Gaited Performance

  1. Rules for Gaited Classes(Rule 561)
  2. Novice Division(Rule 562)

561. Rules for Gaited Classes

  1. Attire and Tack: Saddle Seat or Western attire depending on class.
    1. In all Gaited Mule western classes, western attire and tack will be used. Mules will be shown in western saddles.
      1. Optional Equipment: spurs, chaps, gloves, rope, riata, chinks cruppers, breeching.
      2. Prohibited Equipment – Australian saddles, cavesson, crops, mechanical hackamores, martingales, training paraphanalia, action devices, tie downs, tack collars, jerk lines.
    2. In all Gaited Mule English type classes, saddle seat habit of a two or three button saddle suit is correct both day and night. Brighter colors may be worn during daylight hours or formal attire for eveningwear. Vests may be worn and may either match or contrast with the habit color. Jodhpur pants should always be worn. Boots should be of the English jodhpur type in either calf or patent leather. A matching or coordinated snap-brim hat, Derby, Riding Helmet or Fedora should be worn. The rider’s hair should be neat and well groomed. Ladies with long hair shall secure hair so that the back number is always visible. Nothing should detract from the genuine beauty of a well-trained mule and skilled rider.
  2. Tack
    1. Bits: Gaited bits are recognized as any standard Walking horse bit. Severe bits are discouraged and bleeding from the mouth or muzzle will be cause for disqualification. These bits are curbs with a solid or broken mouthpiece. A green mule shall be shown in a snaffle bit consistent with the rules for green AMA mules. A description of a legal Gaited mule bit includes:
      1. 9 1/2″ maximum length shank. Shanks are to be measured from the very top of the metal to the very bottom of the metal, including the rings to which the cheeks and reins are attached. Shank may be fixed or loose.
      2. With regard to mouth pieces, nothing may protrude below the mouthpiece. Solid or broken mouthpieces may have a port no higher than three(3)inches. Smooth round, rubber, wrapped copper wire, twisted wired, double twisted wire, Tom Bass ports are acceptable. Bits featuring mouth pieces with cathedral, donuts, prong edges or tough, sharp material SHALL be cause for elimination.
    2. Bridles: Mules will be shown in Saddle-seat bridles with attached cavesson with the exception of no cavesson in the Gaited Western Pleasure. Bridles or Saddle-seat halters may be used in the Gaited Mule Halter classes. Curb chains must meet the approval of the judge and be at least one-half inch in width and must lie flat against the jaw of the mule.
    3. Whips: Whips can be used in under saddle classes (English only) and halter classes but must not exceed four(4) feet in length.
  3. Shoeing
    1. Toe Length – Toe length must exceed the height of the heel by one inch or more. The length of the toe shall be measure from the coronet band, at the center of the front pasterns along the front.
    2. Barefoot – Barefoot mules may be shown in the flat shod classes, however, judge must disqualify lame or tender footed mules.
    3. Flat Shod Mules – Applying to all four feet, the mule is shod flat, hoof to toe. The shoe shall be made either in a conventional manner or hand made. The shoe must not exceed 1/2 inch in thickness or 1 1/2 inch in width. No pads allowed. No additional artificial weight appliances will be allowed and are prohibited on Flat Shod Pleasure Mules.
    4. Heavy Shod-Plantation Shod – Applying to all four feet, the mule is shod with a shoe not to exceed 1/2 inches in width, with no bare plate or other weight inside the shoe. The caulk must not exceed a one inch turnback and the shoe must not exceed more than 1/4 inch beyond the hoof at the toe. The heel of the shoe must not exceed beyond the bulb of the mules’s heel to the ground. The use of borium is permitted on the caulks of the pleasure shoes, but the thickness of the shoe and the caulk with the borium must not exceed 1 1/8 inches. The use of hoof bands is permitted.
    5. Light Shod – Applying to all four feet he mule is shod with a shoe no wider than 3/4 inch and no thicker than 3/8 inch with the exception of the caulk, which must be no thicker than 3/4 inch and the turnback shall not exceed one inch. The shoe is not to exceed beyond the bulb of the mule’s heel when a perpendicular line is drawn from the bulb of the mule’s heel to the gournd. The use of borium must not excedd 7/8 inches. The use of hoof bands on lite-shod mules is not permitted in the show ring or on the show grounds.
  4. Description of Gaits
    1. All mules must exhibit a saddle gait other than a trot – such as a smooth, easy gait, a single foot, a running walk, a rack, a stepping pace: Paso Fino, Foxtrot, etc.
    2. Abusive treatment and/or training techniques to produce alteration for the gaits will be cause for disqualification.
  5. Walking Mule Gaits
    1. Flat Walk is true, bold and four cornered, with fore legs moving straight in an elevated arc, and with a pronounced and cadenced head motion. The rear legs should follow through close to the ground, comfortable and over striding the front tracks. Stiff legged front or rear leg motion and irregular gait, especially when entering the ring, are typical of the movement of a sore mule and the judge must immediately excuse any mule exhibiting this type of motion from the ring.
    2. Running Walk is the same general motion as the flat walk, but with additional speed. The mule shall exhibit a smooth gliding, overstepping, four cornered gait with greater stride and accelerated head motion. The running walk should be a free and easy gait. Mules exhibiting an exaggerated, hesitating way of going, with a tendency to point with the front feet, are not in form. Twisting the hocks or stiff-legged rear leg motion shall also be considered a deviation from the true running walk and a mule exhibiting these ways of going shall be penalized.
    3. Canter is to be smooth and straight on both leads, not walking behind, but cantering on both ends with a rolling, rocking chair motion, comfortable in hand. Exaggerated “pumping” of the mule at the canter is not considered good form and shall be penalized. Being on the wrong lead more than five strides shall be severely penalized.
