2016 Miniature Horse WORLD Issues October/November 2016 Vol 32 No 5 - Page 25

driver ? Obvious things that demonstrate bad manners are well known to all , kicking , failing to guide , or any rebellious action by the horse are all bad manners .
Quality : Quality is an elusive word to describe , but it is the essence of all things desirable in any animal or item . It is something that you want to emulate or own with pride .
Performance : Performance is the balance and carriage of the horse . How does the horse get across the ground ? Is the horse engaged or just going along to get along ? Can the driver demonstrate the different gaits asked for readily and obviously ? Will the horse stand quietly and back readily ? Are the gaits true and square as the horse moves across the ground ? Is there a rhythm and cadence in the gaits ?
Conformation : This boils down to form to function . Is this horse of sufficiently good conformation to do the job that he is being asked to do ?
Appearance : The whole picture is taken into account here . The driver ’ s attire and the appropriateness of the driver ’ s attire for the class , the cart , harness ( how it fits and how it is hooked to the vehicle ), cleanliness , and grooming are all taken into consideration for the appearance .
It is a judges › responsibility to adhere to a breed › s standards and select the horse in each class that comes the closest to the division criteria . If judges › and exhibitors understand the above specifications and adhere to those standards of ideal expectations , then let the best horse suited to that class › s specifications win the class .
I hope this little exercise will point out that there is more that goes into “ judging ” than just the frame of the horse as it goes down the rail .
Portia Kalinka I would say that this phenomenon appears to happen when a horse who is not quite the perfect type for his division does all the required elements significantly better than the horse who is the more correct type for the division .
I recently judged a horse in Classic who was the perfect type . Relaxed neck carriage and very well mannered . But , he only went one speed at the trot . He never increased cadence or length of stride from his pleasure trot to his working trot . So , in my opinion , he got beat by a horse whose frame was not as correct for classic because he did all the requirements of the class . The wording in the rule book is , “ ideally , neck carriage should remain low and head set , etc ” Twice it says that the horse is required to show two different trot gaits and uses the wording , “ must .”
This same scenario could happen many different ways where the horse who most correctly fits the division makes a major error . He could get beat by a horse who is less the correct type , but does all the required elements correctly .
Sandy Curl You know this is an interesting conundrum . I just arrived home from judging the Eastern Regional Show in Springfield , Oh and what a great show it was ! We saw some incredible horses ! As judges , we were talking about the driving horses and what classes they belong in , however , we were thinking just the opposite that most drivers are putting their
horses in the wrong division , by putting them in the next division up instead of moving down a division . The quality of our drivers and horses just keeps improving - horses top lines are where they should be and the drive and impulsion from behind is tremendous . Our horses have self carriage and look happy doing their jobs .
Our rule book states “ The depiction , balance line and descriptive paragraph are to be used to define the “ ideal ” pleasure horse and are in no way intended to eliminate horses not capable of the ideal .” As judges , we want to judge on the positive not the negative , so we use this criteria and try to place those that “ most fit ” the ideal . Keeping in mind that the top line is just one factor of judging driving , we also have to evaluate , performance , quality , manners , length or depth of stride , appearance and much more . As judges , we do try to make sure that the best horse does win .
OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2016 Miniature Horse World 23