General Show Rules

  1. General Show Rules(Rule 101)
  2. General Performance Rules(Rule 102)
  3. Green Mules General Rules(Rule 103)
  4. Regulation Snaffles and Bits(Rules 104-106)
  5. Characteristics and Faults of The Working Mule(Rules 107-108)
  6. Clarification of Gaits(Rule 109)

101. General Show Rules

  1. Classifications of mules shall be Bridled and Green. Hinny(s) are allowed in any classes that mules enter unless otherwise stated and from this point forward will be classified as mules)
    1. Classes may be offered for each; or Open to both; or to Open, Bridled and Green inclusively. No exotics, such as Zonkey or Zorse, will be placed or used in any class at an AMA show.
    2. Bridled mules must use appropriate bridled equipment and Green must use appropriate equipment in any Open class or be disqualified.
    3. Animals shall receive year-end points in their respective divisions (such as Open Trail). Bridled mules earn toward Western Performance, and Green mules toward Green Western. etc.
  2. Patterns for trail, reining, jumping, etc. classes must be posted and made public at least one hour before class.
  3. Silver tack shall not be considered by judge.
  4. Starting order – Management shall draw for position in which the entries shall compete. Post entries shall go first in reverse order received.
  5. Classes receiving over 25 entries shall be split.
  6. Equipment and attire are defined in their respective Divisions under General Rules. Also see Appendix A – Equipment for diagrams of bits.
  7. A score of zero (0) shall not place.
  8. Failure to enter or leave the arena mounted will be cause for disqualification, unless asked by judge.

102. General Performance Rules – Mules shown in the Bridled Division may not be shown in the Green Mule Divisions.

  1. Equipment – All mules shall be ridden in appropriate type saddles, bridles and bits for that specific division.
    1. Western Classes – All Bridled mules shall be shown in a bridle with a shank bit using one hand on the reins. See Appendix A, for bit diagrams.
      1. Free hand may hold romal or loose ends of reins no closer than 16 inches to the rein hand. Reins must remain loose between hands. Rein hand cannot be changed during performance.
      2. Mules may be shown with leather or chain curb straps. These must meet with the approval of the judge. Must be at least 3/8 inch in width and lie flat against the jaw. NO WIRE CURBS regardless of how padded or covered.
      3. Only the index or first finger may be used between split reins if the excess rein falls on the reining hand side of mule. No finger is permitted between joined reins.
    2. Other Classes – For non-Western classes, please refer to the general rules under the specific discipline.
  2. Other Equipment – All Classes
    1. Tie-downs, martingales, cavessons (except in English), and draw reins are prohibited. Tie-downs, martingales and cavessons ONLY allowed in Roping, Penning, Gymkhana, and Jumpers (Rule 313) Also, see (Rule 106) Cavessons are mandatory in English, Dressage, and Pleasure Driving.
    2. Other Equipment – Saddle Breeching, Cruppers and Tapaderos shall be allowed without penalty.
    3. Protective boots or wraps may be used in events where speed is essential, such as Gymkhana events, Reining, Jumping, and Gambler’s Choice classes.
    4. Protective gear is NOT allowed in Trail, Western Riding, Working Hunters, etc.
  3. Attire
    1. Western Attire – Western hat, belt, western boots, long sleeve shirt with sleeves down and snapped or buttoned if they have them. Authentic suspender pants must be worn with suspenders. Shirts must be tucked in; unless they are designed to be worn out. No bare midriffs are to show. Long pants are required.
    2. English Attire – Proper attire for the type of English saddle that is ridden. This includes jumper classes.
    3. No sleeveless shirts unless used under a jacket.
    4. Means shall be utilized to keep hat on during competition.
    5. Silver equipment, spurs, shotgun chaps, chinks, ties, riata or lariat, hobbles and rain slickers are optional, not to be considered by judge.

103. Green Mules General Rules – For mules of any age that have never been shown in a bridle at any show (horse or mule) or at any AMA recognized show.

