterns requiring a run‐around, failure to be on the
correct lead when rounding the end of the arena will be
penalized as follows: for 1/2 turn or less, 1 point; for more
than 1/2 turn, 2 points.
N. There will be a 1/2 point penalty for failure to remain a
minimum of 20’ from wall or fence when approaching a
stop and/or rollback.
O. A judge may require a contestant to repeat the
performance of any or all of the various parts of the
P. All riders will ride to judge immediately after the
performance for inspection of the bridle. The bridle must
be checked by the judge in the arena or in close proximity
to the arena. Failure to comply will result in a no score.
Q. 9 & Under exhibitors shall do Pattern 2, 3 or 5 ONLY.
R. Junior or JPFC ponies (with the exception of the Futurity
show, see Rule 175), shall use Pattern 1, 2, 3, or 4 ONLY.
S. Judge shall place markers, or direct ring steward to place
markers, along rail in the correct places for the pattern.
T. Patterns should be worked as written, NOT as drawn.
U. Tack and Attire. See Rules 104 and 105.
V. Additional Disqualifications. See Rule 102.