    4. Judging Consideration – The Walking Mule should move freely in each gait and proceed in a smooth fluid, rhythmic manner. At all gaits, the mule should be flexed at the poll with muzzle slightly tucked. Stiff front or rear leg motion, stumbling, bucking knees, lack of rhythmic timing, pointing, or favoring a particular leg, necessity for excessive pumping or bumping of the mule, or any tendency to rack, pace or other deviation from the true walk are not considered good form and shall be penalized in judging.
  6. Racking Mule Gaits
    1. Show Walk is a smooth collected, showy four-beated gait.
    2. Slow Rack is a relaxed four beat gait showing style and grace. The mule must be ridden on a looser rein and display a smooth round covering stride that is suitable fo the trail. The mule should easily turn when asked to reverse. Green mules shall be shown in a snaffle bit as required by AMA rules. Plantation Shoes are not allowed.
  7. Gaited Western Trail Pleasure – For any age mule or any type of gaited mule to be shown in western attire and tack. If mule is not a green mule it is to be shown with one hand on the reins and no cavesson. Green mules are required to show in a snaffle bit and two hands are required. This class can call for two or three gaits including the slow gait. The class description must indicate if this is a two or three-gaited class. The mule should be ridden on a looser rein and display a smooth ground covering stride that is suitable for the trail. Excessive speed and animation shall be penalized. Mules should neck rein when asked to reverse. Plantation Shoes are not allowed.
  8. Gaited Mulemanship – A class designed to evaluate the rider’s ability to execute a set of maneuvers prescribed by the judge with precision and smoothness while exhibiting poise and condfidence with correct, balanced body position. The ideal mulemanship pattern is extremely precise. The pattern may include, but not limited to the following maneuvers: gait a serpentine without breaking at the slow gait or favorite gait, be able to track a straight line in a gait, stop when asked, back on command, canter and break to a slow gait without trotting. To be shown English or Westen.
  9. Gaited Halter – Class to be judged 50% on conformation and 50% on gait. The mules will be exhivited at a slow gait both ways of the ring before being brought to the center for inspection. The ideal gaited ule should be proportioned, having a long neck that comes out of the shoulder at the angle of 45 to 55 degrees, short back, long sloping croup and the hind legs should have some set to the hock which will enable the gaited mule to stride under himself. When tracking the mule should carry his head above the withers, and his fore legs should move from the shoulder allowing extension and breaking in the foreleg and the hind legs should step over the front foot stride. When tracking the mule should move very loose and free. The handler should wear Western or Saddleseat attire and the halter or bridle should match the exhibitor’s attire. Parking out is optional.
  10. Gaited Parade Mule
    1. Judging Considerations of the Parade Mule – Classes will be judged on performance, manners and conformation 75%, appointments of mule and rider 25%. Mules shall enter the ring at a parade gait and shall be shown at both gaits with martial music wherever possible. It is recommended that entries be asked to halt from both gaits and to walk and parade alternately to illustrate that they are under complete control. Gaits are animated walk and parade gait.
    2. Faults – The following shall be considered faults and shall be penalized: excessive speed, bad manners, switching tail, exaggerated opening of mouth, hard mouth, lugging on the bridle and fighting bit, halting or hesitating, zig-zagging or sideways movement, or carrying sour ears.
    3. Disqualifications – The following shall be considered as faults and result in disqualifying entries.
      1. Executing other than specified gaits (i.e. slow gait, dressage steps, canter, pace, running walk, etc)
      2. Use of tie downs, martingales, draw reins, boots and other appliances.
      3. Use of arifical color, hair or markings.
      4. Noticeable lameness or unsoundness.
      5. Bleeding from mouth.
  11. Workouts – All mules chosen for a workout must be worked both ways of the ring at each gait asked for by the judge. A judge shall not place any entry in a workout unless the entry has performed all required gaits both ways of the arena in the initial performance. Workouts shall be judged as a separate class. Any and all mules performing in the arena must be considered for first place.
  12. Falls
    1. A rider is considered to have fallen when separated from a mule that has not fallen in such a way a to necessitate remounting or vaulting into the saddle.
    2. A mule has considered to have fallen when the shoulder and haunch on the same side have touched the ground.
    3. The fall of a mule and/or rider shall not disqualify the entry, unless due to bad manners of the mule or unless the safety of the rider is threatened.
  13. Unruly Mules: Mules being unruly, rearing up, running off, balking, kicking out or endangering other riders and mules must be excused from the ring or called to the center at the discretion of the judge.
  14. Timeouts: Timeouts interrupt the show; therefore unauthorized timeouts are not allowed. A total of ten(10) minutes in aggregate shall be allowed for each entry for authorized time outs, but no more than two(2) per class.
    1. Time outs may be granted by the judge for replacement of shoes, broken devices or in any other instance where the judge finds reasons. Time-outs will not be granted for repair of curb chains

562. Novice Division

  1. Open to any person(s) who has never won a combined total of (3) first(s) in riding and Showmanship classes. or high point equestrian award in the past (10)years. Exhibitors may NEVER have ridden as a professional trainer. Exhibitor must own mule or donkey (no Jacks allowed)
  2. Classes include:
    1. Showmanship (See class criteria under Youth Showmanship Rule 262.)
    2. English Pleasure (See class criteria under English Performance, Rule 302.)
    3. Western Pleasure (See class criteria under Western Performance, Rule 211.)
    4. Western Trail (See class criteria under Western Trail, Rule 215.)