  1. Green mules may be shown in a regulation snaffle or rawhide bosal hackamore only. See Appendix A.
    1. Snaffle must be regulation snaffle (3/8 inch diameter or larger, smooth, single- or double-jointed mouthpiece) and must not have shanks.
    2. Bit guards are permitted on snaffles.
  2. Both hands must be used on reins. Exception for green mules of one or two hands allowed in Green Cutting or Roping classes.
  3. All green mules must also abide by Rule 102-B.
  4. Mules may be shown in this division for two consecutive years.
    1. One year shall be defined as anytime between Jan. I -Dec. 31.
      1. If a mule is shown only in the last show of the year, it will still be counted as a full year participation.
    2. If your mule is registered or not, and you are an AMA member or not and you show your mule in an AMA approved class, it will be counted as one year participation.
    3. Mules may be shown in the Driving classes without affecting their “green” status if not ridden. Mules may not show in the Ride and Drive or it will affect their “green” status.
    4. It will be considered as showing in the Green Division when shown in any riding class, and dependent on the type of bit allowed/ used for that class will be considered as having shown in the Open/ Bridled or Green division.
    5. A mule ridden in any pack class will not affect its “green” status.
  5. Once you elect to show in a bridle, you may not go back to the Green Mule Division.
    1. Exception: In Sweepstakes or Open classes, green mules must he shown with two hands with a snaffle or bosal to remain green.
    2. Green Cutting class or Roping classes only allows one or two hands on reins with approved snaffle or bosal.
    3. If you show your mule in a shank type bit in an approved class, it will be considered a Bridled mule and from then on disqualified from Green.

104. Regulation Snaffles – 3/8 inch diameter or larger, smooth, single-jointed or double-jointed mouth piece. For example: (A) Dee Bit (B) Egg Butt (C) Loose ring (D) Full Cheek (E) Half Cheek

  1. Only regulation snaffles will be allowed on Green Mules shown in any approved class.
  2. Rawhide hackamore shown with two hands may be used in Western type classes on Green Mules.

105. Descriptions and Diagrams of BitsSee Appendix A.

106. Other Approved Bits – for all Gymkhana and Roping and Penning Divisions and Jumpers (Class Rule 13) are:

  1. Bridled Mules – Any acceptable, humane bit. Judge’s discretion on if bit is humane. If judged not humane, mule will be eliminated from that class.
  2. Green Mules may use a regulation snaffle, mild twisted wire snaffle, gag snaffle or rawhide bosal hackamore only in classes listed in Rule 106.
  3. Tie-downs, martingales, and cavessons will be allowed in Roping and Penning Division, Gymkhana Division and Jumpers (Rule 313) only. NO DRAW REINS.

107. Characteristics – of a good working mule are as follows.

  1. Good manners, with a soft mouth and responding to a light rein.
  2. The mule should be shifty, smooth, and relaxed and have his feet well under him at all times.
    1. When stopping, hind feet should be well under him.
  3. Mule should be able to work at a reasonable speed and still be under control of the rider.
  4. Mules to be alert and respond to rider’s cues without resistance.
  5. Mules should work with the head in a natural position. Which may be below the withers.
  6. Tail carried in a quiet manner.

108. Faults of The Working Mule – include but are not limited to.

  1. Exaggerated opening of the mouth.
  2. Lugging or running away.
  3. Halting or hesitation while running a pattern or working cattle.
  4. Anticipation of being set up.
  5. Any mule showing evidence of a bleeding mouth is subject to elimination at the judge’s discretion.
  6. Carrying head excessively below the point of the withers. Except if a sign of “watching”, such as in trail, cutting, cow working, etc.
  7. Evading the bit and having nose in behind the vertical.
  8. Excessive tail wringing or “dead” tail. (See Rule 4.D).

109. Clarification of Gaits

  1. Walk – A natural, flat-footed, 4-beat gait. Must be alert, with a stride of reasonable length in keeping with the size of the mule.
    1. Extremely slow or jigging shall be penalized.
  2. Jog – (Western) – A smooth, ground covering 2-beat diagonal gait. The mule works from a pair of diagonals to the other pair.
    1. It should be square, balanced and with a straight, forward movement of the feet.
    2. Mules walking with their back feet and jogging on the front are not considered performing the required gait and should be penalized.
    3. When asked to extend the jog, he moves out with the same smooth way of going with a noticeable lengthening of stride.
    4. Extreme speed to be penalized.
  3. Lope – (Western) – An easy, rhythmical 3-beat gait.
    1. Mules moving to the left shall be on the left lead, and when moving to the right shall be on the right lead.
    2. Mules traveling at a 4-beat gait, such as loping in front and jogging behind, shall be penalized.
  4. Trot – (English) – Same as the jog, except with emphasis on long, low, ground covering, cadenced and balanced strides.
    1. Smoothness more essential than speed. Extreme slowness shall be penalized.
    2. When asked to extend, more credit will be given for a mule that noticeably lengthens its’ stride, over a mule that only speeds up.
  5. Canter – (English) Smooth 3-beat gait, as in the lope, that is free moving, relaxed and straight on both leads. The stride should be suitable to cover ground as if following hounds.
    1. Over collected, 4-beat canter, and excessive speed are penalized.
  6. Hand Gallop – (English) – Definite lengthening of stride and difference in speed. Under control and able to pull up at any time (no sliding stop).
  7. Back up – Animal to move backward in a straight line, with a soft mouth and no resistance. Credit will be given to those that flex at the poll and give to the bit while backing readily with the least visible aids given.