A. Western Riding is an event where the pony is judged on
quality of gaits, lead changes at the lope, response to the
rider, manners and disposition. The pony should perform
with reasonable speed, and be sensible, well‐mannered,
free and easy moving. In 10‐13, 14‐18 and 18 & Under
Western Riding, the pony must do a minimum of four
flying lead changes at the National Congress and Regional
1. All exhibitors in the age division of 13 & Under or 18
& Under shall run the same pattern posted for that
B. Credit shall be given for and emphasis placed on
smoothness, even cadence of gaits (i.e., starting and
finishing the pattern with the same cadence), and the
pony’s ability to change leads precisely, easily and
simultaneously both hind and front at the center point
between markers. Lead changes, or lack of, are addressed
under scoring below. The pony should have a relaxed head
carriage showing response to the rider’s hands, with a
moderate flexion at the poll. Ponies may be ridden with
light contact or on a reasonably loose rein. The pony
should cross the log both at the jog and the lope without
breaking gait or radically changing stride.
C. Except for Junior ponies shown with a hackamore or
snaffle bit, only one hand is permitted on reins.
D. Tack and Attire. See Rules 104 and 105.
E. Disqualifications. See disqualifications below, and see Rule
F. The judge or Show Committee will select one of the six
patterns to be performed. The judge is responsible for the
pattern being correctly set.
G. On the pattern:
1. The small circles represent pylon markers which are
recommended. These should be separated by a
uniform measured distance of not less than 30’ nor
more than 50’ on the sides with 5 markers (see
diagram). In Pattern 1 and 4 the three markers on
the opposite side should be set across from the
appropriate markers. It is recommended that
markers be set a minimum of 15’ from the fence and
with 50’ to 80’ widths in the pattern, as the arena
2. A solid log or pole should be used and be a minimum
of 8’ in length.
3. The long serpentine line indicates the direction of
travel and gaits at which the pony is to move. The
recommended lead changing point is equal to 1/2
stride length before or after the center point
between the markers. The dotted line (.....) indicates
walk, the dashed line (‐‐‐‐) jog, and the solid line
H. Scoring will be on basis of 0 to 100, with 70 denoting an
1. Scoring guidelines to be considered: points will be
added or subtracted from the maneuvers on the
following basis, ranging from plus 1.5 to minus 1.5; ‐
1.5 extremely poor, ‐1 very poor, ‐.5 poor, 0 average,
+.5 good, +1 very good, +1.5 excellent. Maneuver
scores are to be determined independently of
I. Scoresheets should be made available for the judge’s use
and may be downloaded from the POAC website.
J. A contestant shall be penalized each time the following
1. 5 points
a. Out of lead beyond the next designated
change area. (Note: Failure to change,
including cross‐cantering, at two consecutive
change areas would result in 10 penalty
b. Kicking out.
c. Blatant disobedience.
2. 3 points
a. Not performing the specific gait (jog or lope)
or stopping when called for in the pattern,
within 10’ of the designated area.
b. Break of gait at the lope.
c. Simple change of leads.
d. Out of lead prior to the designated change
from the cone to the previous change area or
out of lead after designated change from the
cone to the next designated change area.
e. Additional lead changes anywhere in pattern
(except when correcting an extra change or
f. In Pattern 1,3, and 4 failure to start the lope
within 30’ after crossing the log at the jog.
g. Break of gait at walk or jog of more than two
3. 1 point
a. Break of gait at walk or jog up to two strides.
b. Hitting or rolling log.
c. Out of lead for more than one stride to the
d. Splitting the log (log between the two front or
two hind feet) at the lope.
4. 1/2 point
a. Tick or light touch of log.
b. Hind legs skipping or coming together during
c. Out of lead from 1/2 to one stride.
5. Disqualifications ‐ 0 score
a. Illegal equipment.
b. Willful abuse.
c. Off course.
d. Knocking over markers.
e. Completely missing log.
f. Major refusal ‐ stop and back more than two
strides or four steps with front legs.
g. Major disobedience: rearing, schooling, etc.
h. Failure to start lope prior to end cone in
Pattern 1, 3 and 4.
6. Faults. The following characteristics are considered
faults and should be judged accordingly in maneuver
a. Opening mouth excessively.
b. Anticipating signals or early lead changes.
a. Changes of leads, hind and front
b. Changes at designated point.
c. Accurate and smooth pattern.
d. Even pace throughout.
e. Easy to guide and control with rein and leg.
f. Manners and fitness.